The following is an article I found on Nature Education in urban areas. There has been a disconnection to nature in that children are given less and less opportunities to connect with the natural world. The first connection to nature comes primarily through a parents perspective, however with longer hours at work or the need to provide for a family this priceless information is being set aside. I first came across the concept that children and animal offspring learn about the natural environment from their parents by working on a short documentary for Explore.org and the Annenberg Foundation. The documentary is on the Brown Bears of Katmai and I learned that the offspring of habituated bears (those that are comfortable around humans) learn this behavior from their mothers and that it is passed down generationally. Now with this information one can make the leap that human children learn to habituate to nature and connect to the natural world through their parents. In order to live in nature and nurture nature we must understand our own connection to it. If parents are unable to see their own connection to nature then is up to educators to share this essential information? Also one doesn’t have to be an out doorsy type to commune with nature it is a quite listening that takes place and the results can be life changing.
some highlights from the article are:
“cities have grown so quickly, some parents notice that their children’s daily life is very different than when they grew up. Parents also notice that their children are increasingly attached to electrical devices.”
“Nature education practitioners and potential practitioners see a big potential market for nature education in education and health”.
“Some folks who have worked for environmental education (EE) and/or education for sustainable development (ESD) now see nature education – connecting children and families directly to nature — as a means of encouraging wider participation, as well as a way of generating income to support their institutions.”
“In contrast, parents see that nature education – which happens outdoors in the natural environment – nourishes their children’s minds and bodies. As a result, nature education is becoming a voluntary choice by parents and children.
Especially in the context of urbanization and industrialization, connecting to nature is now seen by many as essential to children’s mental and physical health.”
“Public participation in nature is now believed to be an important factor for effective conservation.”
photos by Andrea Cullen
Children in Nature
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