As there is a rise in what is called the nature-deficit disorder it’s important that teachers realize there needs to be a change in their teaching styles. Some students can’t function in just an indoor facility all day long. In our society the younger generation is constantly overstimulated and the simplicity of nature can provide an alternative space to express themselves outside of the often monotonous classroom routine.
As technology becomes more and more evident in the everyday lives of children nature becomes more foreign. Children need nature in their lives in order to spark their imaginations and provide experiences that are not available through any form of technology. The cartoon above depicts the influx of video games and other technology in children’s lives. This perpetually growing presence of technology is contributing to what is know as the nature-deficit disorder.
The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.
Louv, Richard (2008-04-22). Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (p. 10). Workman Publishing. Kindle Edition.
In todays’ society children are often easily overstimulated by busy schedules, crowded classrooms, and a hectic home life. Children with learning disabilities present similar symptoms to those who are simply overstimulated leading to many misdiagnosis. Nature can not only serve as an alternate or supplement to medications, for children with learning disabilities, but it can also be a place for them to re-focus their energy. For children who are simply overstimulated nature provides a different setting for observation in the diagnosis process, as well as, a place to escape their active daily lives. Overall nature can benefit everyone in one way or another.
Not only does nature provide children with a place for exploration but it can be a great place for family bonding. Nature creates a setting for a family to spend quality time together away from their daily distractions. Parents can put away their cell phones and step into their children’s wonderlands. The kids will love having mom and dad’s undivided attention and the whole experience will create great memories that will last a lifetime.
A family spending time together in nature.
In todays’ world technology is easier to come across than nature. Kids are choosing technology over nature out of convenience. When children only have exposure to technology they lack an important part of their development. Children who lack these experiences will turn to technology to create entertainment that they should form themselves through a developed imagination. Not only are children exposed to various forms of technology at home but more and more it is used in school settings. With this increase in technology, children need nature now more than ever.
Harry Smith discusses with Johnathan Dorn, the editor of, Backpacker’s magazine about the dangers of the nature deficit disorder. He discusses the importance of the outdoors to children’s education and how the indoors can be a cause of childhood obesity. They also discuss some of the best cities for outdoor education.
Nature provides people with fresh air and free open space. Children can use this space to run, imagine, think, and explore. Children often create games and nature provides endless opportunities for this. They are exposed to decision making and are given almost complete freedom to express themselves. Trees suddenly become jungle gyms and clouds can range from a simple rabbit to a castle in the sky. They can spend hours lost in their imagination; a world separate from adults.