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A case study of the effects of a school outdoor learning initiative — spring 2021

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Kerlin, S., and N. Marcum-Dietrich. 2021. Report from Stroud Water Research Center.

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Summary

This case study was conducted at a private pre-K through grade eight school located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Increasing the use of the outdoors for instruction has been an initiative of the school and the administration for a few years prior to this study. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated that the school and all teachers make more use of the outdoors during the 2020-2021 school year.

The study includes a survey of 133 middle school (grades 6-8) students, a survey of seventeen middle school teachers, and follow-up interviews of four of the teachers. Findings from this study lead the researchers to make recommendations for this and other schools seeking to utilize the outdoors more for teaching and learning.