Kids who play in the bush have greater environmental awareness (duh)

"Our study indicates that participating in wild nature activities before age 11 is a particularly potent pathway toward shaping both environmental attitudes and behaviors in adulthood," says environmental psychologist Nancy Wells of Cornell University as the result of a 2000 subject research effort.

Not like it's surprising, but nice to have it empirically supported – get young'uns out into the bush and they see the big picture later on. Importantly, the activities that achieve this outcome are not mandated, organised things (like Scouts), but more 'free-play' in nature. Read more… 

2 thoughts on “Kids who play in the bush have greater environmental awareness (duh)

  1. georgia

    it was interesting, and perhaps surprising, to note that free play has a more positive impact that structured activity as well.

    Reply
  2. Ben Rolfe

    Man, this study would be bitten on the arse by it if it didn’t know causality. (But at least they admit it: “This methodology compromises the internal validity of the study because causal directionality is ambiguous. In other words, individuals who perceive themselves to be environmentalists as adults might mis-recollect the type or frequency of interaction with the natural environment that occurred during their childhood.”)
    Interesting to see the differences in how academics report their findings in press vs in publication. (If you’re interested, the full paper is here: http://www.peecworks.org/PEEC/PEEC_Research/02AD9962-007EA7AB.0/wells%20lekies%202006%20Nature%20And%20Life%20Course%20wild%20play.pdf )
    Not that I disagree – it makes sense. Thanks!

    Reply

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