Environmental Education Under Consideration

This article was an interesting enough read:

James’s approach to teaching includes key components of what experts consider sound environmental education practices, and those practices are very different, experts say, from what one might think. “Often people have the misconception that environmental education is training tree huggers,” explains Brian Day, executive director of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). “That couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

Teaching students about the environment does, indeed, lend itself to controversial issues—climate change, coal mining, oil spills, and coastal erosion, to name a few. But the intent, Day says, is not to take sides. Instead, he says, environmental education has two main objectives: to teach students about the complex interactions between human systems and natural systems, and to show them how to make informed and responsible decisions about their lives and the environment. To achieve these goals, environmental educators say, there are certain guidelines teachers should keep in mind. One of those is to do what James does and encourage students to draw their own conclusions.

I’ve always been interested in teaching an ethics class with an environmental ed angle, but I don’t think I know enough, and I’ve always been hesitant to put myself in the position of a proselytizer for any specific position rather than for philosophy in general. Still not sure about it, though…

2 thoughts on “Environmental Education Under Consideration

  1. I’ve taught at research class with an environmental focus. I didn’t pick sides on the issues but offered up debates on both sides of an idea…students seemed to enjoy working with the complexities – some issues and realities down right scared them but for the most part, they dug into the issues and wrote some very strong research papers.

    I think this environmental focus can be done in many types of classes/disciplines – some may focus on the scientific aspects and others (like mine) used it as a focus point for argument/debate and topic research, others, philosophies of human and environment…

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