A Breath of Fresh Air

A Refreshing Initiative for Outdoor Learning in the Science Curriculum


  • Alexandra Danz Mercy College, 128 Grandview Ave, White Plains, NY 10605, USA.


What if someone said, there was a way to increase student attendance rate, engagement, participation, and test
scores and at the same time, decrease Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms, anxiety and boredom? What if that
same person followed up the question by saying, the answer is in your backyard? The solution is outdoor learning
and truthfully, it seems too easy. With all of the educational strategies being offered, one might think this
curricular shift is another program that has to be implemented with an all or nothing approach. The beauty of outdoor learning is that it takes many different shapes, is flexible, and looks different based on the instructor, the age of the students and the content. While the variables may change, the one constant is that outdoor learning gives students the skills and curiosity they need to become lifelong learners. Making students appreciate learning when they have the resource of a classroom and a teacher limits the reality of lifelong learning, but if students can foster a relationship with nature that provides endless information, the hope of instilling lifelong learning becomes a reality. While formal education will inevitably cease, people will always have access to the outdoors.