Stephen R. Kellert

Stephen R. Kellert was Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He was the author of a number of books, including Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection, and the coeditor of Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Foundations (MIT Press).

  • Companions in Wonder

    Companions in Wonder

    Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together

    Julie Dunlap and Stephen R. Kellert

    An anthology of adventures with children in the natural world, from capturing fireflies to encountering a grizzly bear.

    Rachel Carson's classic 1956 essay “Help Your Child to Wonder” urged adults to help children experience the “sense of wonder” that comes only from a relationship with nature. It's clear we haven't succeeded in following her advice: eight-year-olds surveyed in the United Kingdom could identify more Pokémon characters than common wildlife species; and Richard Louv's recent best-selling book Last Child in the Woods identifies a “nature deficit disorder” in children around the world. But today a growing number of environmentally minded parents, teachers, and other adults are seeking to restore nature to its rightful place in children's lives. This anthology gathers personal essays recounting adventures great and small with children in the natural world.

    The authors—writing as parents, teachers, mentors, and former children—describe experiences that range from bird watching to an encounter with an apple butter-loving grizzly bear. Rick Bass captures fireflies with his children and reflects on fatherhood; Michael Branch observes wryly that both gardening and parenting are “disciplines of sustainability”; Lauret Savoy wonders how African American children can connect to the the land after generations of estrangement; and Sandra Steingraber has “the big talk” with her children, not about sex but about global warming.

    By turns lyrical, comic, and earnest, these writings guide us to closer connections with nature and with the children in our lives, for the good of the planet and our own spiritual and physical well-being.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Children and Nature

    Children and Nature

    Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Investigations

    Peter H. Kahn, Jr. and Stephen R. Kellert

    For much of human evolution, the natural world was one of the most important contexts of children's maturation. Indeed, the experience of nature was, and still may be, a critical component of human physical, emotional, intellectual, and even moral development. Yet scientific knowledge of the significance of nature during the different stages of childhood is sparse. This book provides scientific investigations and thought-provoking essays on children and nature.

    Children and Nature incorporates research from cognitive science, developmental psychology, ecology, education, environmental studies, evolutionary psychology, political science, primatology, psychiatry, and social psychology. The authors examine the evolutionary significance of nature during childhood; the formation of children's conceptions, values, and sympathies toward the natural world; how contact with nature affects children's physical and mental development; and the educational and political consequences of the weakened childhood experience of nature in modern society.

    • Hardcover $60.00 £50.00
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00