Project Learning Tree: Environmental education

Project Learning Tree
This week I was fortunate enough to listen and participate in a PLT workshop. I learned how to incorporate environmental education into my curriculum, what some of those lessons were like by way of doing them and why it is so important for our students. I really appreciated that starting out the discussion was the central idea that we cannot tell our students how to take care of the environment and the care won’t come from them unless they learn to love it. Starting off with the connection and love for the environment (which will eventually lead to action) is supported by the Pyramid Approach.
What I love about this approach it that the objective is not to tell our students how to take care of the environments but rather expose them to the beauty of our world, take them outside , open up conversations of where our food comes from or the type of energy they use in their daily life. This is more than just teaching them about environmental care, it modeling how to think critically about our world and environment we live in. To question if there are ways to improve our environment and how can we do that? More importantly this type of thinking leads the student to choose what and where they want to take action because it is something they specifically care about.
I am a huge proponent of not force feeding ideals or values to my students, so this is great for me as a teacher because this leads them to make their own decisions because they are in tune with what part of environmental education matters to them and what type of action they can take. Needless to say I am super excited to integrate PLT into my lessons next year.