Environmental Education

Pining for the bygone

Richard Louv writes, in Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, that children’s understanding & experience of nature has changed over time and that these changes have not been for the betterment of relationships with nature. Louv, in the book, writes about many practices in environmental education that are both effective and affective. Take his stance on unstructured time outdoors: I too have written that children’s free play at is integral the development of a pro-environmental ethic. Kids need more freedom to just be.

Yet, while reading Louv and now appearing elsewhere, a reflection that the “way it was”—recreating experiences of our youth for today’s youth—emerged and seems to be promoted as one answer to our culture’s disconnect to the more-than-human. Take, for example, this video blog from Mark Morey, founder of the Institute for Natural Learning, to Ontario environmental educators. Here’s the whole 4:24:

Morey has been invited by the P.I.N.E Project to come and share his experience “connecting people of all ages to nature“. And not to say that this isn’t intriguing or a noble cause I believe in. I was interested enough about Morey’s experience to want to join the talk at OISE on March 6th.

But I was interested in what Morey said at 3:11:

So I’m looking forward to coming up there and sharing more stories about how we can have a powerful life together. Happy families, healthy families. Look back to what it was that we had when we were younger and how we can renew those things again so we can be strong, resilient and joyful.