Rethinking “Nature-deficit Disorder” & Environmental Education

Date: 9/26/2013
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Instructor: Elizabeth Dickinson

Registration Ends: 9/26/2013 11:59 PM
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Join us for this lunchtime lecture that examines and critiques ‘‘nature-deficit disorder’’ (NDD), Richard Louv’s popular theory of how and why children are alienated from nature. We will explore NDD within the context of one North Carolina forest environmental education program that aligns with and uses Louv’s message. Underlying Louv’s message is a cultural assumption about human-nature relationships that relies on a “fall-recovery narrative” (that children are separated from nature and must return) and which promotes science and naming as ways to reconnect youth to nature. This presentation explores how NDD may be a problematic environmental message that obscures the problem. Dr. Dickinson’s social scientific research explores the relationship between culture, nature, communication, and environmental education.


Elizabeth Dickinson is UNC Assistant Professor of Communication, Kenan-Flagler Business School and Adjunct Faculty, Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology (CEE)