Sunday, April 18, 2010

All in the Mind - Nature Deficit Disorder: the mind in urban combat

Cool - I don't know that Nature Deficit Disorder is a "real" mental illness, but it certainly is a cultural issue that makes some of us a little nuts because we are seldom or never in nature.

The last child in the woods?


Did you have a secret place you liked to hide when you were a kid? A place in which you could be your own little person, away from adults. A place in which to plot world domination (okay, I jest).

Was it a place in nature? Up a tree (that was me)? Or in a cubby at the bottom of the garden? Perhaps you gravitated to a local creek full of tadpoles? Did you roam far from home (I did, from a very early age), or stay close to the hearth?

The long lost days of undirected, unmediated play. Imagine.

"Just make sure you're home when the sun goes down". Imagine.

This week, Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, and cofounder & chairman of the Children and Nature network is my feature guest on the show. Deb Moore, an Australian preschool educator and innovator, has been discovering some secret places with little people as part of her Masters degree.

Nature Deficit Disorder?

Tune in - I'll be interested to hear what you think of this metaphorical disorder, disease...or, dis-Ease.

The podcast/downloadable version of the show is about 15 minutes longer than the broadcast/streaming edition will be. I've popped in an extended version of the Richard Louv interview knowing he'll probably prove to be popular. Download it directly from the All in the Mind website as usual (where you can add your thoughts, or here below as well) or subscribe to the podcast feed to receive it automatically using Itunes or the like.

How do your own childhood experiences of 'nature' compare to those of the children in your life now (your own kids, or those you know)?


Here is the podcast:

Nature Deficit Disorder: the mind in urban combat

Richard Louv argues we and our children are suffering a kind of cultural autism, a sensory deprivation which he provocatively calls 'Nature Deficit Disorder'. And with that, he's seeded a small revolution for change. Also, secret places - remember them when you were a kid?

Show Transcript | Hide Transcript

Transcripts available on Wednesdays.


Richard Louv
Journalist, author
Co-founder and Chairman
Children & Nature Network

Richard Louv is speaking at the following locations in Brisbane and Perth the week this interview airs.

Date: Monday 19 April
Venue: State Library of Queensland, main auditorium, Southbank
Time: 1600-1800

Date: Wednesday 21 April
Venue: Perth Concert Hall, 5 St. Georges Terrace
Time: 1830-2100

Deb Moore
Former preschool educator
KinderGardens for Wildlife Project
Knox City Council
Melbourne, Victoria

Further Information

All in the Mind blog with Natasha Mitchell
Add your comments and conversation to the blog or here on the program website too (look for Add Your Comments above). It's easy to do!

Children and Nature Network

Inaugural International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress
Held in April, 2010
Melbourne, Australia

Presenter Natasha Mitchell on Twitter


Title: Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
Author: Richard Louv
Algonquin Books, 2005


Natasha Mitchell

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