Add Your Voice!
The Power of Environment in Education

The next issue of The Appalachian Voice will be exploring the topic of environment in education. How important do you think it is to include climate change, energy efficiency and other environmental topics in teaching our school kids? Add your thoughts in the comments section below!













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  1. Grace Cormons on October 4, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I have a lifetime of experience with environmental education, most recently with a nature-based family learning program, SPARK (, I started in 1998. There is no question that children, and adults, need more time outdoors in natural settings. I believe, as others here have said, that the first step is to let them experience the joy and wonder of nature. The facts, the lessons about climate change, etc. can follow; a strong connection to the natural world should be established first. As E.O. Wilson wrote (1995), “Once children learn to love the natural world, then they will be open to learn the science behind what they love.” There have been several good books and articles about this topic, including Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods”, and an article by David Sobel in this summer’s Orion magazine. The No Child Left Inside Coalition is looking at ways to encourage schools to get kids outdoors to learn about the environment; this is probably a necessary counterbalance to the current emphasis on testing, although it seems it shouldn’t be necessary to legislate that kids spend more time in nature. Let’s hope we can all work together to see that our children and grandchildren have fun while learning to love the natural world and become responsible stewards of our earth.

  2. Mary Eva Martin on September 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Educating children about the importance of environmental stewardship is vital. A critical part of teaching that stewardship is helping youth connect to the natural world, how to appreciate it and see its beauty, and how to see themselves within the context of their natural world. Helping our young people find affection for nature lays the foundation for adopting an attitude of care and preservation and positions our young people to respond more effectively to things that threaten our natural world.

  3. Monkeytoes on September 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    It is very important. There are many changes going on in the environment that the children should be aware of so sometime in their lifetime they can make a positive difference to the environment .

  4. John Pulvino on September 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I saw rivers, creeks and lakes in the Philippines cleaned up because children were being taught in school on the necessity of not littering and the bad effects of littering. They went home and bugged their parents until groups were formed to clean up (children AND adults) and little by little littering stopped. What a difference now!! By ALL MEANS educate the children!!

  5. Grant Campbell on September 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    The children we educate today and tomorrow will be our future leaders. The more respect for the environment we can instill in them now, the better the chance that they will make more environmentally sensitive decisions when they become our leaders. Sadly, the leaders of today are more likely to destroy the environment than to protect it.

  6. Deborah Lincoln on September 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    It is extremely important that the topic of environment be included in education, particularly since there is widespread misinformation in the media about environmental issues. If students learn the importance of taking care of our environment (which even very young children seem to intuitively understand), and how they as individuals can contribute to that care, they feel empowered, and become more involved, responsible citizens. In combination with this, however, they also need to learn that not everything they read online or hear on the news is factual. Older children can research environmental issues to find evidence and data, and they can enter into discussions about why misinformation regarding the environment is given, who profits from it, etc. The topic of environment should be included in education, in a way that presents facts, enhances awareness, and fosters appreciation for the environment, allowing students to conclude for themselves that taking care of our environment is, indeed, important.

  7. Kelly Warner on September 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I absolutely think this is very important. The only way to make a significant difference is to educate the children. For most adults, change is very difficult but for children, they will think about it and come up with the ideas we lack now.

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