What Are The Benefits of Environmental Education?
Evidence gathered from [a] study of 40 schools indicates that students learn more effectively within an environment-based context than within a traditional educational framework. The observed benefits include:
- Better performance on standardized measures of academic achievement in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.
- Reduced discipline and classroom management problems.
- Increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning.
- Greater pride and ownership in accomplishments.
Compared with their peers in traditional programs, students who participated in programs that use the environment as an integrating context had:
- Greater proficiency in solving problems and thinking strategically.
- Better application of systems thinking and increased ability to think creatively.
- Better ability to work in group settings.
- Stronger communication skills and greater civility toward others.
- Greater enthusiasm for language arts, math, science, and social studies.
- Increased knowledge and understanding of science content, concepts, processes, and principles.
- Better ability to apply science to real-world situations.
- Improved understanding of mathematical concepts and content.
- Better mastery of math skills.
- Improved development of language arts skills.
- More success in communicating with others and with public and private agencies.
- Greater comprehension of social studies content.
- More advanced skills in applying civic processes to real-life situations.
*Source: 1998 & 2002. Lieberman, G.A. & Hoody, L.L. Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning. State Education and Environment Roundtable. www.seer.org.