It's a challenge but here are two great blogs to help.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
At the University of Essex in the UK, Dr Jo Barton has been carrying out research for the Green Exercise program, analysing the health benefits of participating in physical activities whilst being exposed to nature and greenspace.
- Improvement of psychological well-being (by enhancing mood and self-esteem, whilst reducing feelings of anger, confusion, depression and tension);
- Generation of physical health benefits (by reducing blood pressure and burning calories);
- Facilitation of social networking and connectivity (by enhancing social capital).
Friday, April 23, 2010
Inspiring to hear.... teenagers are leading a movement called Teens Turning Green, to educate and advocate environmentally and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools and communities.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) in the UK hosted a talk by Tim Gill, author of the book "No Fear: Growing up in a Risk Averse Society", called Risk and Childhood.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
We all want our children to be happy. Francois Lelord, a leading French psychiatrist is now the foremost happiness guru, thanks to the success of his book "Hector and the Search for Happiness". I haven't read the book yet but there's an interesting interview over at the Times where he talks about happiness and how to achieve it. Here's an excerpt where he mentions children:
“Some people are gifted for happiness, you can see it even in babies. But your upbringing, life events and education are influences, too. It is like being good at maths, music or sport — you are born with happiness abilities but after that your family has to encourage it; you need to practise it.”
So it’s all your parents’ fault if you don’t reach your happiness potential? “It’s not about trying to do everything to ensure that your child is happy. It’s much more important to teach your child how to be happy even in adverse circumstances. This isn’t about buying children computers, clothes or holidays but about showing them how to make the best of it, how to manage to be happy.”
But in the West parents are convinced that their children will be happy only if they are at the top of their class. “It’s not just the West. In Asia, too, parents push their children very hard. After 40 years of seeing clients I must stress that you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations of your child — think of their positive psychology, not yours. It’s more important for them to learn how to adapt to situations, how to relate to people and take responsibility for their lives, than how to pass their maths exam."
Monday, April 19, 2010
Learning through Landscapes are hosting an international conference called "The World Outside the Classroom" on the 29th, 30th June and 1st of July, offering a unique opportunity to visit schools that encourage lessons outdoors, gain hands-on practical experiences and share best practice with school grounds professionals from around the world.
Nina Planck, author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why, talks about why traditional food versus industrial food is so much better for you.
Read this article. I insist. Wonderful, funny and true.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Here's a really thought provoking interview with Howard Gardner, Professor from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, from the Big Think website. He is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences.
Monday, April 12, 2010
And by that I mean there is change afoot down under. In a good way. Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods", has posted on the Children and Nature Network about the movement to connect children and nature in Australia. He states:
"That sense of aloneness, without kinship in the natural world, is central to the argument that many of us are making these days; that is, if we deny children direct experience with nature, we deny them access to a fundamental part of their humanity.
In Last Child in the Woods, I coined the term nature-deficit disorder to serve as a descriptor of the human costs of alienation from nature, not as a medical diagnosis."
(The kangaroo's a cheap shot I know, but cute...)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Good posted a video about this fantastic arts program in an inner city area of Los Angeles called Inner City Arts.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) has a professional practice network for Children's Outdoor Environments and their latest newsletter contains two articles I wrote. They focus on projects in the children, nature, play theme.
Here's a great article and video on the BBC website about why the schools in Finland have the best results and yet the kids spend the least amount of time at school than any other developed nation.
Why is it so hard for other countries to learn from this and make changes?