References to Accompany Ecophobia article in Wildlife Magazine


Anggard, E. (2010). Making Use of ‘Nature’ in an Outdoor Preschool: Classroom, Home and Fairyland. Children, Youth and Environments, 20 (1), 4-25.


Bateman, R.  (2012). Keynote Address, Grassroots Conference for the Children and Nature Network. Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  August.


Bingley, A. & Milligan, C. (2004). Climbing Trees and Building Dens: Mental health and well-being in young adults and the long-term effects of childhood play experience. Institute for Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster


Cachelin, A., Rose, J., Dustin, D. & Shooter, W. (2011). Sustainability in Outdoor Education: Rethinking Root Metaphors. Journal of Sustainability Education Vol. 2, March 2011 ISSN: 2151-7452


Carson, R. (1956). The Sense of Wonder. New York: Harper and Row.


Charles, C., Louv, R., Bodner, L. & Guns, B. (2008). Children and Nature 2008: A report on the movement to reconnect children to the natural world. New Mexico: Children and Nature Network.


Chawla, L. (2007). Childhood Experiences Associated with Care for the Natural World: A Theoretical Framework for Empirical Results. Children, Youth and Environments 17(4): 144-170. Retrieved [1.6.12] from


Davies, M. (1996). Outdoors: An important context for young children’s development. Early Child Development and Care, 115 (1), 37-49.


Davis, J.M. (2010). Young Children and the Environment. Melbourne, VIC: Cambridge University Press.


Dowdell, K., Gray, T. & Malone, K. (2011).  Nature and its Influence on Children’s Outdoor Play. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education. Vol 15, No 2, pp. 24-35


Fjortoft, I. (2001). The Natural Environment as a Playground for Children: The Impact of Outdoor Play Activities in Pre-Primary School Children. Environmental Education, 29 (2), 111-117.


Gray, T. (2012). Vitamin N: The missing ingredient in the 21st Century Curriculum


Gray, T. & Martin, P. (2012) The Role and Place of Outdoor Education in the Australian National Curriculum, Australian Journal of Outdoor Education. Vol 16 No 1 pp. 39-50.


Kahn, P. H. & Kellert, S. R. (2002). Children and Nature: Psychological, sociocultural and evolutionary investigations. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press


Kellert, S. (2012). Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World. New Haven: Yale Press.


Kellert, S.R. (2005). Building for Life: Designing and understanding the human- nature connection. Washington: Island Press.


Kellert, S.R. & Wilson, E.O. (1993). The Biophilia Hypothesis. Washington: Island Press.


Kollmuss, A. & Agyeman, J. (2002). Mind the gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behaviour? Environmental Education Research, 8(3), 239-260.


Louv, R. (2008). Last Child in the Woods. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.


Louv, R. (2011). The Nature Principle: Human restoration and the end of Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.


Maller, C. J. & Townsend, M. (2006). Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing and Hands- on Contact with Nature: Perceptions of Principals and Teachers. International Journal of Learning 12(4): 359-372.


Maller, C., Townsend, M., St Leger, L., Henderson-Wilson, C., Pryor, A., Prosser, L. & Moore, M. (2008).  Healthy parks, healthy people:  The health benefits of contact with nature in a park context.  Report by Deakin University and Parks Victoria.


Malone, K. (2007). The Bubble-wrap Generation: Children growing up in walled gardens. Environmental Education Research, 13 (4), 513-527.


Orr, D.W. (2004). Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.


Orr, D. W. (1992). Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World. New York: SUNY Press.


Planet Ark (2013) Missing Trees: The inside story on an outdoor nation. Research Commissioned by Toyota Australia.


Pretty, J., Angus, C., Bain, M., Barton, J., Gladwell, V., Hine, H., Pilgrim, S., Sandercock, G.& Sellens, M. (2009). Nature, Childhood, Health and Life Pathways. Interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society (iCES) Occasional Paper 2009-2. University of Essex.


Phenice, L. & Griffore, R. (2003). Young Children and the Natural World. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 4 (2), 167-178.


Santer, J., Griffiths, C. & Goodall, D. (2007). Free Play in Early Childhood: A Literature Review. London: National Children’s Bureau.


Selin, H. (2003). Nature Across Cultures. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Stone, K. (2009). Smart by Nature, Centre for Ecoliteracy, Berkeley, CA


Thomas, G. & Thompson, G. (2004). A Child’s Place: Why Environment Matters to Children. London, Green Alliance / Demos Report.


