Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Paoze Thao


There are several advantages to including a nature-based curriculum and outdoor learning into state standards, and the consequences of students who do not have access to outside learning and activities can be severe. The term “Attention Restoration Theory” (ART) was coined by psychology professors Rachel and Stephen Kaplan in 1989 and claims that exposure to nature can improve mental fatigue and concentration. This senior capstone examines Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory and academic studies rooted in its philosophy as it applies to nature-based curriculum and outdoor learning. There are certain advantages for students who are exposed to a nature-based curriculum and outdoor learning as well as disadvantages for those who do not have access to them. Through literature review and interviews with professionals, the finding revealed that, not only does nature-based learning improve an ADHD student’s mood and regulate behavior, it may also improve their concentration on traditional subject materials, which would satisfy curriculum aims derived from the state standards.