Canadian Schools to Incorporate Environment Across Entire Curriculum!
I've been highlighting people across the globe who are working with kids to get them to understand the environment and protect it with a passion for some time now, but few things have excited me like what's happening in Ontario schools The Education Minister, Kathleen Wynne, decided recently that environmental education will now be taught within every subject of the curriculum from grades kindergarten through 12th grade. And that means the potential for students across that part of Canada to leave high school with a real understanding of how humans are interconnected with the environment, along with an understanding of the real world implications of sustainable practices is quite real itself. And that, I believe, is cause to celebrate. Consider how few of us had the opportunity to learn about any of the above when we were in public school. To be honest, it was mostly a couple of teachers who made a difference in how I viewed the world, and there certainly was no continuity from year to year. But the real challenge, however, for the education ministry in Ontario and anywhere else that attempts it will be to actually get teachers to incorporate it in meaningful ways into their classrooms....To be honest with those outside of the education field, if teachers don't decide they want to embrace the concept themselves it's probably going to go the way of much science education in elementary classrooms, "Gone, but not forgotten". Ultimately the provincial authorities want it integrated into everything from math to literature, art, and chemistry. And I'd like to add just one suggestion; let's get kids to understand not only the environment, but the rest of the world out there as well. To be bluntly honest, I've got too many kids in my middle school classes who have zero clue what life is like outside of their Ipod and Playstation induced version of "The Real World," though I've found they're genuinely fascinated by what actually happens in the real world when it's tied into what we're doing in class and how it affects their lives. In an age of globalization and mounting environmental concerns, it seems to me this whole approach of bringing reality into the classroom is an absolute necessity, and I can only hope that more and more teachers choose to make it an active part of their everyday curriculum, whether they're in Canada even or half-way around the world.