Impacts of outdoor lessons to enhance student achievement, motivation and engagement

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


During high school students are commonly developing and forming who they will be as adults. Often, this time in their lives takes focus while their academic careers take a back seat. Unfortunately for some, especially where my Action Research project took place, many students will not further their education. This study investigated the potential effects that learning outdoors might have on student motivation engagement, and achievement. The content I presented in the Outdoor classroom format was not different from the science content they would have learned in the classroom, rather, it represented a change of scenery (i.e., learning environment) and a more experiential classroom approach. Throughout the study, students had two labs which occurred outdoors rather than indoors, and over the course of my study the students had six days outdoors out of eighteen total class days (i.e., 33%). Results suggest that student engagement, motivation and performance did improve slightly in the outdoor classroom, yet the more significant change was observed in the students' perception of those measured variables.




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