Who is responsible for the environmental education of the students? Should we leave that to their parents? Should parents begin discussing environmental degradation and climate change during dinner time? Is that an appropriate topic during shared meals with the family? Or, is it the role of the education system and the teachers to discuss such topics with the students?
The environment will play a critical role in our lives in the future. Students — whether they’re in preschool or high school — should be aware of this impact as early as today. They should realize the impact of their contributions to the environment, as well as the adverse effects of their actions — throwing trash in the streets, using disposable plastic, and cranking up the thermostat at home with nary a regard to how it will burn a hole in the ozone layer.
Transcends Learning to Outside the Classroom
Learning should never be confined inside the classroom. Not only does it bore students, but it also stifles their creativity. Take them out to the school garden or the field. Let them see how literally big the world is, and that their world should not revolve around their peers, family, and friends. This will spark their imagination.
They will begin asking the important questions about the environment — the relationships between animals and nature, the link between humans and the environment, and many more. These are important questions. The more they ask such questions, the better they will understand their roles in society.
Helps Open More Opportunities
Environmental organizations need all the help they can get from people who actually care about protecting the environment. Although environmental issues have created a lot of traction in the past decade, the attention is not enough. Nonprofit organizations need all the help they can get. Teachers can introduce the concepts of climate change and global warming to their students. In the future, these same students might be interested enough to take courses about environmental protection.
There aren’t many arborists in the world. In fact, there are only around 25,000 certified arborists in the world. It’s about time kids take tree surgeon training courses. They can help cultivate and manage trees, shrubs, and perennial woody plants in their chosen communities.
Meets 21st Century Needs and Demands
Kids should know about environmental degradation, climate change, global warming, and so much more. That’s not to scare them away. The intention is to open their eyes to the reality of the world that they live in. The skills they will learn from acknowledging human lapses in protecting the environment are essential for their growth. They will learn to question, investigate, define problems, analyze, develop reasoning, and solve problems. Whichever industry they try to be a part of in the future, the sustainability of environmental resources will be a part of that.
Teaches Tolerance and Understanding
Believe it or not but some people are climate-change deniers. You might have heard about them. It isn’t easy to deny the impact of climate change, but some people find a way around it. At some point, you’ll encounter kids whose parents have a different view of the environment than you and the other kids. But learning about the environment isn’t about just being right. The students should also learn about being tolerant of differing opinions.
Fosters Appreciation for the Environment
Exposing students to environmental issues will foster an appreciation for nature. Simply taking them out and teaching a class in the school garden will teach them to respect the environment and all its contributions to humanity. Some people grow up without any knowledge about how their actions impact the environment. Should kids grow up that way? Or, should teachers find time to open their students’ eyes to the realities of environmental problems?
The more people are unaware of these issues, the more they can fool themselves into thinking that such concerns are unwarranted. The more that these kids’ parents try to shield them from issues that hound the environment, the more that they will never learn how to protect them. These students should see how their parents and teachers are valuing nature for them to realize its importance.
Some parents balk at the idea of teachers teaching kids about environmental sustainability, the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle), and climate change. They believe that their kids are still far too young to know about these concepts. But that’s the problem with some parents in today’s society. They fear that their kids’ eyes will open to the realities too soon. They think that this knowledge will rob them of their childhood. But what is so wrong with learning about how precious the environment is and how your knowledge from childhood can make an impact in this world?