Whose Problem? Part 4: Schools

December 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Many people don’t acknowledge, or even realize the importance of education in making our world more sustainable. As I’m about to show, education may very well be the thing that makes or breaks our ability to save the planet. For purposes of this discussion, I’m going to classify “schools” as K-12 public schools.

Here it is: Is it our school’s problem to fix our planet?

Why it is.

Schools provide our youth with almost everything they learn about the world. They are the second biggest influence in a child’s life, after their parents. It’s where they meet their friends, and begin their pursuits of knowledge and careers. Whatever is being taught there about the environment and sustainability is likely to stick.

Why it should be.

See above for reasoning as to why schools have influence. Schools need to recognize that they have this enormous power, and put it to good use. Schools have the ability to start teaching sustainability practices from day one of Kindergarten. We can’t rely on parents, who may not know what to do, to teach it to their kids. In schools however, we can start kids early on a sustainable path.

Why it isn’t.

Schools have enough on their hands right now. A drought of adequate teachers, no standardizing curriculum. As a whole American schools are falling behind. Sustainability education is one of their least priorities right now.

Why it shouldn’t be.

For the same reasons that Creationism is taught alongside Evolution, so would need to be presented similarly sustainability and Global Warming. Not everyone believes in them, and schools should follow precedent.


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