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Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (English Edition) Format Kindle

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Longueur : 400 pages Langue : Anglais

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Descriptions du produit

From Publishers Weekly

Today's kids are increasingly disconnected from the natural world, says child advocacy expert Louv (Childhood's Future; Fatherlove; etc.), even as research shows that "thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature can... be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorder and other maladies." Instead of passing summer months hiking, swimming and telling stories around the campfire, children these days are more likely to attend computer camps or weight-loss camps: as a result, Louv says, they've come to think of nature as more of an abstraction than a reality. Indeed, a 2002 British study reported that eight-year-olds could identify Pokémon characters far more easily than they could name "otter, beetle, and oak tree." Gathering thoughts from parents, teachers, researchers, environmentalists and other concerned parties, Louv argues for a return to an awareness of and appreciation for the natural world. Not only can nature teach kids science and nurture their creativity, he says, nature needs its children: where else will its future stewards come from? Louv's book is a call to action, full of warnings—but also full of ideas for change. Agent, James Levine. (May 20)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Scientific American

Unstructured outdoor play was standard for me as a hyperactive child growing up in the rural Midwest. I fondly recall digging forts, climbing trees and catching frogs without concern for kidnappers or West Nile virus. According to newspaper columnist and child advocate Richard Louv, such carefree days are gone for America’s youth. Boys and girls now live a "denatured childhood," Louv writes in Last Child in the Woods. He cites multiple causes for why children spend less time outdoors and why they have less access to nature: our growing addiction to electronic media, the relinquishment of green spaces to development, parents’ exaggerated fears of natural and human predators, and the threat of lawsuits and vandalism that has prompted community officials to forbid access to their land. Drawing on personal experience and the perspectives of urban planners, educators, naturalists and psychologists, Louv links children’s alienation from nature to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, stress, depression and anxiety disorders, not to mention childhood obesity. The connections seem tenuous at times, but it is hard not to agree with him based on the acres of anecdotal evidence that he presents. According to Louv, the replacement of open meadows, woods and wetlands by manicured lawns, golf courses and housing developments has led children away from the natural world. What little time they spend outside is on designer playgrounds or fenced yards and is structured, safe and isolating. Such antiseptic spaces provide little opportunity for exploration, imagination or peaceful contemplation. Louv’s idea is not new. Theodore Roosevelt saw a prophylactic dose of nature as a counter to mounting urban malaise in the early 20th century, and others since have expanded on the theme. What Louv adds is a focus on the restorative qualities of nature for children. He recommends that we reacquaint our children and ourselves with nature through hiking, fishing, bird-watching and disorganized, creative play. By doing so, he argues, we may lessen the frequency and severity of emotional and mental ailments and come to recognize the importance of preserving nature. At times Louv seems to conflate physical activity (a game of freeze tag) with nature play (building a tree fort), and it is hard to know which benefits children most. This confusion may be caused by a deficiency in our larger understanding of the role nature plays in a child’s development. At Louv’s prompting, perhaps we will see further inquiry into this matter. In the meantime, parents, educators, therapists and city officials can benefit from taking seriously Louv’s call for a "nature-child reunion."

Jeanne Hamming

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  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1263 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 400 pages
  • Editeur : Atlantic Books; Édition : Main (4 juillet 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9ba61270) étoiles sur 5 206 commentaires
246 internautes sur 252 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e3e40e4) étoiles sur 5 Totally missed the obvious 13 septembre 2011
Par Sam Thayer - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I liked the author's ideas, and his arguments, and agree wholeheartedly with his sentiment. I think he's a great person, and I'm glad this book brought this very important issue into the public discussion. However, he totally missed the root cause of the problem he is addressing, and thereby missed the answer to the dilemma. Children don't spend enough time in Nature because adults don't. If we want our children to value Nature and experience it, we must. They are just modeling our behavior. As a Nature educator, I have grown to be disgusted by the very prevalent attitude of middle class parents: "Can somebody please take my kids outside so they can appreciate Nature while I go do important things?" This book is an elaboration on that misguided and futile idea. The author seems to be trying to see beyond it, but he can't quite do it.

