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

Khan, Matluba, McGeown, Sarah and Bell, Simon 2020. Can an outdoor learning environment improve children's academic attainment? A quasi-experimental mixed methods study in Bangladesh. Environment and Behavior 52 (10) , pp. 1079-1104. 10.1177/0013916519860868

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0013-9165
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 6 June 2019
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2020 04:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/128184

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