Eco-Schools National Eco-Committee Advent Calendar Day Three!
Day Three of introducing our first-ever National Eco-Committee, who have the task of greening the National Curriculum and developing the Eco-Schools Programme. Read their thoughts on environmental education below!
As an A-Level student of English Literature and History, I have been particularly geared towards pursuing environmental law in my career because I want to be an advocate for Mother Nature. Ecocriticism is one of my specialisms in the former, and I feel as though my education around the importance of an eco-friendlier future has been thoroughly influenced by my reading. For instance, eco-dystopias depict a world devoid of greenery, life, biodiversity, and it’s a rather daunting apocalyptic vision that these novels depict. However, more often than not, these texts act as a mirror to our current environmental trajectory, which makes me personally concerned for the future of the planet and humanity if we continue our current streak of ignorance.
School is where our minds, confidence, passion and future opportunities are developed so if learning about the environment was in school and careers guidance was incorporated into this then there would be more young people who would think about jobs and volunteering opportunities within this sector. I think that it is really important that we get school teachers on board who feel passionate about teaching about the environment, so these lessons can be exciting and fun with lots of opportunity for practical as well as written learning. It is important that we show children and young people that anyone, regardless of their ability can make a difference big or small.
In RE, students could debate the morality of expanding our towns into woodland. Or they could use references from holy books or scripture (eg Muhammad cut off part of his cloak rather than disturb a sleeping cat, showing we should put nature and animal’s welfare before our own convenience) to determine how we should treat the planet and evaluate whether we are doing that, and if not how, what we should or can do to fix that.
I believe that community environmental action is powerful and can bring big changes. For my 8th birthday, I asked for a litter picker, and set up a litter-picking mission with my older brother – we are known as the Litter Kickers because we love football almost as much as saving the planet. We are really active in our community and have also litter-picked abroad. We set up a Litter Wave which encouraged people in our town to take care of their own street, and watched as the ‘ripple’ spread to 160 streets across where we live.