Perceptions of Nature Connectedness among School Children
Biologist E. O. Wilson coined the term Biophilia which says that humans have an inborn inclination towards nature, which can be nurtured through repeated contact with the natural world. But, the rapid technological advancement happened over the past years have led to lifestyles that are forcing individuals for indoor work, resulting in decreased contact with nature. Considering the development aspects of human being, the attention towards the environment in young age is critical, for long lasting impressions and physical and psychological wellbeing.
Children, growing up in a technologically advanced and globalized world have lost experiences with nature leading to "extinction of experience" a threat to conservation of biodiversity , biophobia –"the fear of living things, aversion and alienation from nature" and "nature deficit disorder”. Interacting with nature is essential for harmonious growth of children. Through increased connection with nature, children can develop stronger conservation attitudes leading towards overall environmental sustainability in the future.
The Built environment of children features a huge range of educational buildings, from small nurseries to vast schools and university campuses in which children spend over 1000 hours a year. The school grounds is the most accessible built element for outdoor environment. But, these are designed with perspectives and priorities of adults such as neatness, ease of maintenance, surveillance, nature of sports offered etc. This research through literature studies and case studies of different schools in different contexts of the Dakshin Kannada region tries to explore the connection between children and nature within the school built environment. It concludes explaining the need for creating interconnection between children and the built environment of schools and documents the requirements of children that can be implemented in design of future schools.