Posted by: theoriginalmiss | November 4, 2012

Hello there,

Disturbingly, Andrew Balmford in his 2002 article entitled “Why Conservationists should heed Pokemon” claims that children in the United Kingdom from age 8 onwards are generally better able to identify Pokemon characters than they are local flora and fauna. Although we are in Australia, my 10 year old son concurs with this idea: he can definitely name more Pokemon characters than he can local wildlife or plantlife.

But why is this disturbing?

Well, in just a generation, children have become increasingly disengaged from the nature upon which we survive. Perhaps this is natural, the United Nations ESA claims that over half the world’s population now lives in cities. Furthermore, when actually outside, our children are usually involved in organised activities such as sport: the norm however is for them to remain inside, being entertained by some form of technology. Richard Louv’s landmark book “Last Child in the Woods” claims that this “generational break from nature” has been occurring since the 1980s and, although evident in both developed and developing countries, is compounded in more litigious societies that place restrictions on where and how children can play in nature. Louv claims that this disconnection from the natural world has lead to a disorder he calls nature-deficit disorder, with symptoms ranging from depression to ADHD.

The antidote lies in a reconnection with nature.

This is what I will be researching over the coming weeks.Hope you enjoy!

Paula

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