No kingdom on Earth can surpass the great outdoors.Tamanend
Why Should Kids Spend More Time Outside?
Journalist Richard Louv notes in his book, The Last Child in the Woods, that “time in natural spaces nurtures creativity, fights boredom, and even has a therapeutic effect.”
Traditional educational settings make the case for the value of classroom instruction, but today’s most innovative schools recognize that when used appropriately, the outdoors is a classroom. A Vanderbilt University study has shown that “teaching and learning can become inherently spontaneous and student-centered when moved from the confines of the classroom into the world at large.” The outdoors is a naturally collaborative learning space and the relationships that develop there help students practice ‘in the real world’ what they have studied in a book.
Montgomery School takes full advantage of the 60-acre campus that was conceived with the understanding that children should be outside often and with purpose. The natural world is our toolbox and boots are required classroom attire. Programs that focus on environmental sustainability use Pickering Creek as a lab. The hills surrounding the campus center are a naturalist’s playground, where students identify and catalog local plants and wildlife. Raising and releasing trout, tending an organic garden that supplies food for the school community as well as local pantries…these are all in a day’s work at Montgomery School. So, too, is the growing understanding of our relationship to our environment, our sense of responsibility for its care, and the joy that comes from being in it.