Developing ecological literacy

“Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living.”
~ Zenobia Barlow

Ref: p.45 ‘Editorial: Bringing More Wonder to Children’s Lives’ pp.44-45 Wonder: Newsletter of the Nature Action Collaborative for Children, March/April 2012 (Exchange, International Edition, Issue 1) 

(Note: the Barlow citation originally comes from ‘Confluence of Streams’ Resurgence Magazine, September/October 2004)

The editors pose the question: “What do adults throughout the world believe we should be doing to help our children grow up with a love for the natural world? That was the question leaders of the Nature Action Collaborative for Children (a multidisciplinary group of folks from around the globe) asked themselves during the 2009 World Forum in Belfast. They wondered if it would be possible to develop ideas people could embrace and put into practice wherever they lived. …The list they developed was …named Universal Principles for Connecting Children with Nature. You can read the entire document (in English, Spanish or Arabic) online at” (p.44)

Wonder is a newsletter which intends to explore these principles and “offer suggestions for putting it to work in your own part of the world.” (p.44) The principle explored in this issue is:
“We believe that regular connections with the natural world encourage children to develop respect for local cultures and climates and for themselves as part of nature.”

They suggest that some “Ideas to ponder [include]:

• How might we help children express the connection they feel between themselves and the elements of the earth — plants, animals, mud, and water?

• Could we allow plenty of time to invite children to talk about their feelings after exploring mud or water?

Could we lead the way by telling children about our own feelings?

Where and when do we, as adults, feel most ‘a part of nature’?

What would it be like to ‘tell your own story’ to children?” (p.44)


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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