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Nature Education for Young Children

Why Nature Education?

Our young children today are suffering from what Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, calls nature deficit disorder. This alienation from nature diminishes use of the senses and leads to attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses. International landscape architect, Robin C. Moore, states:

"Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world."

Children need to be given the chance to investigate, engage with, and experience nature in order to appreciate it and be able to pass that appreciation and love on to the next generation. The preservation of our natural environment will be dependent upon future generations who will have to believe in the importance of what it has to offer, and become an advocate for it.

Nebraska has taken the lead in bringing awareness to the importance of this movement with their Call to Action.

Resources

For further information on nature education, contact Mary Beth Pistillo, training coordinator at the Early Childhood Training Center.