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Showing posts from October, 2021

Do we need naturalist intelligence to save the planet?

By Nicole Pokorney In 1983, Howard Gardner introduced the theory of multiple intelligences in his book, Frames of Mind . Naturalistic Intelligence was the eighth and most recent intelligence added to the list in 1999. In her article, The Eighth Intelligence – Naturalistic Intelligence , Leslie Owen Wilson describes individuals with "Nature Smart" as having the following characteristics, plus more: Sensing patterns in nature Often like to collect, classify, or read about things from nature   Interest in animal species and behaviors Having a connection to the outdoors At the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Devleopment’s Community of Practice for Outdoor Professionals , we were recently discussing the importance of identifying the social inequities and barriers that underrepresented youth face in having a connection to the outdoors. In his book, The Adventure Gap , James Edward Mills states: There is a link between recreating in the outdoors and wanting to pro

Leveling anxiety in an abruptly disruptive time

By Rebecca Meyer This week while retrieving my 12-year old twin boys from their cross country running practice after a full day of school plus an early morning knowledge bowl practice, I shared, “Hey, I’m working on a writing piece this week centered around youth: what is on your mind, is there anything that is challenging or you wish could be different?” One of my boys answered, “I wish I was not at school. School is hard. There is so much work.” In my head, I thought, “Totally. I don’t always want to be at work right now either.” When I inquired more about the statement, it was clear that what was surfacing was not about being in school or at school, or even the quantity of work, but rather anxieties around performance. This stress is not uncharacteristic for youth, but it does feel magnified in the context of the pandemic. How can we adapt our programs to alleviate the elevated levels of stress that youth (and all of us) are experiencing as a result of one of the most significant pe