A Community Partnership to Facilitate Urban Elementary Students Access to the OutdoorsReport as inadecuate




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School Community Journal, v22 n1 p49-64 2012

Today's children spend less and less time in the outdoors, leading Richard Louv in 2008 to coin the term "nature deficit disorder." Louv pointed out that experiences with nature are essential to a child's physical and emotional development and that the lack of these types of experiences has led to an increase in child obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Poor urban students in particular have little access to experiences with nature, and outdoor classrooms are increasingly being used to foster a sense of community in schools and to provide students with learning opportunities related to nature. This field study describes a partnership formed between a local university, a school district, and a community organization in order to develop and implement outdoor classrooms and curriculum in seven local elementary schools. Results based on teacher reflections on using the outdoors for educational purposes, collected before and after the implementation of the program, indicated a shift in teachers' perceptions about the value of the outdoors for instructional purposes which translated into a greater number of learning experiences for their students and helped foster a sense of community in their schools. (Contains 1 table.)

Descriptors: Urban Schools, Educational Environment, Partnerships in Education, Elementary School Students, Outdoor Education, Poverty, School Community Relationship, College School Cooperation, School Districts, Curriculum Development, Teacher Attitudes, Program Effectiveness, Attitude Change, Elementary School Teachers, Educational Legislation, Federal Legislation, African Americans, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Workshops

Academic Development Institute. 121 North Kickapoo Street, Lincoln, IL 62656. Tel: 217-732-6462; Fax: 217-732-3696; Web site: http://www.adi.org/journal





Author: Ferreira, Maria M.; Grueber, David; Yarema, Sandra

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=438&id=EJ974685



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