Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Walk into any public school and talk with the children about their experiences in nature and you will begin to see a pattern. Children have made few connections with the world around them. They do not spend much time outdoors and the time they do spend outdoors is not spent interacting directly with nature. Why does this matter? Look at these same kids and you will see another pattern emerging: Attention-Deficit Disorder, depression, obesity, emotional problems, etc. While not all of these problems are directly caused by a lack of interaction with the natural world, current research shows that there is a link. This study examines that research in an effort to prove the growing problem that author Richard Louv calls Nature-Deficit Disorder, as well as examining how educators can help fix it. Nature-Deficit Disorder, though not a real medical condition, epitomizes the collective problems rising from the child-nature gap in today’s schools.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Professor Kathleen Matthew

Disciplines

Environmental Health | Forest Sciences | Other Animal Sciences | Other Education | Other Plant Sciences