Nature deficit disorder is MORE prevalent in adults than in children, and we are passing the disease on to them by rearing them in a way that reflects our chosen values. It is something like parents who smoke and drink while telling their kids not to do the same. Not only is it an ineffective strategy, it is also a disingenuous one.
103 internautes sur 107 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c91c30c) étoiles sur 5 No One Knows How to Play Kick the Can Anymore.... 1 avril 2009
Par Wayne A. Smith - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv is a timely book that needed to be written.

The author's point is that kids today are facing a nature deficit and that affects childhood obesity and even the potential for the next generation to appreciate the breadth of nature enough to want to preserve it. After all, if the local mall has an arboretum and that's all you know as nature, that's all you'll expect.

The culprit is not news to anyone, nor to any parent with enough income to plug their kids into all manner of electronic gadgets. Videogames, TV, computers and the like have proved a powerful pull on today's children. The cost is a lack of simple play outdoors, exploring creeks, fields, rocks and trees (the author doesn't count organized sports as nature exploration and rightly so in my book). It is sad, but not surprising to ask any kids under age 16 or so if the know how to play "Kick the Can." Hardly any do, and even fewer have played.

Louv offers a lot of data to back up the negative effects of this nature deficiency and some prescriptions to turn it around. While reestablishing phys ed in school will help, the answer is simple: parents, unplug your kids and kick them outside.

Having said this, I felt the author could have made his points and supported them in a long magazine article. There really wasn't enough for a full book and Louv gets repetitive and even inserts lists of ways to address the problem. I found myself scanning some sections later in the book because the points in those pages had been made before or the prescriptions he was offering were simplistic and I didn't feel worthy of the full play he gave to some.

That being said, important argument and point, I just wish I would have read this in about forty pages in a periodical.
41 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9bc814bc) étoiles sur 5 Saving Children from Our Best Intentions 15 août 2010
Par Fritz R. Ward - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
When I was growing up in Boise Idaho, I thought nothing of spending an afternoon away from my parents fishing ponds along the Boise River. As I graduated to fly fishing, I spent time on the river itself. Closer to home, the canal which ran below South Federal Way offered a miniature green belt where my friends and I built forts and rode bikes. Urban as Boise was, even then, this tiny greenbelt was still sufficiently wild that I would occasionally find a porcupine in our front yard. Our cats were fairly adept at finding quail (and bringing their still quivering bodies to us) and in general I found it easy to retreat to a relatively tame and yet exciting out of doors. Children today have no such privileges. Indeed, as Richard Louv points out, they are literally suffering from nature deficit disorder and its effects are far more pervasive than most of us would be willing to acknowledge. Increasing urbanization is part of the problem, but only a small part. A larger portion of the blame lies with the unintentional effects of our best intentions: legislation and regulations to protect and educate children.

Louv's hypothesis, in brief, is that we have entered a third frontier. Following the argument of America's first great historian, Frederick Jackson Turner, Louv suggests that America's frontier did indeed close in the 1890s, but it was replaced almost immediately by a second great frontier: life on farms, institutions such as scouting, and outdoor activities were, he argues, commonplace until the 1980s. But, just as Turner's thesis begins with the 1890 census, Louv finds the 1990 census an equally useful demarcation point, for beginning with this census, separate farm records are no longer kept, due to the decline in the rural population. A decline (and aging of) people involved in outdoor recreation also dates from about this time. And what of the new generation of children? Louv quotes from many of them, but the most revealing is a 5th grade boy who says he prefers to play indoors, because that is where the electrical outlets are....

Children simply do not spend the quality time they once did out of doors. And there are many consequences to this change. Citing several lines of research, Louv links his "nature-deficit disorder" to ADHD, depression, childhood obesity, gang problems, recovery from illness, and even underperformance in school. Taken individually, the research supporting any one of these claims seems fairly minimal: I suspect many researchers do not even recognize the problem. After all, it was years after Howard Gardner developed his multiple intelligence theory that it even occurred to him that there was a "naturalist" intelligence and many in academe are even more oblivious to considering research along these lines. However, taken as a whole Louv has presented a powerful case that the new world of gameboys, TV, cell phones, IPods and Internet has some unintended consequences that are not beneficial.

