Nature to Nurture - Our need for nature + Spaceship earth (SE Combo)
Kids and Technology - Nature to nurture
Media and digital devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if used moderately and appropriately, can be great. But, research has shown that face-to-face time with family, friends, and teachers plays a pivotal and even more important role in promoting children's learning and healthy development. Keep the face-to-face up front, and don't let it get lost behind a stream of media and tech.
EDUCATION – “First-hand experiences… can help to make subjects more vivid and interesting for
pupils and enhance their understanding… [and] could make an important contribution to pupils’
future economic wellbeing and to preparing them for the next stage of their lives.” (Ofsted, 2008)
HEALTH AND WELLBEING – “Children increase their physical activity levels when outdoors and are
attracted to nature… All children with ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder] may benefit
from more time in contact with nature…” (Bird, 2007)
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS – “Experience of the outdoors and wild adventure space has the
potential to confer a wide range of benefits on young people… Development of a positive self-image,
confidence in one’s abilities and experience of dealing with uncertainty can be important in helping
young people face the wider world and develop enhanced social skills.” (Ward Thompson et al,
2006) The findings are presented according to the separate areas of benefit shown above, but there
is a great deal of overlap between these areas and the benefits reinforce and catalyse each other.
This not only highlights the extent of the positive impacts on children and young people that contact
with nature can have, but also the broader effects these impacts have on schools, communities and
society. A list of the key research and books discussed is included at the end of the report to provide
a starting point from which you can find out more information.
Another study defines the outcomes of learning outdoors as “changes in thinking, feeling and/or
behaviour resulting directly or indirectly from outdoor education” (Dillon et al, 2005). It identifies
four specific types of impact: COGNITIVE IMPACTS – concerning knowledge, understanding and
other academic outcomes. AFFECTIVE IMPACTS – encompassing attitudes, values, beliefs and selfperceptions. INTERPERSONAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS – including communication skills, leadership and
teamwork. PHYSICAL AND BEHAVIOURAL IMPACTS – relating to physical fitness, physical skills,
personal behaviours and social actions. Looking more closely at cognitive impacts, “both students
and their teachers reported increases in knowledge and understanding as a result of experiences in
the outdoor classroom. Whenever students were asked about their learning, they were generally
able to explain something that they had seen, learned or understood on the visits… Developments in
knowledge and understanding appeared to be from across a range of cognitive domains” (Dillon et
Spaceship Earth or Spacecraft Earth is a world view encouraging everyone on Earth to act as a harmonious crew working toward the greater good.
Hearts Minds Media 2018
“THERE ARE NO PASSENGERS ON SPACESHIP EARTH, WE ARE ALL CREW”
- Marshall McLuhan
The earliest known use is a passage in Henry George's best known work, Progress and Poverty (1879). From book IV, chapter 2:
It is a well-provisioned ship, this on which we sail through space. If the bread and beef above decks seem to grow scarce, we but open a hatch and there is a new supply, of which before we never dreamed. And very great command over the services of others comes to those who as the hatches are opened are permitted to say, "This is mine!"
George Orwell later paraphrases Henry George in The Road to Wigan Pier:
The world is a raft sailing through space with, potentially, plenty of provisions for everybody; the idea that we must all cooperate and see to it that everyone does his fair share of the work and gets his fair share of the provisions seems so blatantly obvious that one would say that no one could possibly fail to accept it unless he had some corrupt motive for clinging to the present system.
In 1965 Adlai Stevenson made a famous speech to the UN in which he said:
We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave—to the ancient enemies of man—half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.
The following year, Spaceship Earth became the title of a book by a friend of Stevenson's, the internationally influential economist Barbara Ward.
Also in 1966, Kenneth E. Boulding, who was influenced by reading Henry George, used the phrase in the title of an essay, The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth. Boulding described the past open economy of apparently illimitable resources, which he said he was tempted to call the "cowboy economy", and continued: "The closed economy of the future might similarly be called the 'spaceman' economy, in which the earth has become a single spaceship, without unlimited reservoirs of anything, either for extraction or for pollution, and in which, therefore, man must find his place in a cyclical ecological system". (David Korten would take up the "cowboys in a spaceship" theme in his 1995 book When Corporations Rule the World.)
The phrase was also popularized by Buckminster Fuller, who published a book in 1968 under the title of Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. This quotation, referring to fossil fuels, reflects his approach:
…we can make all of humanity successful through science's world-engulfing industrial evolution provided that we are not so foolish as to continue to exhaust in a split second of astronomical history the orderly energy savings of billions of years' energy conservation aboard our Spaceship Earth. These energy savings have been put into our Spaceship's life-regeneration-guaranteeing bank account for use only in self-starter functions.
United Nations Secretary-General U Thant spoke of Spaceship Earth on Earth Day March 21, 1971 at the ceremony of the ringing of the Japanese Peace Bell: "May there only be peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life."