Environmental education at the local, national and global level

Published on: 
25 Apr 2016
Cleary Vaughan-Lee

This article, which discusses Learning Lab as one of several programs to help kids can learn about the environment, was originally published on Education Week on April 18, 2016. Read the original

In his book The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv writes, "What would our lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in technology?" Studies have shown that spending time in nature affects numerous aspects of a child's mental and physical well-being. But let's not forget to ask: How would such immersion affect the environment?

Our planet is rapidly changing, and environmental awareness—or lack thereof—will play a significant role in our planet's future. Just as much as kids need nature, nature needs kids. This reciprocal relationship is at the core of environmental education programs, which can be integrated into all classrooms—language arts, science, math, history, and social studies—helping students connect more deeply globally, locally, and personally to the natural world.

How can students enhance their own connection and responsibility to the environment? The following individuals, organizations, and resources provide ways for teachers to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to environmental awareness from the global to local level. At the core, the aim is to assist students in finding their own voices as global citizens and environmental stewards of this planet.

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