Drawn to Quebec: Back to school, not back inside

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Photo: Illustration © Bethann G. Merkle, 2014

Children are most interested in nature that is familiar and local. For example, learning about mallard ducks that can be observed on the St. Charles River will be more engaging than studying about penguins many children may never see in the wild.

Does returning to school require eschewing the outdoors? Not necessarily. A growing body of research shows children learn better, have less behavioural problems, and perform better academically, when they learn in and about nature.

The not-so-great news is that most children are not experiencing these benefits.