Should environmentalism be a part of the curriculum at schools?
Maths, science, languages, PET, history,...
These are all areas we’ve been taught about at schools and, even though we may not remember it all, we still have general notions about.
But what about the environment?
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues in society at the moment. Over the last few years we have seen sea level and temperatures rise at unprecedented levels, we’ve seen the poles melt; we will still experience many other consequences, such as extreme weather conditions, loss of wildlife and vegetation,...
These will affect us directly and force us to adapt and change our current conditions to survive as a species.
There are different potential actions that would help us change the course of things; on the one hand we have those that are in hand of governments such as policy making, environmental laws, goals and targets as well as subjecting businesses to comply with those.
On the other hand, there are things that are within our hands and we can take action immediately. After all, we create our own reality; our life is defined by our choices.
If you are over 16 as you read this, you belong to the part of the population that has had to educate themselves about the environment, climate change and how your actions affect the planet. You may have already changed your own habits and keep doing so with hopes to stop its progress.
How do we ensure that younger generations don’t have to go through the process of acknowledging the issue, educating themselves and finding solutions?
By making environmentalism part of the conversation from a young age.
According to the EPA, Environmental education is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment.
EE has 4 main focuses:
The first focus is awareness about the environment and issues around it. Then, knowledge and understanding of those and the challenges that go along with them. The third focus is around skills; educating and teaching ourselves the necessary skills to fight any issues. Finally, participating in activities that will lead to its resolution.
Considering that a high percentage of our education is received at schools, wouldn’t it make sense for environmentalism and how to live a sustainable lifestyle to be taught?
Children need to be offered the tools to have a bright, educated, full of possibilities future and, unfortunately, without environmental education and action that will simply not be possible.
Education is a fundamental pillar for any social change. If environmentalism was part of school’s curriculum and younger generations were raised to acknowledge, understand, and take action towards it, governments and businesses would have no choice but to take action themselves or, otherwise, be held accountable.