Students Studying Science in their Surrounding Environment
This paper examines the neglected state of science education and the nature-deficit children are experiencing and it looks toward outdoor education as a means to heal both issues. It also focuses on the inquiry approach and the way it can be used to merge outdoor education with science education. Currently, science lessons are not being taught adequately and are not preparing students to be proficient in science. By the year 2014-15 students must be scientifically literate and in order to meet that goal something must be done. Using outdoor education as a springboard for science lessons can spark students’ curiosity and build their interest in science in addition to building students’ knowledge. Besides supporting science learning, outdoor education provides many other benefits which are explored throughout the paper; the most important being the restoration of children to nature. Children have become highly removed from nature and, in so becoming, are suffering from more mental disorders and sensory diminishment. Combining outdoor education with science programs is one way that children can be reintroduced to the natural world to reverse these negative effects. To illustrate how science education can be paired with outdoor education, several successful programs are looked at and implementation suggestions are offered. In following the suggestions this paper proposes, educators can link outdoor education with science learning through an inquiry approach and help restore their students to nature and revive science education.