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The Next Generation

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 7:21 min

We are on a downward path towards creating a planet that will no longer support human life. But Dr. Jane believes there is still hope for saving Earth, especially in young people.

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Topics include: Raising an Advocate • Becoming a Scientist or Advocate • A Window of Time


The most important role for a parent of a young child that I can give is the advice my mother gave to me about following your passion. And all children are different. We can't push them. If a child gets pushed to do something for the environment, they'll probably turn against it. If a child gets pushed to do something, to rescue a certain animal, they'll probably turn against it. The most important thing for a parent is to support the interests of the child. And maybe give them the opportunity to move in the direction that you hope they will, but don't force them, because that can have exactly the opposite effect. And it's the feeling of support that I think is so critical for a young child. And from all my observations of chimpanzees, from all that I've read of the child psychologists-- who, by the way, have taken a lot of lessons from the early information about chimp parenting-- it's become very clear to me that the first couple of years of life are tremendously important. And that it doesn't have to be the natural parents, but what that child needs is support from two, three individuals who are always there for them. Who won't let them down. Who don't disappear. And that's why some of the early childhood programs in poor areas are so terrible, because there's a turnover of staff. They're not really qualified. They don't really know how to handle children. There are too many children. The programs are always being cut in disadvantaged areas, and those children are being denied the chance that they would otherwise have of turning into caring and responsible adults. And I think one of the reasons that the far right is sweeping the world-- not just the United States, the UK, but other parts of the world-- is that in whole areas of society, certain sections have been deprived of proper education so that they're not able to get good jobs. So they're angry. So they want change. They feel the government's let them down-- and it has. [MUSIC PLAYING] When young people want to-- a lot of them say, I want to do something like you do. I want to get involved with studying animal behavior. I want to go into the field. And the first advice I always give them is, you've got to really want it, because competition is tough. Funding is difficult to get hold of. You have to be prepared for disappointments. And so you've got to really, really want to do what you're doing. And you've got to be prepared to work very hard. Probably the best advantage is to try-- in summer break, for example-- to go and volunteer on one of the programs so that you get a feeling for what it's like in the field. And a lot of conservation science these days-- or just science learning about animal behavior-- is quite boring, because you have to learn time sampling. You have to have check sheets. You fill in data every so often, or you go out and you check differe...

About the Instructor

There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.

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