Where will you get your drinking water if it is polluted? How will a father to teach his children to hunt and fish if thousands of acres of forest are bulldozed to make room for shopping malls? Without children who have been taught how to preserve our ecosystems, we will lose all of the beautiful parks, forests, and lakes that are so dear to us. That is why we believe that at your next PTA meeting, you should promote incorporating environmental education into the curriculum. Here are ten talking points that you can bring up at the next meeting.
- Promotes Respect for Nature in Children
Too many times when I have been driving down the road have I seen piles of garbage left in fields and forests. Not only are they eyesores that lower property values, but they pollute the places where we live. By instilling a healthy respect for nature in our children, we can prevent such things from happening in the future.
- Teaches Children to Be Kind to Animals and People
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” So said St. Francis of Assisi. By teaching children how their behavior affects wildlife and the environment, you can also help them to understand that caring for the environment has positive effects on people, as well.
- Helps Children to Develop Critical Thinking Skills
Not only does ecological education help children to develop a sense of respect for nature, but it also teaches them how to think critically about the long term consequences of their actions. This is a skill not only useful for those interested in conservation, but in every other aspect of life, too.
- Encourages Your Students to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
This reason was by far the favorite of the Edu Birdie team who helped Green Prophet to write this piece. Too many children sit at home all day in front of computer screens while texting on their phones. By teaching kids about the benefits of nature, you can get them involved in activities outside of the house, such as hiking, fishing, and biking.
- Students Learn Responsibility and Safety
Another reason to include environmental education activities into the school curriculum is that they instruct students to be responsible and safe. These classes not only emphasize the importance of conservation, but they also teach students – and adults – to be mindful of their surroundings and to avoid taking unnecessary and dangerous risks. Anyone who has taken a wilderness safety course or hunter education will tell you the same thing.
- Eco Education is a Fun Break From the Routine
While core subjects are important, it sometimes does not hurt to take a two day break to learn something else. Why not make that ‘something else’ fun? Ecological education is a great way to get children out of the classroom and outside where they can participate in engaging, hands on activities.
- Students Can Learn Valuable STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Skills
Educational environmental activities not only teach students to care about the places where they live, but it presents teachers with a fun way to incorporate subjects such as math, chemistry, and biology into the curriculum. What could be better than learning STEM in a forest or meadow?
- Get Students Civically Engaged
One of the biggest problems in the modern era is a lack of civic engagement amongst young people. Classes such as the ones we are advocating for can teach children how to play an active and positive role in city and county level organizations.
- Helps to Meet State Requirements
Most, if not all, states have certain requirements that have to be met by the school districts. Ecological education courses give teachers an opportunity to meet these requirements, especially those teaching science and math.
- Prepares Students for Future Careers
Eco education prepares students for exciting, well-paying careers. Those who get an environmental science degree at college can go on to become teachers, federal employees, or game wardens.
As you see, ecological education has many benefits and advantages that will greatly enhance the learning process at your school district. With these talking points in hand, you can walk confidently into your next PTA meeting and convince your school board the necessity of including it into the curriculum.