Sustainable Education: Environmental Education And Sustainability In Schools

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Environmental Education & Sustainability in Schools

Many school districts are debating whether or not to include some form of environmental education in their curriculum. Environmental education not only benefits student health and knowledge, but encourages them to develop into citizens who are prepared to make a positive impact in local and global communities.

According to the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Environmental education is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment.” Environmental education can be taught in a classroom, but often includes time spent outside the classroom such as in a park, nature center, museum,
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These people do not have a clear understanding of how environmental education works. It not only incorporates traditional subjects, but shows students how their learning can be applied to real-world problems. Then there are the opponents who believe that environmental education is unnecessary, or based on opinion, because climate change either isn’t happening or simply isn’t an issue. Those people are ignoring the significant and decisive scientific evidence that climate change is not only occurring, but will have a negative impact on the environment that supports us. That’s besides the fact that climate change is only one piece of environmental education, which also includes topics such as waste management, water pollution, and renewable energy …show more content…
While that may be true for some individuals, and many corporations, environmental education teaches young generations selflessness and empathy, a strength that can be useful in so many situations, but that many lack in today’s materialistic, self-centered society. Environmental education creates students who are aware and engaged in their communities. The realistic, relevant, hands-on lessons also give enthusiasm to students and teachers alike. Since students are oftentimes asked to look at many sides of larger issues, they improve critical thinking, understanding of relationships, and problem solving skills. Students learn about their own impact on the environment and how they can reduce it. There is great opportunity for cooperative (group- and team-based) learning.

Environmental education gets kids outside, something much less common in a society with so much technology readily available. This is proven to benefit young students, especially self-control abilities for those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Nature Deficit Disorder, a new psychological condition associated with younger generations that causes a myriad of behavioral problems. Environmental education also leads to increased physical activity, improving health and lowering obesity

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