Children that spend more time in the outdoors do better in math, science and critical thinking. Below is a copy of the "Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning", plus excerpts from an article produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that cites the research that supports the positive effects outdoor time and outdoor learning can have on a child's performance in .
The American Institutes for Research® conducted a study, submitted to the California Department of Education, of the impact of week long residential outdoor education programs. The focus was on at-risk youth, 56% of whom reported never having spent time in a natural setting. Comparing the impact on students who experienced the outdoor education program versus those in a control group who had not had the outdoor learning experience, results were statistically significant. Major findings were: 27% increase in measured mastery of science concepts; enhanced cooperation and conflict resolution skills; gains in self-esteem; gains in positive environmental behavior; and gains in problem-solving, motivation to learn, and classroom behavior.(Original research)
"Effects of Outdoor Education Programs for Children in California." American Institutes for Research: Palo Alto, CA: 2005. Available on the Sierra Club web site.
School Performance: Offering environmental education programs in school improves standardized test scores. The present research investigated the impact of environmental education (EE) programs on student achievement in math, reading, and writing by comparing student performances on two standardized tests for environmental education schools and schools with traditional curriculum.
Study: Bartosh, Oksana. Environmental Education: Improving Student Achievement. Thesis. Evergreen State College, 2003. Web. 2003.pdf.