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Environmental Education - A New Education For Our Children

I’m not sure what things are like where you live, but here where I live, I’m deeply concerned about the lack of environmental education being taught in our schools. As a father, an individual, a member of the community and a concerned global citizen, I believe it’s extremely important for our education to be responsible and relevant in the 21st century.

Just like in previous generations, values, principles, behavior, goals and priorities will change as a way of life, it has to, and our education needs to not only follow, but where possible, also lead these changes. The issue is not related to questioning whether environmental education is essential, but which kind of environmental education is important, in order to initiate a change of values and behaviors.

No doubt, if you’re a regular on EarthHuddle.com, you too are concerned about the social, economic and environmental changes currently affecting our planet and the urgent action needed for change.

When I was attending school about twenty five years ago, I was questioning the content, the relevance, and adaptation of my education. Today, as a wiser individual in a constantly changing world, my questions and concerns from so long ago have been justified. It is my opinion that the present ‘curriculum’ has changed little in this time despite the enormous changes witnessed in many other areas. Twenty five years later and a hugely different world, with a whole new set of values, challenges and opportunities, it’s definitely time for a change in education. It’s time to properly introduce environmental education to our future generation.

The aim of environmental education should be to create a global population that is deeply of, and concerned about, the environment and human impact on the environment. We must gain the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones. Environmental education is also about bridging social borders. It is an essential endeavor for the re-evaluation of present-day society, thereby helping us in the transition to a sustainable society.

Environmental education is, in most cases, a non-mandatory component of schools and, as a result, struggles for acceptance in mainstream formal and teacher education. ‘Alternative’ schooling such as Waldorf and Montessori could be considered a slight exception. Because environmental education is multi-disciplinary, it is difficult for teachers to integrate it into their narrowly-defined lesson plans. The framework for environmental education is in some ways radical, ambitious and transformative.

Environmental education, however, is the foundation for creating the green workforce of the new economy. It is for men, women and children of all cultures, including those for whom English is not the native language. It should not be restricted to in-class lesson plans for it is often taught or enhanced through outdoor experiences.

Environmental education is also good for student academic performance, and hands-on environmental education connects children with nature. Experience in environmental education is an asset and should be strongly encouraged.

The true aim of any environmental education is not only to raise kids with a healthy respect for the environment, but to help create a generation of leaders who will identify new ways to live in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

If you are interested in learning more about environmental education, consider joining www.EarthHuddle.com - a free online community focused on all areas of sustainable living, including wind and solar energy, alternative energy sources, sustainable energy and eco-living.

For more information, plus environmental videos, articles, a discussion forum and a whole lot more, visit www.EarthHuddle.com.

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