Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, STEM

First Advisor

Cara Rieckenberg




This paper explores the impact teaching core curricula outdoors has on primary aged students’ academic achievement. A four-week study was conducted in eight primary aged classrooms found in four Minnesota public schools. The study, featuring students in kindergarten, second grade and third grade, was conducted in both mainstream classrooms as well as gifted and talented classrooms. The study compared students’ academic achievement after being taught core curricula in the outdoor classroom to their peers in a control classroom that received the core instruction inside. The experimental design of the study included various forms of qualitative and quantitative data including pre- and post-assessments, anecdotal inventories and checklists, and Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessments. Due to the varying degree of correlation amongst the classrooms, the results of the study were inconclusive. There proved to be a stronger connection to teaching curricula outdoors in mainstream classrooms compared to those in gifted classrooms. It is suggested that teachers begin to implement core instruction outdoors alongside traditional indoor instruction.