Author Topic: Nature improves minds & test scores  (Read 2187 times)

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Offline Her3tiK

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Nature improves minds & test scores
« on: April 16, 2012, 04:45:06 pm »
This might be one of the best things I've read in weeks. An elementary school in downtown LA recently replaced 5,000sq/ft of concrete with trees and shrubs, which in turn invited a host of wildlife from the surrounding area. Students were so surprised by this development that they began to study the various flora and fauna, which in turned improved their science test scores from 9% proficient school-wide to 53%.

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The neighborhood just west of downtown is one of the most crowded in Los Angeles County, with 25,352 people per square mile. It's chock-full of buildings and has lots of pavement, little landscaping and many economically disadvantaged families.

In that setting, Leo Politi Elementary School wanted only to make a dreary corner of campus more inviting to its 817 students. Workers ripped out 5,000 square feet of concrete and Bermuda grass three years ago and planted native flora.

What happened next was unforeseen. It was remarkable.

The plants attracted insects, which attracted birds, which attracted students, who, fascinated by the nature unfolding before them, learned so much that their test scores in science rose sixfold.
Unfortunately the link to pictures in the article seems to be broken, so it's hard to tell what this park looks like. Still, this is incredible, and just goes to show what a little nature and encouragement can do for inquisitive minds. I really wish the schools I'd attended had something like this enacted. Maybe, with the unexpected success of this program, more of them will.
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Offline SpaceProg

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Re: Nature improves minds & test scores
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 06:34:30 pm »
This is just awesome.  I'd trade concrete for loam, grass, flowers, trees and birds any day.  The schools I went to never really needed stuff like this (As I'm in the boondocks), but from what I've seen of big urban sprawl, concrete ground and sewage rivers... Damned depressing.

Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Nature improves minds & test scores
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 09:18:57 pm »
In other words, making education interesting (and therefore fun), even if it's accidental, means that students comprehend the material better.

Also, oxygen.  That helps, too.

But mostly the interesting part.
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Offline ThunderWulf

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Re: Nature improves minds & test scores
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 12:29:54 am »
I'm actually not too surprised by this.  Nature has amazing ways of stimulating us.
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Offline largeham

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Re: Nature improves minds & test scores
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 04:01:52 am »
Sure, the oxygen helps, but personally I find too much nature (i.e. Singapore type area) unappealing aesthetically.

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