Jean Lievens: Little Greenies: Proof that Kids are Environmentalists

Cultural Intelligence, Earth Intelligence
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

Little Greenies: Proof that Kids are Environmentalists

We are born with a natural concern for the environment—even if we don’t always hang onto it

Jeffrey Kluger

TIME, 31 July 2013

EXTRACT:

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To test where living things, particularly plants, fall on this do-no-harm spectrum, Training College researcher José Domingo Villaroel assembled a sample group of 118 boys and girls, ages 4 to 7, from local public schools. He started with the basics, showing the kids two sets of four pictures each—a dog, a tree a bird and a flower; and the sun, clouds, a car and a motorcycle—and asked which of them was alive and which not. That, as it turned out, was a trickier question than it would seem. The youngest kids particularly would often exclude the tree from the living things category but include the car or the motorcycle. Self-locomotion, it seemed, was the defining quality here.