Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Resource Interpretation



First Advisor

Dr. Shelby Gull Laird

Second Advisor

Dr Ray Darville

Third Advisor

Dr. Nathan Templeton


Historically, a key part of a child’s development was their exposure to and relationship with the world outdoors – nature. The current movement to promote the inclusion of environmental and outdoor education into curricular and extracurricular activities stems from the mounting evidence that experiences in the outdoors may improve a child’s behavior and mood, as well as improve their academic performance. This mixed-methods study hoped to discover whether or not, on average, children improve their academic performance and/or their individual behavior in school when provided with outdoor education learning experiences. The mindset used in outdoor education research may have to change as the results of this study showed that children typically spend more time outside than the literature shows. The children in this study although they want to utilize their phones and other technological devices more regularly still spend a rather abundant amount of time outside engaged in free play and exploration. This indicating that our perceptions of how the current generation may be biased and inaccurate.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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