"\"Problem statement: The study explores the role of the spatial-physical features of the. environment for the functioning of educational institutions. Previous research in the field of. environmental psychology showed how physical characteristics of learning environments might be. linked to positive or negative outcomes in terms of learning attitudes and behaviors. In particular, there. is consistent empirical evidence showing that contact with natural settings promotes psychological. restoration, leading to the recovery of direct attention and stress reduction. The present study aims at. investigating the impact of the experience of contact with external green spaces during school time upon. children’s capacity of focusing direct attention on a specific task during structured activity with educators. and upon the quality of children’s social interaction with peers and adult educators. Approach: A total of. 16 children (age range 18-36 months) attending a recently opened childcare center in Rome, Italy. participated in the study. The physical features of the internal and external spaces of the educational. institutions were assessed via on-site observations. Systematic observations of the children were. performed, in different spaces of the educational setting and in different moments of the school day. In. particular, children’s performance in a visual-spatial task requiring direct attention and children social. behavior (using a checklist of social interaction and emotional behavior) were assessed by a paper-andpencil. observation grid on a six-step scale. Results: The research suggests that contact with external. green open spaces during school time is significantly associated with better performances in structured. tasks requiring direct attention and to positive social behaviors. The frequency of educators’ direct. interventions is smaller after the children’s contact with external green open spaces.. Conclusion\\\/Recommendations: These findings can contribute to gaining a better understanding of the. restoration processes occurring in different typologies of educational settings and suggest the importance. of providing these environments, such as childcare centers, with adequate external green spaces, in order. to allow children to have opportunities for systematic psychological restoration during school time.\""
Carrus G, Pirchio S, Passiatore Y, Mastandrea S, Scopelliti M, & Bartoli (2012). Contact with Nature and Children’s Wellbeing in Educational Settings. JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, 8(3)(2), 304-309.