Giving Compass' Take:

• This Children & Nature Network post explores Attention Restoration Theory, which contends that people can acquire better focus after spending time in nature (or even looking at it).

• This would be a good argument for plenty of outside classes and field trips. How can nonprofits help schools develop more programs that incorporate nature learning?

• Here's why it's time for kids to get away from all the screens.

Attention Restoration Theory, first developed by Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, asserts that people can concentrate better after spending time in nature, or even looking at scenes of nature. Turning the theory into practice, by encouraging people to spend time outdoors in urban parks or wilderness areas has been shown to help many people.

Students can experience significant benefits. According to Attention Restoration Theory, resting in green environments allows students to regain the attentional focus they need for academic success in school. Concentrating in the classroom requires the brain to work in a way that cannot be maintained forever. The longer the brain must hold focus and ignore distraction, the more it loses the ability to concentration.

Today, the need for revitalizing the attentional focus is more relevant than ever. Worldwide, screens increasingly claim our children’s attentional resources during both school and leisure time. Although smart technology can be used for pleasure and social activities, studies suggest that overuse leads to smart technology-induced stress and addiction in students.

Read the full article about Attention Retention Theory by Matt P. Stevenson, Theresa Schilhab and Peter Bentsen at Children & Nature Network.