Joseph “Joe” Petry, a business consultant and former economics professor, is interested in instructional techniques that promote hands-on, interactive learning. Additionally, Joseph Petry advocates for outdoor education that teaches children to connect with nature rather than relying on technology and screens.
Research indicates that outdoor classrooms can benefit children not just academically but also physiologically and socially. Outdoor learning has been shown to improve academic performance. In a vital study of 255 California schoolchildren, the group who attended outdoor school raised their test scores by 27 percent and achieved higher ratings in peer relationships, self-esteem, motivation, and problem-solving.
Outdoor learning cultivates emotional and behavioral development, as playing in natural spaces supports a child’s sense of independence and interdependence with their surrounding environment. On a physiological level, students who spend their days outside, or even in indoor environments with green views and numerous plants, report lower stress levels. Finally, outdoor learning offers hands-on experience with practical skills such as growing vegetables or using a compass.