The need to make EE (a.k.a. environmental education) relevant is vital. Relationships are important to accomplish this mission. And in discerning (for a very long time) how to make it happen and evaluating many different pathways, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really no better way than to jump directly in the middle of the community where it all happens… in our schools. In other words, incorporate environmental literacy standards into school curriculum standards.
Students cry for relevance in their learning, and there’s no better relevance than impacts on their way of life. Environmental literacy through project-based learning is the ultimate interdisciplinary lesson, truly. In order to solve problems they face in their communities, students must first know the basics (science and math) of how their world operates. This helps them to articulate and communicate their ideas so that best solutions can be discussed and found. It should be noted, though, that this notion of environmental literacy as standard school curriculum (what is known to some as a “green school”) is more than a magnet or charter school… it’s just the way it should be. It’s a way of life.
The Connection to Relevance
Feel a need to make a difference –> Civics/Social Studies
In order to do so, you need to gather knowledge of how the world works –> Science
Finding a solution, you’ll need to engineer a design plan –> Math & Measurement
Need to articulate/communicate your plan –> ELA: Writing & Speaking
Need to be inspired –> ELA & NATURE