Effects of Outdoor Education Programs for Children in California.
American Institutes of Research. (2005)
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119 at-risk sixth grade students participating in an outdoor program. Students were from 4 schools participating in 3 hands-on, ecology-oriented outdoor programs. A control group of 106 students participated in the same program later in the year.
Research tools included student, teacher, and parent surveys (pre-, post-, 6-10 weeks post), plus site visits and interviews. The tools aimed at measuring social/personal skills, stewardship of the environment, knowledge/understanding of science, and benefits for English Language Learners
Summary of Findings
- Science scores on post-tests were higher for treatment group
- Teachers reported increases in self-esteem, conflict resolution, relationship with peers, problem solving, motivation to learn, and behavior in class
- There was no significant change in environmental stewardship scores