Friday, November 30, 2007

Nature Deficit Everywhere

The notion of nature deficit continues to resonate. Here's a post on an obscure blog that gives some good personal testimony.
I suppose I hadn’t thought much about this problem since I live in a rural area where children are outside more than their city counterparts. However, I usually have at least a couple of students who seldom, if ever, play outside for extended periods of unstructured time. I suppose safety is the big concern these days. Parents don’t want to send their children outside for unsupervised play, and they are too busy to join them. Another concern is germs. Parents don’t want their children playing with dirt and bugs and sticks and other dirty things. Better to be inside where everything is washed down with anti-bacterial soap. Better to have them in the house playing video games or watching television where it is safe. Turns out that safety is only an illusion. They may be safe from physical harm, but their brains and bodies are turning to mush.