Last Child in the Woods

An Analysis of Nature, Child, and Time through a Lens of Eco-Mindfulness
  • Debra Mitchell
  • Deborah J. Tippins
  • Young Ae Kim
  • Gretchen D. Perkins
  • Heather A. Rudolph
Part of the Bold Visions in Educational Research book series (BVER)


With the publication of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder in 2005, Richard Louv introduced the term “nature-deficit disorder” and illuminated children’s physical, mental, and spiritual need for nature. As the term is not a clinical one and refers to aspects of human existence that are difficult to define, determination of its fortitude is complicated as well. In an attempt to objectify aspects of meaning embodied by the term, three assumptions underlying its construct are critiqued here on the criteria of believability, authoritativeness, logicalness, validity, emotionality, speculativeness, masking by neutrality/objectivity, and applicability for science teaching practice. After analysis, findings within particular criteria remain subjective, serving as possible support that there are aspects of humanity and nature that are inexplicable or have explanations yet to be decided. In spite of this, the construct of nature-deficit disorder serves as a guideline reminding caregivers and educators of the importance of the outdoors in child development. Realization of this importance can be described as the development of eco-mindfulness. In this chapter we analyze nature-deficit disorder and introduce eco-mindfulness as a remedy.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Science Teaching Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Social Awareness Family Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Sense Publishers 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra Mitchell
  • Deborah J. Tippins
  • Young Ae Kim
  • Gretchen D. Perkins
  • Heather A. Rudolph

There are no affiliations available

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