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An Investigation of Nature-Based Schools and Programs

Project Full Title:

An Investigation of Nature-Based Schools and Programs

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Project Description:

Over the last several years, the west Michigan region has witnessed the growth of many nature-based schools and programs. The school-based programs include discovery-based preschools and forest school Kindergartens. Furthermore, summer programs with distinct outdoor components have started for students of all ages. Over the course of last summer and this academic year, the Scogin lab, in collaboration with faculty in education and psychology, have been collecting data and investigating these programs. This summer project will be a continuation of these efforts. Specifically, our research team will be investigating students' environmental awareness, social/emotional development, academic performance, activity levels, and general well-being. Parent data from focus groups and questionnaires will also be analyzed to determine how parents perceive these innovative programs. This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of biology, education, and psychology. However the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Biology.

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