They call it "the pedagogy of place"-- using the natural environment as a learning tool for kids. And it may be the best available antidote to passive, media-dominated childhoods that can result in obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
Rocky Rohwedder (left), a professor of Enviromental Studies and Planning at SSU, believes that kids in today's industrialized societies are not spending enough time outdoors and are missing out on what nature has to teach them.
The term "nature deficit disorder " was coined and popularized by writer by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods. You can hear him interviewed about it on NPR's Morning Edition here.
Louv is also the co-founder and chairman of the Children & Nature Network, which was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature.