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Children and nature

mtran's picture

For my teach-in, I tried to think of a practical solution to the problematic relationship between humans and nature of our time. I believe children have a friendly perception of nature that tends to disappear that they grow up. By encouraging interaction between family’s members and the environment, we can not only allow adults to reflect on their own relationship to nature but also enhance children’s contact to nature. Nowadays, even children are getting disconnected to nature. More and more of their time are being spent indoors with computers, cell phones or TVs. And as Anne has suggested, access to nature is limited as cities develop: finding a pure and natural area is not an easy task. Moreover, nature appears, somehow, too wild and dangerous to human beings… While these are unavoidable consequences of urbanization and development, they make me think about the past, before modernization. In my home country Vietnam where agriculture used to the main economic sector, small-scale agriculture used to be and sometimes is still prevalent in the country. It was common to see children, instead of going to school, working on the farm. They herded the cattle and took care of it. Their daily activities happened outside. They were connected to nature more closely than any kids of today society would be and learned from their own experience. But in exchange of that kids nowadays go to school and are better educated. So the question is how much of modernization is enough? How to balance it with what nature has to provide us with? Let's just hope that the next generations, who are going to be more eco-literate, can come up with a way to bring nature back to human world...