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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Go Green: Education for the Ecosystem

This environmental issue includes a roster of green heroes, lesson plans, service-learning opportunities, and more.
By Edutopia Staff
Credit: Bart Nagel

There are enormous gains to be made in public education -- potential reforms for what ails the system and promising innovations to bring it to the cutting edge. But every scenario for improvement takes for granted the good health and staying power of our ecosystem.

Can we assume that ongoing pollution of air, water, and soil, as well as extreme weather and other consequences of climate change, will not hamper our vital efforts to effect change? Unfortunately, no. Without significant support, the planet will not provide a safe context for growth or learning.

Fortunately, this reality has not escaped many people invested in education culture. Students, teachers, administrators, and environmental activists have found ways to integrate knowledge and awareness of Earth's fragility with classwork and community service, carefully blending concern with action to help kids feel engaged and hopeful.

That is also our goal with this "Go Green" issue of Edutopia. Every section of the magazine is tied to the theme, from the Editor's Note to Cool Schools to Design, and we enrich the whole package with feature stories dedicated to an exploration of green curriculum, a look at those bringing environmental awareness to education, and projects that involve students and teachers directly with protection of the environment.

Credit: Veer

Read these articles and resources about environmental actions in, around, and for schools:

  • Kids Count: Student researchers become the eyes and ears of environmental scientists.
  • Taking It to the Class: Try these great lesson ideas for environmentally conscious teachers (and their lucky students).
  • Green Heroes: Here are some outstanding educators and students who have become agents of environmental change.

Comments (14)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Manson's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I think that as humans, we owe a certain respect to our planet. By Going Green, we can help put back some of the necessary things we have selfishly taken away. If everyone would Go Green, I think it would make some kind of an improvement. There are plenty of people out there who have already jumped on this bandwagon and are working hard to spread the word.

Mark's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I am observing in a school that is trying to promote sustainability. I feel that becoming more green as a school/community is an extremely important attribute because as a school students look up to us in ways that we cannot imagine, and if we can model what it is like to be "green" then the students will undoubtedly take to the idea. I feel this is a great site to start being green and contributing it to the classroom. Thank you!

Mark's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I am observing in a school that is trying to promote sustainability. I feel that becoming more green as a school/community is an extremely important attribute because as a school students look up to us in ways that we cannot imagine, and if we can model what it is like to be "green" then the students will undoubtedly take to the idea. I feel this is a great site to start being green and contributing it to the classroom. Thank you!

Mark's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I am observing in a school that is trying to promote sustainability. I feel that becoming more green as a school/community is an extremely important attribute because as a school students look up to us in ways that we cannot imagine, and if we can model what it is like to be "green" then the students will undoubtedly take to the idea. I feel this is a great site to start being green and contributing it to the classroom. Thank you!

Aluminum Pot's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

It is a great idea to start teaching sustainability to our children in their grade school years. It's good to start them early on learning why living green is so important. It becomes a lifestyle early, which is beneficial. I know making changes in my adult life would have been easier had I started earlier and made it a habit.

-Sylvia

Kimberly Corrigan's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

The topics of nonviolence and peace are essential to 'greening.' Perhaps we can include a broader approach and explore sustainability (the interconnectedness of the environment, economics, and social justice) within a framework of building a culture of peace.

One amazing resource for doing so is the Earth Charter -- a powerful blueprint of principles and values for creating a more just, sustainable and peaceful world, drafted by thousands of people, young and old, in seventy-seven countries from Argentina to Zambia over a 10-year grassroots process. Ratified by UNESCO in 2000 it's been an empowering 'guide' for almost a decade now.

Take a peek and prepare for inspiration! www.earthcharterinaction.org

dgilman's picture

Texas A&M University and the Bryan Independent School District (Bryan, Texas) have pilot tested a summer camp focused on energy. The pilot was one combination of seven modules that include:
1. Teacher training
2. Hands on labs testing building materials
3. Field trips to energy related venues
4. Competitions to build wind mills, water wheels, solar race cars, and model houses
5. Solar hot dog cookout
6. And assorted traditional media.

The pilot consisted of 25 students with five teachers and the limited assessment indicated learning took place. Informal feedback from parents, teachers and students was unanimous in requesting a follow on program.

The modules can be configured for Gifted/Talented or after school as well as some application in the classroom.

Link: http://iseebi.tamu.edu

Don Gilman, Principal Investigator

Victor's picture

to know the safety rules and regulation in florida traffic school

Sophia's picture
Sophia
Teacher,Orlando Florida

Thanks for bringing in the concept of going green to the classrooms. I am a teacher and I try my best to make my students understand the concept of going green in order to save the earth. This a habit and very few from our generation actually grew up with it and so most of us are reluctant to the idea. But if we keep on drilling the habit in the future generation, it would be a part of their lifestyle. Going green would be a necessity for them. I usually let my students brainstorm about ways of going green and change one thing about their household or their community every week. It can be anything from planting trees or having vegetarian food for a day. I am very excited about this site and look forward to checking this out from time to time.

Madhu Devineni's picture

I want administrators to focus on food and soft drinks in the schools, keeping in mind the obesity problems of students. This will have great impact on consumption patterns and contribute to GREEN concept.

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