Education Experiences Contribute to Cognitive Development Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper synthesizes what the empirical literature reports regarding what can best be learned outdoors. The review suggests that the outdoors may be effective in stimulating critical thinking, increasing problem-solving skills, and developing concepts rather than rote memory. Little evidence was found to support claims for the superiority of teaching language development in the outdoors. The empirical literature offers qualified support to those who advocate the value of outdoor education in facilitating cognitive development in the areas of environmental education and general science, but the evidence must be regarded as tenuous and uncertain. Much of the research which has been reported falls short of the scientific standards necessary for it to make meaningful contributions to this debate. 1984 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings

  • The Journal of Environmental Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Backman, S. J., & Crompton, J. L.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Backman, Sheila J||Crompton, John L

publication date

  • December 1984