You can see the September round up of evidence and reports, policy agenda developments, large scale delivery sector initiatives, resources and news from Natural England here.  This supports the Strategic Research Groups for Learning in Natural Environments and Outdoors for All to develop better coherence and collaboration in research and to improve links between research, policy and practice in these areas.  September highlights include:

Direct Learning about nature in 6-year old children living in urban and rural environment and the level of their knowledge
SK Nazaruk, A Klim-Klimaszewska – Journal of Baltic Science Education, 2017
This study was conducted to determine whether there is a difference in the knowledge and skills about nature in 6-year-old children depending on where they live. The research covered 50 children in a city and 40 children in a village. The examination consisted of two stages: the pre-test and post-test. The analysis of the data gathered in the research showed that direct cognition has an impact on increasing children’s knowledge and skills.

Do greener areas promote more equitable child health?
Feng and Astell-Burt – Health and Place
Results from multilevel models suggest the odds of sub-optimal general health were 14% lower among children in areas containing >21.5% green space compared to those with <10%. Higher parent-reported quality green space was associated with 18% lower odds of sub-optimal child health. However, no effect modification of the association between child health and area disadvantage across strata of green space quantity or quality was observed.

9aa8c423Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
This study of 10,000 Australian children demonstrates the importance of greener neighbourhoods. It found measurable differences in the mental and physical wellbeing of children who grow up in greener neighbourhoods compared to those who have less access to parklands, even when taking into account if a child lives in an urban or rural area and other socioeconomic and demographic considerations.

Natural Connections Demonstration Project: Key Evaluation Questions
This report includes the evaluation framework that was used to structure data collection and analysis, and the different analyses underpinning the Natural England Commissioned Report NECR215, Natural Connections Demonstration Project, 2012-2016: Final Report. The aim of this report is to bring these analyses together in a way that will enable other researchers to interrogate the findings in more detail, and to assess the underpinning evidence from the demonstration project.

Effects of regular classes in outdoor education settings: A systematic review on students’ learning, social and health dimensions
Becker et al – Environmental Research and Public Health
This systematic review examined 13 published studies addressing the nature and benefits of school-based outdoor education programs (OEPs). While more studies focused on learning and social outcomes than other areas of student development, overall results indicate that regular OEPs can promote students’ social, academic, physical and psychological development.

The effect of a school-based outdoor education program on Visual Arts teachers’ success and self-efficacy beliefs
C Hursen, D Islek – SA Journal of Education
The research looked to determine the effect of an education programme developed based on the school-based outdoor education approach on the academic achievement of visual arts teachers, as well as their self-efficacy beliefs for using museums and the natural environment. At the end of the study, a significant difference was revealed in terms of the participant teachers’ knowledge and skills regarding the approach as well as their self-efficacy belief levels in relation to the use of museums and the outdoors as teaching environments.

9aa8c423An Analysis on the Effectiveness of the Lifelong Learning Through Nature Programme
Chapter in Handbook of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development 
This study continues to uphold the vision that outdoor education should be considered as a main activity which involves and results in Education for Sustainable Development. In response to these findings, a model illustrating the emerging links between the LLN programme and various factors is presented.


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