Townsend, M. & Weerasuriya, R. (2010). Beyond Blue to Green: The benefits of contact with nature.  Deakin University.


Townsend, M. (2006). Feel Blue? Touch Green! Participation in forest/woodland management as a treatment for depression, Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 5: 111-120.


Ward-Thompson, C., Aspinall, P. & Montarzino, A. (2008). The childhood factor. Adult visits to green places and the significance of childhood experience. Environment and Behaviour 40, 111-143

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What are ecopedagogies?

I want to continue to tease out what is meant by ecopedagogies- of course this is a work in progress, an emergent process, and it would be great to hear what you think about the term and some of the ideas laid out here…Tonia and I have been musing on it for about 30 years (although not under this umbrella), since we first met in a school in the Southern Highlands of NSW where we both found ourselves teaching Wilderness as an elective subject. We started to explore the students’ reactions and relationship to wild areas they hiked though, canoed into, rock climbed out of and slid muddily underground via limestone caves. We were also noticing our own responses, both to the kids, each unique environment, the different gendered reactions and the challenging activities. For me, there was a lot of fear and I could so relate to many students experiencing the same. But there was also an exhilaration in getting to the top of a mountain, of abseiling down a cliff, of hiking over a canyon, despite the fear.
Ecopedagogies insist on the primacy of our relationship with the natural world and of the direct experiencing of nature. Of course, it can’t be denied, there can be vicarious experiences of the natural world, as many gamers attest to, and they can be quite powerful, but there is no substitute for one’s experience directly with nature. Paul Shepard talks about this in his book Nature and Madness (1982) when he looks to our hunter-gatherer heritage as comprising two births: one birth from the biological mother; the other birthing into Nature itself. He says ‘there is no substitute for growing up in the natural world’. In this context, ‘outdoor’ education takes on a broader conceptualisation that what it has been associated with in Australia to date. Ecopedagogies may include structured learning situations outdoors, such as that done through schools, pre-schools and universities; or learning in less formal educational structures, like scouts, girl guides, community gardens, permaculture groups, environmental groups, gardening clubs, etc. The ‘felt’ experience, the ‘lived’ experience may be approximated in other forms of our high tech world, but it cannot be replicated! Cheers, Carol

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New Book – Spiritual Ecology

Spiritual ecology is a complex. diverse, and dynamic arena at the interfaces of religions and spiritualities on the one hand and on the other environments, ecologies, and environmentalisms with intellectual, spiritual, and practical components.


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Children respond to call of the wild

Tonia is mentioned in this Sydney Morning Herald article:

Photo by Liam Turbett – South Coyote Buttes.

Outdoor education enables individuals to connect with nature, with other people, and with themselves. Associate Professor Tonia Gray, from the University of Wollongong, says: “We should be inspiring a sense of wonderment in our students, but many parents instil a fear of nature and the outdoors – clearing a path through it by killing every spider or insect in their way.”

Gray refers to ”the other three Rs”, namely relationship, resilience and reflection. “These are overlooked in the modern curriculum and we don’t teach these concepts well at all, but outdoor education lends itself, beautifully, to doing just that.

”The main aim is life ownership – you own your mistakes as well as your successes. Outdoor education is the vehicle for teaching life ownership – when you are in the bush using a compass and you make a wrong turn, you only have yourself to blame – not another student, not the teacher. There are consequences for your action, or inaction,” she says.

Read the rest at:

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Vitamin N: The missing ingredient in the 21st Century Curriculum

For Tonia’s latest post on the UWS blog, please read:

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Welcome to our Ecopedagogies site

Dr Tonia Gray and Dr Carol Birrell from the University of Western Sydney invite you to participate in an ongoing dialogue on Ecopedagogies. In light of the much discussed ‘disconnect’ from Nature, educational moves towards a ‘connect’ with the natural world through ecological ways of experiencing, thinking and knowing are crucial- these are called ecopedagogies.

We are presenting at the Nature Education Symposium at Taronga Zoo.


When: Thursday 9 August 2012, from 10am to 4pm

Where: ANZ Lecture Theatre, Taronga Zoo

The event will feature a keynote address by Richard Louv, author of several books including Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle and co-founder and chairman of the Children and Nature Network in the USA. Louv coined the term ‘nature‐deficit disorder’ to describe the disturbing disconnect between people, particularly children, and nature. He outlines the positive effects of nature on the development of physical, intellectual, emotional, social and creative skills in children.

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