Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nature, Kids, and Ultrarunning

From a Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail.  Those crazy citizens of the former British empire have the best ideas!

At the Coombes school in southern England, the playground looks like an arboretum. Narrow paths snake through the shrubbery past apple, willow and walnut trees. There is a pond, two labyrinths, a garden and plenty of good spots to dig for worms. Lessons often take place outside.

It is the creation of Sue Humphries, an educator who, over four decades, transformed the once barren yard into a verdant outdoor classroom because of her conviction that sitting in chairs is not the best way for children to learn. There is mounting scientific evidence that she is on to something and it has become part of a growing outdoor movement that could transform the way school yards are designed and built.

Read the rest, then hear my radical idea.

Back now?  My radical idea is that things that are good for kids are good for adults, too!!  I'm pretty sure that this breakthrough concept is going to make me very wealthy any time now.

There's more:
Studies suggest that interacting with nature can help children pay attention, motivate them to learn and improve both classroom behaviour and scores on standardized tests. Neuroscientists and psychologists are investigating why nature is good for young brains and how being around trees and shrubs helps recharge the circuitry that children use to focus on a page of fractions or a spelling test.

I need nature time to recharge MY batteries, too.  This is why Ultrarunning will always beat road running--the mental component is so much richer.


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