Hiking in the woods in every classroom

by Ryan Streeter on December 16, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multi-media and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50% in a group of naive hikers. Our results demonstrate that there is a cognitive advantage to be realized if we spend time immersed in a natural setting.

This is from a new academic paper that raises questions about the role of technology in making our children more creative and good at solving problems. We’ve got computers, and now tablets, in classrooms across the country. In defense of tech advocates, it’s clear that these tools are important for functioning in today’s world, and therefore children should know how to use them. But we should stop short of assuming that proficiency with technology equates with creative reasoning.

h/t to Kevin Lewis’s daily roundup for the link.