Winner of Outstanding Book Award, 2000, Moral Development and Education, American Educational Research Association. Urgent environmental problems call for vigorous research and theory on how humans develop a relationship with nature. For eight years, Peter Kahn studied children, young adults, and parents in diverse geographical locations, ranging from an economically impoverished black community in Houston to a remote village in the Brazilian Amazon. In these studies Kahn sought answers to the following questions: How do people value nature, and how do they reason morally about environmental degradation? Do children have a deep connection to the natural world that gets severed by modern society? Or do such connections emerge, if at all, later in life, with increased cognitive and moral maturity? Are there universal features in the human relationship with nature? Kahn's empirical and theoretical findings draw on current work in psychology, biology, environmental behavior, education, policy, and moral development.
"This book is extraordinarily well organized and well written and is thus fully accessible to both specialists and nonspecialists concerned with the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Important for any environmentalist, this work is an indispensable source for scholars of environmental ethics (moral reasoning and values, both obligatory and discretionary) and for practitioners of environmental education, particularly at the important elementary level." - Arthur H. Westing, Environment"