Instinctively, most parents know this. Many say they try to limit TV time and encourage children to play outside, but as Louv demonstrates, we as a society don't really mean what we say and our children are very aware of that. Outside activity is becoming increasingly restricted these days, and not just by development. "Environmental Activists," whom one might think would want promote outdoor activities are busy restricting it. Flying kites on the beach, after all, might scare snowy plovers (an endangered bird that nests on California beaches). Tree houses harm trees! So does climbing them. And God forbid you should build a fort, bicycle on a single track use trail, or any of a whole host of other activities. PETA activists, always on the cutting edge of extremism, have actively campaigned against hunting and fishing, especially among the young, and yet these are precisely the sort of activities that many first experience nature with. When I grew up, hunting was so common that all boys and girls had mandatory hunter safety in 7th grade PE. Today, we read stories about Audabon in our state approved readers blissfully unaware that the great naturalist often shot and ate the birds that he painted. As Louv points out, our children are so disconnected from nature that they do not even recognize that it is the source of the food they consume.

Environmental activists of course do not share all the blame. Our increasingly litigious society makes it difficult to promote recreation. School field trips, summer camps, and even playing in a "vacant" lot all involve substantial liability and the cost of liability insurance is going up. Louv notes that in California statuatory law does provide some protection for property owners who allow people access to their land for recreation. But the law is narrowly interpreted. A girl's parents sued when she fell off her bike while crossing a private bridge. Biking, the judge explained, was not recreation. {?} Damages from a single such suit can prevent further access.

Schools are also to blame, though in this instance the problem lies not so much with local school boards as it does with national legislation, specifically No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Louv recognizes that schools have dramatically cut field trips, recess, and even PE, but he does not explicitly tie this to NCLB. Teachers, however, will tell you that at this point, almost all attention is focused on math and language arts and schools face outright dissolution if they fail to meet the ever increasing demands of this legislation. I personally am fortunate enough to work at a school where the principal found enough value in the "Earth Club" to fund a field trip to our local mountains. But in an age of budget cuts, many other administrators will, understandably, cut such expenditures first. Under NCLB, "enrichment" of children does not enrich a school.

