KBEE - Kootenay Boundary Environmental Education

A summary of the broader benefits of outdoor learning as described by teachers in the Kootenay-Boundary Learning Region of SE BC:

  1. Students social and emotional well-being was shifted whenever we headed outdoors as they felt the boundaries expand and so did their minds wander as if on an adventure. It was fantastic.
  2. Students experienced a sense of calm after returning to the classroom from outdoors.
  3. The students resiliency to the outdoors and weather changes grew immensely over the year!
  4. They loved being outside and rarely were their problems amongst students.
  5. They learned how to problem solve, think for themselves and work together.
  6. It gave all students a chance to shine.
  7. I experienced more positive and engaged students, an increased interest in exercise, and more teamwork and cooperation
  8. Students had an increased eengagement in the activity – I didn’t see any phones come out. Students were motivated to continue the work and to create a beautiful space.
  9. Co-regulation was easier for those who need regulation support.
  10. Lots of smiles and working together. They often had suggestions about what we could do outside.
  11. Increases interest in playing outside in different weather and temperatures.
  12. Somehow reading and writing is more fun outside….and they want to do it 😉
  13. There were benefits in students’ social skills as they were able to interact in a less structured environment and during large group activities.
  14. Students gained health benefits by walking and exploring the environment around our school on a weekly basis.
  15. Students are more calm, excited for learning and happy.
  16. Engagement with other students they don’t usually hang with or talk to.
  17. The students were so creative and imaginative when we took our learning outside.
  18. The students in my class who are diagnosed with ADHD thrived in the outdoor environment. They were more engaged and willing to do activities and tasks.
  19. Students become very engaged when outside and feel respected in our sharing circles. They become very motivated when they want to learn about things they see in the environment.
  20. Teamwork. Communication. Leadership. It’s incredible to place students in an outdoor learning environment and allowing them to make decisions and mistakes to learn how to better complete a task.
  21. Students were often more engaged in subject matter when they were experiencing the learning hands on and with their peers and community expert.
  22. Being outside had a positive effect on students that often struggle with emotional regulation. It allowed them to be more hands on, successful and curious.
  23. A number of students have encouraged their families to access the natural areas we experienced as a class.
  24. I have witnessed friendships grow and strengthen as students supported each other during inclement weather and to solve problems while learning and moving outdoors.
  25. The most notable instance of benefit is the number of students who have been inspired to ride bikes to school on a regular basis. Even after school they look for adventures around our community on bikes and have been making short mountain biking films. A large group of these students has even started to mountain bike on our local trails after our class trips have exposed them to the vast network of trails.
  26. My class has been happy, balanced, focused and energized!
  27. The kids were always excited to go outside. We played, explored, investigated and took regular classroom learning outside as well.
  28. Most were always motivated and enjoyed our time outside. I had a couple of students who struggled with the length of the walks and sometimes the weather but they improved with each adventure.
  29. For those students who enjoy getting outdoors it worked well as a ‘carrot’ to get them to complete less interesting (for them) work in the classroom.
  30. It has helped students with their mental health. We have practiced breathing activities while overlooking a local river. All in all, it helped us all build relationships with one another.

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