"Beyond Ecophobia" speaks to teachers, parents, and others interested in nurturing in children the ability to understand and care for nature. This expanded version of one of Orion Magazine's most popular articles includes descriptions of developmentally appropriate environmental education activities and a list of related children's books.
In "Childhood and Nature", noted educator David Sobel makes the case that meaningful connections with the natural world don't begin in the rainforest or arctic, but in our own backyards and communities. Based on his observations of recurrent play themes around the world, Sobel articulates seven design principles that can guide teachers in structuring learning experiences for children. Place-based education projects that make effective use of the principles are detailed throughout the book.
From the ages of five to twelve, the middle years of childhood, young people explore their surroundings and find or construct private spaces. In these secret places, children develop and control environments of their own and enjoy freedom from the rules of the adult world. "Children's Special Places" enters these hidden worlds, reveals their importance to children's development and emotional health, and shows educators, parents, and other adults how they can foster a bond between young people and nature that is important to maturation.
"Mapmaking with Children" presents an inspired alternative to traditional geography education. Maintaining that there is no substitute for hands-on experience, David Sobel places the initial emphasis on local projects--projects that begin in students' own backyards and communities, projects that provide a sense of place.
Through academic research, practical examples, and step-by-step strategies drawn from classrooms throughout the United States, Sobel celebrates teachers who emphasize the connection of school, community, and environment. "Place-Based Education" uses the local community and environment as the starting place for curriculum learning, strengthening community bonds, appreciation for the natural world, and a commitment to citizen engagement