America’s national parks have been called the country’s “largest classroom,” in part because they provide millions of hours in free educational programming every year. The National Park Service has worked to encourage “experiential learning” through the creation of hundreds of lesson plans, virtual resources for schools, and professional development for teachers. Their “place based” learning programs — in subjects such as ecology, history, and geology — have academic, developmental, and health benefits. Sustaining such programming takes on greater importance, parks advocates say, in the midst of ongoing funding challenges and a need to draw more and more diverse visitors to parks facilities and programs.
In this PBS NewsHour segment, Education Week correspondent Kavitha Cardoza reports from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco.
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