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Can an outdoor learning environment improve children’s academic attainment? A quasi-experimental mixed methods study in Bangladesh

Khan, M; McGeown, S; Bell, S; (2019) Can an outdoor learning environment improve children’s academic attainment? A quasi-experimental mixed methods study in Bangladesh. Environment and Behavior 10.1177/0013916519860868. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The present study adopted a quasi-experimental mixed method approach to investigate the influence of an improved school ground on children’s academic performance. In total, 123 children from two (intervention and control) primary schools in Bangladesh participated. In the intervention school, a barren school ground was redesigned with several behavior settings (e.g., gardens and amphitheater) for teaching and learning. Treatment group children (n = 29) received math and science classes outdoors, while a comparison group (n = 32) received usual indoor classes. A control school with no changes to the outdoor environment was included (n = 62). The redesigned school ground was associated with higher levels of academic attainment. Furthermore, all intervention schoolchildren perceived more opportunities to explore in the redesigned school ground. Qualitative insights suggest the diverse settings provided more opportunities to explore, experiment, and work collaboratively. These results highlight the potential for school ground design to contribute to improvement of children’s academic attainment in developing countries.

Type: Article
Title: Can an outdoor learning environment improve children’s academic attainment? A quasi-experimental mixed methods study in Bangladesh
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0013916519860868
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0013916519860868
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: outdoor learning, primary school ground, quasi-experiment, behavior settings, academic attainment
UCL classification: UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078145
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