We are heavily driven in our program and classroom design (both outdoor and indoor) by academic research. Outdoor Education is not a new concept, but it has long been thought of as a 'break' from more traditional academics. Research has caught up and the results are remarkable.
Emerging evidence strongly suggests that experiences in nature not only boost academic learning, but enhance personal development, and environmental stewardship. Shifts in perseverance, problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork and resilience have all been linked to learning in a natural environment. As well as, reduced stress, improved attention, self-discipline, increased interest and enjoyment of learning.
Our program at WILD School is a harmonious blend of Outdoor Education and Ontario Curriculum academics, teaching both valuable leadership, emotional intelligence and wilderness skills as well as building a strong academic foundation in the traditional core subjects. All of this happens while immersed in nature where students can experience learning in a classroom without walls.
Evidence Based Research
We are standing on the shoulders of giants with our philosophy of education at WILD School. Through the articles listed below, the science has proven the validity and necessary inclusion of nature education to support the academic success, health, and wellbeing of children and youth.
Do Experiences in Nature Promote Learning? is an exceptional article highlighting the converging evidence of the cause-and-effect relationship between academics and experiences in nature.
The Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (ages 5-17) are the first evidence-based movement guidelines to address the whole day activity. The guide suggests the recommended amounts of 'sweat, step, sleep and sit' in a given 24-hour day for optimal health and wellbeing. At Wild School, our program is uniquely active to meet the targets for 'sweat, step and sit' as recommended by this guideline.
The Health Impacts of Too Much Screen Time; Screen time vs. Green Time by Nature Canada highlights the negative impacts of spending too much time indoors and on a screen and the incredible benefits of green time for all children. Referencing The Canadian 24 hour Movement Guidelines shared above, this article shares important research to support the notion that spending active time outdoors is incredibly important for children's health, and overall well being. Research shows that nature can be a contributor to physical, mental and emotional health, building resiliency, enhanced cognitive function and social development.
Additional Research Articles
A Review of Research on Outdoor Education
Benefits of Nature Contact for Children
Five Days at Outdoor Education Camp without Screens Improves Preteen Skills with Nonverbal Emotion Cues
Nature Can Improve Health and Wellbeing
Placed Based Education A Review of its historical precedents in theory and practice.