“…the emerging discipline of biomimicry puts what zoologists and biologists know about natural systems together with the problems engineers and architects are trying to solve, in order to produce technology that mimics how Nature operates.”
The ingredients of the curriculum – what goes in and what does not – are being hotly debated at the moment regarding Environmental Education. NAEE is part of this debate, but we need to ensure our advice is ready to roll out, when the Curriculum Reviews are complete.
Here are my thoughts on this debate, I hope it stimulates thought and discussion, and get in touch if you have any comments for us about it.
- What do we mean by ‘environmental education’?
- What should ‘environmental education’ look like?
- How is it similar/different from pure science/geography?
- How do teachers include it in an already-busy timetable?
We aim to produce a series of key ideas and transform these into short pieces, which will then become part of a NAEE Environmental Education Paper policy with exemplars.
NAEE is a key player in promoting Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to be part of/a major theme within school curriculum.
As executive member and former EE advisor Sue Fenoughty points out:
“This definitely seems to be the moment when we must act, as in this article from the Guardian, it says there are going to be major changes to science studies under the reforms for the national curriculum with the Science curriculum expected to ’emphasise using the natural habitat around schools – learning biology by studying the growth and development of trees, for example’ – so, in other words, much more emphasis on using the local environment. (environmental education). The article mention that the science curriculum in Japan has at its core the love of nature … and, as we know, you can’t develop a love of nature unless you’ve been out in a natural environment.”
The new programmes of study are being published for consultation this week, and are to be introduced in schools in September 2014, so not far away.
Yes, it’s all ‘up in the air’ and no-one knows where it will end up. And yes, it’s confusing and frustrating in the meantime. But also, yes, NAEE will have some key concrete ideas to present – intelligent responses and exemplars to the questions when they come along.
Henricus Peters, NAEE CoChair
Many Birmingham school children are being denied the opportunity to experience learning about their
environment due to school funding cuts. Schools report finding it increasingly difficult to find money within their budgets to take classes out to Environmental Education Centres where charges have risen recently due to cuts from local authority funding.
The National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE) is now stepping in to help schools by providing bursaries to enable these key activities to continue within the city.
A local Birmingham family, with a long history of supporting education in the area, is concerned that city children should not be deprived of the opportunity to experience a more natural environment away from the city streets. They have awarded NAEE funding from the Kenrick Trust to enable pupils from nine schools annually to visit Environmental Education Centres, covering all costs involved. These visits will give our young citizens the opportunity to learn and understand about the natural world,
leading to fostering more responsible and caring attitudes.
The Hugh Kenrick Days was launched on Monday 14th May.
Lozells Primary School and St. Paul’s School, Balsall Heath, are amongst the first to benefit from this much needed project. Lozells Primary will be visiting Bell Heath Education Centre, run
by Birmingham City Council.
- Playoutdoors – ‘NAEE’ makes the front page! (naeeuk.wordpress.com)
- Sponsorship for NAEE journal (naeeuk.wordpress.com)
- ‘Environmental education’ celebrates with milestone edition! (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION – Invitation to contribute to 100th milestone edition (naeeuk.wordpress.com)
- ‘Environmental education’ celebrates 100th milestone edition! (naeeuk.wordpress.com)
- White House Summit on Environmental Education (naeeuk.wordpress.com)
- National Environmental Education Week is April 15-21 (naeeuk.wordpress.com)
- Pam Moran: Let’s Bring Back Environmental Education (fourcircleslearning.com)
- Free Environmental Photos for Educational Use (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
I celebrated Earth Hour for the first time at the RIBI assembly dinner on 31st March: the lights were switched off and hundreds of candles illuminated the area. This was my first experience to a beautifully simple idea that has become a massive global phenomenon, which has successfully united an extraordinary number of people across the globe. This simple symbiotic act carries a huge environmental message.
Hundreds of millions take time to switch off their lights for an hour on the last Saturday in March as they are driven by the thought of positive action to help tackle climate change and protect the natural world from the impacts of our ever consuming lifestyles. This is fantastic and inspiring and NAEE encourages people to go beyond just the hour and extend energy saving that can make such a difference into their daily lives.
The way we live has impacts that we can not always determine or haven’t yet experienced: these can range from weather changes such as droughts and flooding to food shortages, loss of species and deforestation. So, Earth Hour is not just about saving electricity, it is much greater than that. It is about realising that the actions we take; to the energy we use; the food we eat and the water we drink – all have an effect on our planet.
We all depend on our amazing world and need to care and look after it, not just for an hour, but for every single day of the year.
The analysis after tracking the total electricity demand during the day and comparing it with the corresponding profile of previous Saturdays in the UK showed that there was indeed a significant reduction in the mid evening peak when people often switch lights on. Overall, this translated to a massive saving of around 2,850 tonnes of CO2, an impressive figure
WWF reported that hundreds of millions of people in a record 150 countries and 6,434 towns and cities across the world took part to show they care about our brilliant planet. In the UK, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Clifton Suspension Bridge, HMS Victory, Edinburgh Castle, Parliament Building in Northern Ireland and the Welsh Assembly were just a few of the landmarks that took part.
Communities across the country also ran local events and thousands took part making this year’s Earth Hour the biggest yet, with an estimated 20,000 visitors per minute on its youtube channel and by the time the switch off had reached South Asia, Earth Hour was trending on twitter.
Gabrielle Back, CoChair, NAEE.
Get inspired by brilliant bugs and
create a marvellous mini-beast masterpiece!
Brilliant minibeast-themed goodies up
Butterfly houses, bug magnifiers, nature
detectives CLUB membership and I-Spy
in the Countryside books.
How to enter
- Print a minibeast colouring outline
- Transform it with colour, pattern and texture
- Print an entry ticket and fill in your details
- Post both bits to us by 29th August 2012
(one entry per class/group)
Full details – click here http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/art/
Posted by Henricus Peters, Managing editor
- Show & Tell – Minibeasts (sunflower700.wordpress.com)
- I Spy Camping’s Campsites in France and Italy Fit for a King (prweb.com)
- Can a cartoon really teach our children Mandarin? (telegraph.co.uk)
What can you do to prepare for Earth Day 2012? Here are some green ideas to help you – just click here!
Compiled by Henricus Peters, Co-Chair of NAEE UK, working with Children and Nature USA.
NAEE will soon be launching an exciting new fund to enable schools to visit outdoor environmental education centres (initially Birmingham only). Watch this space!
UK Students can get free membership of NAEE. All we need is a copy of your student card or an official letter from the university. Download a membership form here.