The video below dives into the disconnect between children and nature. This disconnect has been coined Nature Deficit Disorder. https://youtu.be/wsIYWEodnz0
Below is a link to the Bachelors Degree Online website blog post that has a list of 11 proven benefits that learning outdoors is a natural setting can bring to a learner. Not only is outdoor learning helpful academically but has positive effects on overall behavior and stress levels.
How do we make it grow?
My professional development has focused on broadening my knowledge on the effects of children spending less time in nature and the health concerns that stem from this disconnect. Also, how we can mitigate this disconnect between today’s youth and nature in order to foster a need in children to protect what they have left of the natural world. With the resent explosion of smartphones, social media and computer based technology, people in general have begun to spend a lot less time in the “real world” and a lot more time in a “digital one”. If we can engage children in nature we can make sure that their generation will be healthier physically and mentally and act as environmental stewards.
Growing up in British Columbia has given me a passion and love for the natural beauty this province has to offer. My early years were spent fishing, hiking and exploring the wilderness in the interior of British Columbia. It was the quiet of falling snow, the warmth of the afternoon sun and the sound the leaves made beneath my boots in late fall that drew me in, that draws me in still.
As an adult I spend my summers working in Johnstone Strait and off the West Coast of B.C. as a kayak guide and ambassador to the wilderness. This allows me to showcase British Columbia’s natural beauty and continue to push my own knowledge base of the natural world around me. Being in nature and learning about the animals and ecosystems around me creates a connection, a connection between myself and the natural world around me. If I hadn’t spent this time in nature learning and creating this connection then I could easily be disconnected and not have the drive to preserve it for the children that I will teach and have of my own.
Ensuring that British Columbia’s vast pristine wilderness is kept intact for generations to come is paramount to my personal beliefs and duty as an educator and resident of Vancouver Island
My father and his before him had the same love of the outdoors because they were brought up spending time in the forests and on the lakes and oceans of B.C. They too created connections with the natural world and from these connections an organic need to preserve them formed.