Being ‘green’ is not just a fad

As I continually integrate nature learning into my coursework at Washburn, I am finding that some young adults today have what has been termed ‘biophobia’ or the idea that what is in the natural world is yucky and scary, and may even associate fear of death with the wilderness.  It is this socio-behavioral shift that fuels the fire for my dislike of technology based education.  The computer is one more device used to create a zombie nation distracted by gaming software, YouTube, Facebook, and other sources of  entertainment.  Yes, the internet is an amzing, lightening-speed source for information, but unfortunately this is not how people, and children, always use the internet.  So I implore you, fellow future Teachers, to take your students exploring in the outside world more often than on the web.  Stop using terms such as gross, icky, disgusting when referring to items found in the natural world, like worms, insects, reptiles, etc.  It is this type of anti-dirt vocabulary that has produced a generation of new parents who are squeamish at the sight of mud pies!  Children will need to know how to be responsible individuals within the environment and it will be up to educators to implement ecological learning and curriculum at the ground level.  I’ve recently found this website: “Teaching Psychology for Sustainability” and while its focus is at the collegiate level, I think it is a helpful source for researching the effects of the natural environment on human psychology.  In my studies I have learned that children will develop self-help skills as well as self-control, cooperation, and empathy through gardening.  It is this positive social/emotional learning that is so important to student success in primary education.  If students are allowed to explore the natural world, and apply these experiences in the classroom, they will develop skills in core content areas and socio-emotional areas.


One thought on “Being ‘green’ is not just a fad

  1. You have a great passion for this topic and am glad you will be instilling the love of nature in your students!

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