Parents want green issues added to school curricula, new research finds.
A study of Noah’s Ark Foundation found that families want environmental studies to be taught in a more immersive and interactive style, to help students engage fully with the subject.
Former Blue Peter presenter and author Konnie Huq lent her support to the campaign, as she joins the call for schools to implement better environmental education from an early age.
“Parents want their children to learn about the environment, but in a more immersive way,” Huq tells Euronews Living, “and I think it starts at the elementary school level. The sooner you engage and excite children, the sooner it seeps in and becomes part of their awareness and grounded in their being.
“By integrating environmental awareness into primary education, which will then feed into secondary education, the more people want to learn about and learn about the subject, the more it will be offered. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Earlier this summer, schools in Plymouth, UK, launched the country’s very first ‘ocean studies program’ that incorporates marine studies into the classroom in all subjects. Huq thinks this example from the Connect Academy Trust is a great model of how other schools can incorporate door-to-door ecosystems into their teaching.
This is especially important for young people in more urban spaces, who do not have the ocean or hectares of farmland on their doorstep. Huq believes that this immersive interaction with nature can work just as well for inner-city schools.
“There is a lot of urban wildlife and greenery in urban environments – even just looking at things like a puddle or a pond in a muddy environment, or somewhere near a train track or by the waterfront. river, you can find lots of little bugs and bugs, ”says Huq.
“The wildlife that inhabit the city is extremely important, and there is a lot that can be done in an urban environment – like having green buildings for example, or just a little patch of green or grass.
“It’s important not to dismiss cities as an exit clause for not doing something like that, it’s easy to do and it’s about getting people excited and wanting to do it. I’m in London and my kids go to a school with a little natural garden and a greenhouse, where they grow stuff – you can do a lot in a limited space, ”she adds.
The Noah’s Ark Foundation hopes that its ambitious conservation program, they will endeavor to finance, will help provide more immersive, nature-based learning experiences for children around the world.
Not to practice what they preach
Interestingly, the survey results found that 90 percent of parents believed their kids had a good understanding of environmental issues – but at the same time, many said their kids don’t always apply this understanding to their own. life. Although more than two-thirds said their children passed on eco-advice at home, encouraging their family members to recycle, drive less and use less energy, for example – this is not always practiced by the children themselves.
This is why Huq is particularly passionate about green education being an immersive experience. “People can be very familiar with things like the carbon footprint and sea level rise, but they often can’t relate the dots to a larger picture of how it all fits into the world. biodiversity and how it all depends on everything, ”she explains.
But Huq also believes that consumerism is a major problem facing young people, not only leading to the climate crisis, but also creating a mismatch between understanding and individual actions.
“I think part of bridging the gap is not having such an obsession with consumerism,” says Huq. “Literally, from babies with growing designer babies, to toys kids have, etc., it all ends up in a landfill. People just want to fit in and follow the trends, so the way to get them excited is to keep emphasizing that it’s cool to be eco-friendly, and not have a lot of silly toys and of junk.
Huq explains the Swedish concept of ‘lagom’, which means just the right amount, and has become a growing movement in the country. “Where other countries tend to be obsessed with designer clothes, in Sweden it has become fashionable not to be ostentatious and flashy.
“And we’re seeing a real shift in eco-responsibility, it’s something people want to be now – but if we can start with our kids, then the adults they grow into will have these ideas ingrained.”