Foundational Humane Education: Promoting Love of Nature and Affinity for Animals in Schools and Communities

Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 8)


Children today spend the majority of their time indoors, watching television, playing video games, and using the computer. As screen time has increased, unstructured playtime in the outdoors has decreased. Louv (Childhood’s future, Doubleday, New York, 2005) coined the phrase “nature-deficit disorder” (NDD), referring to the alienation from nature in the lives of today’s wired generation. Not only does the loss of children’s outdoor play and contact with the natural world negatively impact the growth and development of the whole child and their acquisition of knowledge, it also sets the stage for a continuing loss of the natural environment. As educators seek to develop citizens with environmental ethics, in the early childhood years they must first develop children’s love of nature. Likewise, as educators aim to develop citizens who protect animals, teaching children to have affinity for animals, both wildlife and companion animals, is the foundation.


Biophilia Environmental education Humane education Nature-deficit disorder (NDD) Nature education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hermitage School DistrictHermitageUSA
  2. 2.Thiel CollegeGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.Animal FriendsPittsburghUSA

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