Environmental education remains necessary for upcoming generations
As pressing environmental issues continue to come to light, concerns about how and when environmental ideas are being addressed in our education system are
Denny Jordan, former science
teacher in WCSD and Case Western Reserve graduate, says educating students about the environment is the most essential way to raise awareness about these issues.
“Education is key. We need to show people that care of the environment is important to our quality of life and will save money in the long run,” Jordan said.
According to Jordan, educational requirements surrounding the environment are relaxed, at best.
He cites a lack of direct demonstration, saying, “One general trend over the last two decades seems to be that there is less hands-on experience.” Jordan said outdoor
programs play a key role in environmental education, continuing, “I think that it is extremely important that we continue outdoor programs to keep kids connected to nature. I truly believe that the best way to develop an appreciation for nature and the environment is to be out in it.”
The Ohio Dept. of Education Next Generation Science Standards, found on education. ohio.gov, were adopted in July 2011.
Within this guide are three categories: Earth and Space Science, Physical Science and Life Science.
The entire science standards guide mentions recycling only as a suggestion for teachers to show students the impact that they have on the environment.
According to WHS Science Dept. member Shelly Silvaggi, all of the branches within science help to foster an appreciation for the environment.
“The foundation for Environmental Science is laid in Earth Science, Biology and Chemistry. Bringing all of those concepts together for a full system approach to solve
problems, anthropogenic and otherwise, is the purpose of Environmental Science,” Silvaggi said.
Jordan stresses it is important for all of us to be informed about current environmental issues, saying, “We need to make sure that things like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the coral bleaching and the use of chemicals get covered more and that people understand the consequences of their actions. Read and be informed.”
Silvaggi showed similar concerns about the dangers of ignorance, saying, “ It is important to be aware of the impacts that humans make on the world around us. All of our actions have consequences, good or bad. If we can assess our impacts, we can make better decisions. These decisions can then benefit all life on this planet.”
How environmental issues are being addressed in education is important to ensuring everyone is informed on some of the most pressing topics, not only for today’s generation, but for many generations that will come in the future.