SCOOP MAGAZINE electronic - Page 9

of other troubling things. After getting
time outdoors to center themselves
and be active, Bishop has observed
kids go back into the classroom with
the kind of focus, attention, and enthusiasm they need to tackle academic
Another great asset of nature is how
it encourages kids to
learn about and take
calculated, controlled
risks, in situations
where they might
skin a knee or fall in
the lake, and learn
about their boundaries and interests.
“Overprotection of
children robs them of
the ability to discover
for themselves and
to understand their
own bodies and own
connections to the
world,” says Bishop.
“Accidents happen sometimes, but
they are our way of discovering what
our limits are. They are learning tools.”
Even something as simple as taking a
hike through the woods forces kids to
be aware of their surroundings, to notice where they are stepping and what
the weather is like and how the air
smells. “Nature will kind of hit you in
the face if you’re not paying attention,”
says Bishop.
mant that those in any school can find
ways to incorporate nature into their
curricula. If parks, creeks, or forests
are just a short walk away, Bishop suggests taking weekly field trips to natural sites and getting kids to focus on
noticing what they see, hear, smell and
For teachers in completely urban areas,
Bishop recommends
bringing nature into
classrooms by growing a variety of plants,
having class pets, and
encouraging kids to
bring in items from
nature that they’ve
found outside of
school and share
them with the rest of
the class.
“There is no such
thing as a place with
no nature. It’s not
possible,” says Bishop. “The dandelion
in the crack in the sidewalk is nature.
Nature is everywhere!”
Meet Geoffrey and hear more about
his work with environmental education at the fall TIME conference.
Obviously, teachers who work in
schools with gardens, tree-lined playgrounds and nearby parks have an
advantage when it comes to accessing
outdoor education, but Bishop is ada7

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