Sahan T. M. Dissanayake
Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Economics and University Honors
green space, nature, academic performance, academic achievement, test scores, education
A growing body of literature is exploring the possibility that the presence of green spaces near schools can work to improve academic performance. Research to date on the relationship between green space and academic performance has shown mixed results. However, some see incorporating green spaces into school layouts as a key alternative strategy for improving academic achievement in the United States. This paper adds to the emerging discourse on the relationship between green space and academic achievement by using open-source data to conduct a regression analysis exploring the possible relationship between green space near K-12 schools and SAT scores in both Los Angeles and Fresno, CA. After controlling for socioeconomic factors, a positive and significant relationship is found between SAT scores and green space near K-12 schools in Los Angeles. In Fresno, after controlling for socioeconomic factors, a statistically insignificant positive relationship is found between SAT scores and green space near K-12 schools. Additionally, evidence of diminishing returns to the benefit of green space is found in both Los Angeles and Fresno. Green space near schools is found to be a positive predictor of academic performance especially in areas with limited green space. The findings of this paper will hopefully encourage policymakers and school planners to consider indulging green space in school design.
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Demeaux, Audrey, "Exploring the Relationship Between Green Space and Academic Performance" (2023). University Honors Theses. Paper 1359.