The Indoor Epidemic: How Parents, Teachers, and Kids Can Start an Outdoor Revolution (Hardback)
  • The Indoor Epidemic: How Parents, Teachers, and Kids Can Start an Outdoor Revolution (Hardback)

The Indoor Epidemic: How Parents, Teachers, and Kids Can Start an Outdoor Revolution (Hardback)

Hardback 174 Pages / Published: 08/01/2018
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The Indoor Epidemic is an accessible, readable book that educators, parents, policymakers, and general readers can use to develop an in-depth understanding of the role the outdoors has played in our evolutionary and cultural history-and how it affects their own daily life. Readers will be astounded by the depth to which a sedentary, indoor lifestyle has negatively affected their ability to live a fulfilling life. But it's also a story, the story of our connection with the world, its inhabitants, and our own relationship with nature. It's the story of what we know is right for our children, and yet what we deny them because of the imagined importance and fabricated effectiveness of indoor schooling. The book's readability, and its emphasis on practicality, will deeply engage readers. Furthermore, it serves as a guide to parents who are seeking to understand how to utilize the natural pathways to learning-simply by getting children outside.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781475825909
Number of pages: 174
Weight: 395 g
Dimensions: 236 x 162 x 18 mm

Educator Shonstrom (Wild Curiosity: How to Unleash Creativity and Encourage Lifelong Wonderings, 2015) draws on his own outdoor learning experiences in this look at how our indoor-based education system lessens children's capacity for abstract thought and damages their physical and mental health, selfworth, and emotional maturity. By 'going outside' Shonstrom means heading off into nature to explore in order to help elevate students' inquisitiveness, mindfulness, and playfulness. He is intrigued by the egalitarian spirit of outdoor learning and how it levels barriers such as gender, race, and economics. There's a change in the relationship between student and teacher when the class is outside, which can be empowering to the child. A school without walls is also an excellent place for environmental studies, making the lessons more concrete. A former Outward Bound instructor, Shonstrom is inspired by his youthful readings of adventure stories, Walt Whitman, nature writers, and environmental philosophers, and he also cites leading researchers in cognitive development. For all who care about and are involved with children and their education. * Booklist *
Illuminating, wide-ranging, and inquisitive, The Indoor Epidemic reads like a long, lively conversation with an engaging friend. Shonstrom combines research with personal anecdotes to illuminate fundamental truths we all sense, but rarely act on-that we feel better outdoors, and that spending our days staring at screens is doing us no favors. For a generation drifting ever further from nature, The Indoor Epidemic is both an important work, and a hopeful one, for the route to a brighter future undoubtedly waits outdoors. -- Bruce Kirkby, adventure writer and photographer for Outside, Time, New York Times, and Canadian Geographic, and author of "The Dolphin's Tooth" and "Sand Dance"
It was the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, Erik Shonstrom writes in The Indoor Epidemic, who observed "I have walked myself into my best thoughts." Many of us have noticed we think better when standing up or walking around-I myself am a compulsive walk-thinker-but Shonstrom takes this notion farther, especially in two directions that apply to contemporary education: not only do we think better on the move, but we also learn better on the move; and that thinking and learning work even better if we are outdoors. The Indoor Epidemic is a well-researched book that argues convincingly that in traditional education we ask our students (and ourselves) to operate under the most unnatural and unpromising conditions and then wonder why our students seem less than engaged. This is vital reading for anyone interested in education-or, indeed, in the human spirit. -- Tim Brookes, NPR essayist, former Director of the Professional Writing Program at Champlain College and founder of the Endangered Alphabet Project
In The Indoor Epidemic, Professor Erik Shonstrom offers a cogent and provocative argument for learning that emerges from the freedom and adventure of natural outdoor experiences. Throughout the book, he advances the view that unstructured freedom of engaging with the challenge of nature furnishes the foundation for the development of personal growth. As supporting evidence for his thesis of the importance of experiential education in natural environments, Erik integrates his personal background and perceptions of education with those from disciplines such as history, philosophy, psychology, and literature. The book provides an alternative and stimulating view of education.
In the Indoor Epidemic, Shonstrom has reminded us of a basic truth that every traveler knows: learning occurs through experience, and the best experiences are those that happen when we venture out into the wide world. -- Rolf Potts, Travel Writer, author of "Vagabonding" and "Marco Polo Didn't Go There"
In an era of standards based education within a technology-obsessed culture, Erik Shonstrom reminds us of the educational value that lies just beyond our classroom cages in our own backyards and beyond. This rich research-based text will inspire any thoughtful educator or parent to empower young people to move and engage with the natural world around them. -- Donna Terrell, Educator (Hillsborough County, Florida)
Inactivity is killing Americans. Humans weren't designed to sit at desks all day, and most of us started sitting at a desk in kindergarten. Shonstrom tackles not only the health consequences of our "Indoor Epidemic," but also its effects on our intellectual ability and spiritual wellbeing. He uses science, literature, and personal experience to argue it all begins with an institutionalized educational system in need of change. I didn't agree with every opinion in the book, but the Indoor Epidemic definitely challenged my ideas of traditional education and made me rethink my beliefs. -- Paul W. Slavik, MD, Hospitalist, Internal Medicine, Assistant Professor, University of Vermont College of Medicine

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