An environment-based education movement--at all levels of education--will help students realize that school isn't supposed to be a polite form of incarceration, but a portal to the wider world.
Numerous studies document the benefits to students from school grounds that are ecologically diverse and include free play areas, habitats for wildlife, walking trails, and gardens.
Environment-based education produces student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math; improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages; and develops skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making.
One of my students told me that every time she learns the name of a plant, she feels as if she is meeting someone new. Giving a name to something is a way of knowing it.
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