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The No Child Left Inside® Coalition is a national coalition of over 1600 business, health, youth, faith, recreational, environmental, and educational groups representing over 50 million Americans.

Environmental Education helps address “nature deficit disorder”

A recent study found that children today spend an average of 6 hours each day in front of the computer and TV but less than 4 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play, leading researchers to discover a new condition specific to this current generation that they have called “nature deficit disorder”. This extreme emphasis of indoor time spent in front of screens versus outdoor play and discovery has been correlated with negative psychological and physical effects including obesity, loneliness, depression, attention problems and greater social isolation due to reduced time with friends and family.

What do increased study of science and nature and its increased outdoor time accomplish? Especially in the very young, it has proved in studies extremely beneficial for cognitive functioning, reduced symptoms of attention deficit disorder, increased self-discipline and emotional well-being.

What Is Environmental Education?

At Camp Manitowa, environmental education is the study of the relationships and interactions between dynamic natural and human systems.

Environmental education:

  • Includes learning in the field as well as the classroom
  • Incorporates the teaching methods of outdoor education, experiential education, and place-based education
  • Is inherently interdisciplinary
  • Promotes school/community partnerships
  • Is hands-on, student-centered, inquiry driven, engages higher level thinking skills, and relevant to students’ everyday lives
  • Develops awareness, increases knowledge, builds skills, and creates the capacity for stewardship and good citizenship regarding the environment upon which we depend for life support
  • Helps address the causes of “nature deficit disorder”
  • Boosts student achievement in math, science, reading, writing and social studies