The Science Behind Nature's Lab School
"Science is much more a way of thinking than it is a body of knowledge" -Carl Sagan
Scientific Research Supporting Nature-based STEAM Education
1) Nature supports multiple development domains. Intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically (Kellert, 2005).
2) Enhances cognitive abilities. Proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).
3) Supports creativity and problem solving. Children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas and play more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment, 2006). Play in nature is especially important for developing capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual development (Kellert, 2005).
4) Improves academic performance. Nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005).
5) Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms. Exposure to nature-based settings can significantly reduce symptoms of ADD (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).
6) Improves social relations. Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have free and unstructured play outdoors (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005).
7) Improves self-discipline. Access to green spaces enhances peace, self-control and self-discipline within inner city youth, and particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001).
8) Increases physical activity. Children in natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another and more creative (Bell and Dyment, 2006).
9) Reduces stress. Locations with greater number of plants, greener views, and access to natural play areas show significant stress reduction results among highly stressed children (Wells and Evans, 2003).
10) Improves nutrition. Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables (Bell & Dyment, 2008) and to show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition (Waliczek, & Zajicek, 2006). They arealso more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives (Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002).
11) Improves eyesight. More time spent outdoors is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness, also known as myopia, in children and adolescents (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011).
Scientific Research Supporting Bilingual Education
Learning a second language has been shown to provide numerous advantages:
1) Language learning correlates with higher academic achievement on standardized test measures.
(Armstrong, P.W., & Rogers, J.D. (1997). Basic Skills Revisted: the Effects of Foreign Language Instruction on Reading, Math and Language Arts. Learning Languages 2(3), 20-31.)
2) There is a correlation between bilingualism and memory skills.
(Kormi-Nouri, R., Moniri, S., & Nilsson, L. (2003). Episodic And Semantic Memory in Bilingual and Monolingual Children. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 44(1), 47 – 54, from PsycINFO database)
3) Learning a second language challenges children, resulting in better cognitive flexibility and creative thinking skills. (Therese Sullivan Caccavale, President of the National Network for Early Language Learning)