Learning Outcomes from Nature - Exploring Nature to Boost Curiosity and Enthusiasm in Children
By Andrew Loh
“Sometimes, questions are more important than answers” – Nancy Willard
Young children are extremely curious and keen to learn
things that are new and strange to them. Children care capable of
learning a lot from the world around them. They know how to link nature
to their learning power. Nature also acts as a great booster to enhance
advanced learning in children. Nature is also a wonderful catalyst that
can spur enhancement of many learning skills like cognition,
imagination, visualization, social and critical thinking. For example,
children are mesmerized by a bird's innate ability to fly and a mother
bird's concern for her younglings by feeding worms right in their
mouths. They may wonder why a snail crawls from one place to the other
in eternity while humans can cover the same distance within seconds.
Nature can be a great teacher
Nature and countless things that occur within the domain of nature can teach your children a number
of skills that make them smarter and intelligent. By studying nature,
children often come out of their cocooned shell and start learning for
their own benefits. Here are some reasons why teachers and parents
should use nature as an effective tool to boost learning in children:
1) Nature is ubiquitous and it is everywhere around us. An
academician named Raffon (2000) wrote a wonderful article on many
advantages of using nature as a tool to boost learning among children.
Nature is free to us as it occurs everywhere. Nature can come in many
forms as a simple backyard garden or as desert, jungle, plains or even
shrub land. All these settings have their own ecosystems that can help
children some cues to develop their curiosity and enthusiasm to start
learning on their own. Outdoors can be great playgrounds for children
learn with their hands on so many things.
2) Nature is free and it offers a no-cost setting for learning. Another academician
named Blair wrote superb article titled “The child in the garden: an
evaluative review of the benefits of school gardening.” Parents and
teachers can use the nature as a free tool. It provides a hundred
percent, low cost setting for effective teaching and learning. A simple
walk in the public garden can teach both parents and their children a
number of things.
3) Nature can also boost academic achievement
as it was pointed out by the State Education and Environment Roundtable
of California. Nature offers an opportunity to learn in an inquiry based
way. This learning approach is very powerful as it can enhance and boost
cognition and critical thinking in children.
4) Barros and his colleagues (School recess and group classroom behavior, 2009) observed
that nature can be an effective system to improve children behavior and
mannerism. Students conducted by them indicated that those children who
learned something from nature tend not to misbehave with others when
compared to ones that do not interact with nature.
5) Nature is a great motivator and children are more likely to motivated better when
they learn something from nature. Dyment (2005) discussed in detail
about innumerable benefits of nature in learning process. When children
learn among nature, they are energized to find out more and use their
mind to learn why things happen in a particular way.
6) Outdoor learning in nature can enhance the skill of communication. This was
discussed in detail by the American Institute of Research (2005).
Students who learn outdoors and among nature are known to be great
communicators in their adulthood. Project and issue based activities are
common while learning from nature and this might enhance the power of
communication among children.
7) According to Burdette and
colleagues (2005), children can enhance their cooperation skills when
they learn from nature in smaller groups. As children play as group
among natural settings, they are more likely to improve their
cooperation skills apart from honing leadership qualities.
8) A healthy body and sound mind is a big and critical necessity for
effective learning. The power of curiosity and enthusiasm come naturally
when children are capable of learning with good health and sound mind.
Nature can help improve good health among children when they play and
learn from nature. They also feel happier and relaxed when they learn
many things from nature; this was confirmed by authors like McCurdy and
his colleagues (2010).
However, effective learning might not
occur unless a child develops enough curiosity levels and enthusiasm for
learning. Nature could act as a great tool to improve and boost the
power of curiosity and enthusiasm. In other words, nature is a double
edged tool that can boost many skills in one single attempt. Continue to read
Exploring Nature to Boost Curiosity and Enthusiasm in Children - Simple Tips
and Practical Suggestions.