Summer 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Laura Halldin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Josh Leonard

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Heather Benson


I conducted action research as a way to focus on how teaching outdoors benefits students in special education. This action research answer the question, “Does teaching academic subjects outdoors help Level IV special education students with increased attention, active engagement, and decreased negative behaviors?”. It used hands on learning in the outdoor environment to measure students engagement in their own learning. Students did activities in several instructional areas including science, math, reading, and social skills. Both teachers and students were interviewed at the end of the study to obtain results. Teaching academic subjects in an outdoor setting does have a positive effect on student engagement, attention, and behavior. Several teachers also enjoyed being able to teach a lesson outdoors during this study. I believe that having a developed outdoor classroom, a school forest, and protocol for taking students outside will benefit students in special education.

Research Methodology

Action Research


At-risk Students, Environmental Studies, Special Education, Outdoor classroom

Included in

Education Commons