The World is Our Classroom

At Springhouse, we envision a culture of lifelong learning where people feel true belonging to themselves, their community, and the Earth. We are reimagining what school looks like. Taking education outside the classroom and beyond the walls of the school is the only way we can build real connections with our community and the natural world. As a staff, we value the Earth as a teacher, a healer, and a source of inspiration, but there is also research demonstrating quantitative educational benefits of time spent outdoors. In 2010, the National Wildlife Foundation published a comprehensive report examining research that looks at the impact of time spent outside the classroom and in the outdoors. The findings reveal that outdoor education and more outdoor play time in natural settings:

 

  • Usefully employ all of a child’s native intelligences, ranging from math and science smarts to interpersonal communications,

  • Are particularly effective at helping under-resourced, low-income students perform measurably better in school,

  • Quantitatively increase student motivation and enthusiasm to learn,

  • Markedly improve classroom behavior with fewer discipline referrals and related problems,

  • Help students concentrate for longer periods and help mitigate attention deficit problems,

  • Help students to learn across disciplines and make them better real-world problem solvers,

  • Help keep students engaged in their school work and make them less inclined to drop out of school,

  • Measurably improve classroom performance in math, science, reading and social studies,

  • Increase scores on statewide standardized tests in basic skills, reading, science and math,

  • And improve performance on college entrance exams

 

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