What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Children & Nature Network makes the argument that taking kids outside more can enhance their education. The model for this is a Danish concept called udeskole, which integrates school activities in natural settings — research says it works.
• It makes sense that bringing kids into the outdoors would stimulate their minds. But what about kids or schools that are more city-based? Are they out of luck? Besides supporting innovative udeskole-like curriculums, donors may want to think about programs that help urban youth access nature.
• While learning is important, another benefit to getting kids outside is improving their physical health, explained here.
There has never been a time where outdoor learning is more important. Today, children are increasingly sedentary. A trend which has contributed to declines in mental health, an alarming escalation in obesity rates and a rise in non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes later in life. But our research suggests that moving teaching out of the classroom (EOtC) can increase children’s physical activity as well as achieve the primary purpose of school: education and learning.
In recent decades, Scandinavian countries have often been looked to as models of outdoor learning in pre-school and school. The Danish concept of udeskole is an approach to EOtC, which aims to integrate children and young people’s educational activities with the outdoors, often in natural settings, and promote their activity levels, well-being, and academic learning.