Environmental Education: A Potential Foundation for Sustaining our Society




MacClements, Victoria Ann

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There is an ever-increasing need for sufficient environmental literacy instruction, especially for the contemporary generation of young people. The accruing complications of climate change due to anthropogenic activity will most affect the upcoming generation of students; therefore, it is paramount that they are sufficiently taught about the processes of climate change, human-nature relations, and the responsibility that we all have in remedying environmental degradation.

 Throughout the entire document, I call for explicit and consistent environmental and sustainability education for K-12 students: a necessary concentration that ought to be taught in all schools in Texas. I define the specific environmental and sustainability education that should be included in Texas curriculum, and identify the benefits for students, the environment, and their school and local communities. I also examine Texas’s Environmental Literacy Plan, and compare it to current Texas K-12 learning standards to assess whether Texas is honoring its commitment to environmental literacy in the most effective manner. I present Washington and Oregon’s environmental education learning standards as examples for Texas teachers, the State Board of Education, the Texas Education Agency, and policy makers to draw from for inspiration. Lastly, I reveal the challenges and barriers to individual Texas teachers taking on the responsibility of independently teaching environmentalism and sustainability, and implore Texas policy makers and affiliates to redesign K-12 learning standards with a uniform and specific inclusion of these topics.


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