Ultimately then Louv suggests we face an increasely bleak future. As a society, we do not value what we cannot name and fewer and fewer children can identify even local animals and plants. But they are alienated, bored, and increasingly, heavily medicated so they can function in our urban society. To avoid the attendant ills which come with our brave new world of an electronic mall culture, we need to create areas of open space, but we also need to let go of these areas and our kids. Rather than stiffle youngsters with regulations and "protections" we need to give them the freedom many of us had as children. This means, ultimately, we must protect our children from our own best intentions.
HASH(0x9bb7812c) étoiles sur 5 Well researched, a heart-wrenching look at how we've distanced ourselves from nature 14 novembre 2015
Par p.j. lazos - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Thank God for Richard Louv who has written what should be required reading in all high school and college level classes. Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, is a superb study of an essential yet fading resource, one that we can’t afford to lose. Part science, part self-help and part spiritual advisory, Last Child in the Woods takes a hard look at what separation from the natural world is doing not only to the human psyche, but to our natural intelligence.
There are things learned in nature, Louv posits, that cannot be learned anywhere else, not from books, or stories, or even the finest universities. Schools themselves may be partially responsible for our disenfranchisement from nature since the naturalist curriculum has been all but dropped from today’s scholastic regimen. Gone are the terrariums, the aquariums and the mini biospheres. Math and sciences such as microbiology and chemical engineering have taken center stage while naturalists have become the poor second cousins. And yet, where would the world be without naturalists like John Muir or Teddy Roosevelt? Without state and national parks is where had Muir and Roosevelt not had the contact with the natural world they’d both experienced as children.
According to Louv, in today’s world we’re “continually on the alert.” As more of the natural world is lost to pavement, the incessant images pouring from our televisions and computers and iPhones have become our constant companions. Louv doesn’t point a single finger, but a dozen. He considers various factors such as suburban sprawl which takes away the number of places a child can find solitude in nature, as well as a hyper-vigilant society that is always worried about where our children are and whether any harm may befall them. The latter is not a bad thing. However, it is significant to note that statistically, our children are in no more danger today than at other times in history. It just seems that way given our 24/7 newsfeed that inundates us with bad news and spares us the good.
Other factors: soccer practice vs. a hammer and nails. Louv surmises that while structured play provides exercise it is sorely lacking in the very thing that unstructured play provides to kids: time to breathe and grow and make connections they may not have made because every second of their day is accounted for; time to formulate opinions; time to dream. Kids gravitate to the corners of a playground, Louv says, the tree line, the rock formations, the nooks and crannies, the creeks. A wide open space with nothing but grass is a bore. Kids need less structure and more dimension to spur creativity. For Louv, building a tree fort in his backyard and keeping a turtle that his father had saved from being run over on the highway opened up more synapses in his brain and avenues in his life than winning any soccer game ever could. I’m not dismissing organized sports, simply making a case for a more well-rounded childhood experience.
Louv draws on study after study to prove his point and after ten years of research, felt comfortable enough to coin the term “nature deficit disorder.” Neither harbinger of doom nor bell toller, Louv offers positive suggestions about how to begin solving some of these very complex issues -- starting with getting the kids off the couch and back out into the yard -- and paints a beautiful portrait of where, with just a bit of effort, we all could be.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9bdd2b94) étoiles sur 5 We've created America's first de-natured Generation 11 mars 2009
Par James Denny - Publié sur
Format: Broché
With "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder," author Richard Louv has a national bestseller to his credit.

This is a must-read for anybody who cares about the state of our planet and our way of relating to the physical world. But it is also a must-read for anybody who cares about rising social unrest, crime, alienation, alarming levels of obesity, higher rates of physical illness and a range of emotional disorders among children and adults alike.

Louv's key concept, "nature-deficit disorder," is a term that he has coined but uses with reluctance. His reluctance to use his own term comes from an understanding that in using such a term, it implies a pathology that exists independently of our having been the primary reason for its emergence. It is a sort of Pogo-like irony "we have met the enemy and he is us." If we look upon nature-deficit disorder as something that has always been there, then we fail to understand our role in creating it and may dismiss the challenge of doing what we can to try to remedy it.

As Louv defines it, nature-deficit disorder is an alienation from nature, the diminished use of our physical senses and a fundamental disconnection from the natural world. In an era of electronic plug-ins with electronic technology, people in general but young people in particular are increasingly separated from the natural forces and processes from which we and all species on our planet have evolved. There is an ignorance of the natural world and of our place in it.

The problem is particularly acute in terms of appreciating and understanding the natural environments in our own communities. Another irony: with electronic communications and media having made our world a smaller world, we have more general knowledge of the natural environments in faraway places--other countries and other parts of the world. Televsion, the Internet and other forms of mass media have made this possible. But we have less and less understanding of our local forest, our neighborhood wetland or of what remains of the natural environment in our own backyards or in our neighborhood parks.

He cites myriad examples of the consequences of nature-deficit disorder but the most salient are among children. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are two of these. Among children today, diagnosis and treatment for these conditions is at record levels. A principal symptom of both is the inability to focus on a task or to pay attention for a reasonable period of time.

Louv's book is not all doom and gloom. He offers many concrete examples for change at the individual, family, community and national level.

My main fault with "Last Child in the Woods" is that Louv repeats himself often, re-stating the the facts in slightly different ways, chapter after chapter. "Last Child" would have benefitted by sharper editing and by reducing the number of pages by about 50 pages.

Still, this is a must-read and I'm glad it has become a national bestseller.
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