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Nature matters

September 13, 2013

Here’s a classic.  Back in September of 2005, Orion magazine published an article by Lowell Monke entitled Charlotte’s Webpage.Page 5 - option 2

Monke’s makes the point that, while computers and technology are great tools, they can also be hazardous to childhood development.  Monke writes:

“If children do not dip their toes in the waters of unsupervised social activity, they likely will never be able to swim in the sea of civic responsibility. If they have no opportunities to dig in the soil, discover the spiders, bugs, birds, and plants that populate even the smallest unpaved playgrounds, they will be less likely to explore, appreciate, and protect nature as adults.” (Orion, 2005)

Yesterday, as I sat with a group of parents at Cannon School, I was reminded of Monke’s words. Our Head of School, Matt Gossage, had invited parents in to engage in a conversation about the use of technology in our Lower School. Throughout the course of the morning’s conversation, parents and teachers expressed concerns about our society’s obsession with screens — phones, tablets, computers, televisions.  At the same time, though, it was clear that all of our children were well-versed in the use of the latest iProduct.

So, it’s been eight years since Lowell Monke shared his views on the importance of nature in a child’s life in Charlotte’s Webpage.  His insights, it turns out, are just vital and useful today as were back in 2005.

Read more at Orion magazine.

Cannon School is a JrK-12, independent school located in Concord, NC.

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