Global warming, collapse of biodiversity, contamination of oceans, exhaustion of resources ... The multiplication of crises shows the need for a profound change, of a new environmental awareness for a new relationship with nature. Transmitting and sensitizing on the importance of natural balance will play a key role in this transformation, experts repeat that protecting and respecting life involves trusting the power of education. In addition, the pandemic that we begin to leave behind has served to increase environmental awareness in our way of living, consuming or moving. And also when it comes to teaching.
According to the study, environmental education in the family environment conducted by More Than Research for Naturaliza, 72.7% of respondents consider environmental education taught when choosing a center for their children. "The data says that we are in a climate emergency process that is accelerating in recent years," says David Gutiérrez, Geographer and Environmental Educator, Director of the Cantabra Network of Rural Development, "and that environmental education is basic if we want Execute transforming actions that really lead to an ecosocial change. "
The answers also show that most parents believe that learning environmental values contributes to the improvement of teaching and the general training of the smallest, six out of ten respondents affirms that the learning of thematic related to the environment awaken curiosity and Motivation in children. "The most effective thing is to link children to their closest spaces, daily habits and even known living beings," explains Gutiérrez. "If the effects of climate change or bad practices in ecosystems are related to something they know, it will always be more effective so that they understand the impacts to those who submit the human being and also to make visible the possible good practices or positive gestures that They result in a conservation and improvement of these spaces. "
In this context, initiatives such as naturalizes arise, the Ecoembes Environmental Education Project, which seeks to promote the presence of the environment in the students of the entire country by offering training to teachers and a library of resources for teachers who want to teach with a Environmental look. These educational tools are consolidated as a way of responding to the demand for these three quarters of the surveyed families that, as collected by the study by More Than Research, considers it relevant that environmental issues are part of the agenda of their children.
The study points to the lack of attention to socio-emotional skills, which are essential for environmental and climatic action. In an online survey of some 1,600 teachers and officials in the educational field carried out for the study, one third of the respondents indicated that environmental issues were not part of their training. "We must be based on this maximum of knowing to preserve and the most effective for environmental protection since the earliest ages is to educate them in nature," explains David Gutiérrez, "who have usual contact with their nearby ecosystems, who know how to assess the importance To take care of these spaces not simply by plant or animal conservation, but also for the many benefits that they give themselves at the health, economic, emotional, etc. ".
UNESCO indicates that "the integration of education for sustainable development in all learning programs must be fundamental everywhere." For this, a new objective has been set: to make environmental education an essential component of the curricula of all countries by 2025. In Spain, the new Educational Law (Lomloe), approved in December 2020, affirms that the system Educational "can not be alien to the challenges posed by the climate change on the planet, the teaching centers must become a place of custody and care of our environment." However, the text does not specify how this will is going to materialize.
The Ministry of Environment, for its part, has launched an Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainability (Paeas), which includes some steps to promote environmental education within colleges, with six operating axes and 61 key actions to be developed by the General State Administration. "What is needed is to provide decent budgets to environmental education, which can carry out programs and educational activities that have continuity and not simple specific actions, without any transcending negligence, which are mere actions of Greenwashing," Resume Gutiérrez .
Series on circular economy carried out in collaboration with EcoembesUpdated Date: 19 October 2021, 20:53