What is the importance of environmental education?

In its definition of Environmental Education, the United Nations tells us that its objectives are to train individuals to know and recognize the interactions between what is natural and social in their environment and to act in that environment. Trying not to impose guidelines on its activities that seriously deteriorate the balance that natural processes have developed, making possible the existence of an environmental quality suitable for the development of human life.

It is necessary to address the issue of caring for the environment with the necessary seriousness to be able to reverse the habits that have caused damage, to date, to our planet. It is necessary to incorporate the idea that with the passage of time and maintaining harmful behaviors towards the environment we are losing the opportunity to have a better quality of life, we are deteriorating our planet and the beings that inhabit it.

It is evident that each one of us needs to raise awareness, to rethink what values ​​and attitudes are based on the cultural change that we must assume, with respect to environmental problems.

Beyond traditional education, that is, the simple fact of imparting knowledge, environmental education relates man to his environment, with his surroundings and seeks a change of attitude, an awareness of the importance of conserving for the future and to improve our quality of life.

The adoption of a conscious attitude towards the environment that surrounds us, and of which we are an inseparable part, depends largely on the teaching and education of children and youth. For this reason, it is up to pedagogy and the school to play a fundamental role in this process.

Comprehensive environmental education

Environmental education is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary educational process that considers the environment as a whole and seeks to involve the general population in the identification and resolution of problems through the acquisition of knowledge, values, attitudes and skills, the of decisions and active and organized participation.

The child grows and develops under the influence of a complex teaching-educational process, in which the school fulfills a social task that has the objective that the future citizen receives teaching and education, and integrates into the society in which he lives. a harmonious way, formed politically and ideologically in correspondence with the principles of our society. In this sense, the child must be educated to fully occupy his or her rightful place in nature, as a component element of it. He must understand that he is an integral part of the ecological system and that, as such, he has duties to fulfill.

The formation and development of correct habits in students, regarding the protection of the environment in the school and its surroundings, contribute to linking theory with practice and familiarizing them with these tasks and demands on a local level. This makes it easier for them to understand the importance of environmental protection and its different factors, at the regional and national level, and how a society can plan and control the influence of the environment for the benefit of the community.

Take advantage of these topics, which are content of school education but with a purpose that is not only that of information, that this limit is transgressed. May it lead to the formation of a citizen who is aware and involved in this problem.

The need to address environmental problems requires a perspective that involves the criticism of different knowledge and the development of human knowledge for the creation of alternatives. Hence, in addition to the economic and social obstacles given by the development style to address environmental problems, the possibilities of reversing the processes of environmental deterioration are also limited by the very conformation of the educational process and knowledge construction.

A systemic perspective

It is necessary to approach the study of the environment in education from a systemic perspective. We must be aware that the conceptualization of environmental education encompasses content from several fields: conservation, equity, pollution, urban/rural environments, human rights, ecology, environmental sciences, comprehensive education, population, energy, poverty, ethics, sustainable development, society, technology, quality of life, among others. Furthermore, these fields intersect and overlap. We must then specify what relationships, interactions, results or consequences we are interested in discovering and subsequently communicating.

From the State, it is necessary to mandatory incorporate the subject of environmental education in favor of future generations and an adequate quality of life.

Environmental education in Argentina is little more than in its infancy, despite the efforts and official plans that are being implemented, both in the National Ministry of Education and in the equivalent organizations of the provinces, due to:

The lack of connection between the individual measures that are implemented and the social problem, the temporary nature of the proposed actions (they do not lead to the formation of habits), the creativity of the subjects is not allowed to develop, since there is no continuity between the content that is transmitted and the conceptions and representations of the subjects and finally, the lack of information about local problems in conjunction with national problems. Official assistance is scarce or practically non-existent.

This is due, mainly, to the precarious importance that is frequently given to education, both from the state and other sectors of society, which translates as a contraction of the public educational system, as an effect of a low budget and the absence of a debate about the quality and benefits of the education provided.

This education transcends the formal scope of traditional education, not being limited only to educational centers, but also being used in the workplace, in the company or the workplace, being an excellent vehicle for communicating values ​​in favor of the environment. , relating it to the productive characteristics. On the other hand, the effective development of environmental education demands the full use of all the public and private means available to society, through different application systems and subsystems, linking with legislation, policies, plans and programs. of execution, the measures and control mechanisms and all the decisions that governments adopt regarding the environment.

The formation of socially just and ecologically balanced societies must be encouraged, which maintain a relationship of interdependence and diversity among themselves.

Environmental education, in the context of sustainable development, must urgently generate changes in the quality of life and greater awareness of personal behavior, as well as harmony between human beings and between them and other forms of life.

The application of environmental education does not consist, then, in a mere application of adjustments and complements to traditional education programs, it is, rather, about calling for new approaches, new content and new methods, making traditional ones more flexible. structures of educational systems. www.ecoportal.net

Cristian Frers – Higher Technician in Environmental Management and Higher Technician in Social Communication – Argentina

1 comment on "What is the importance of environmental education?"

  1. The initiative that the Bank has taken on the efficient use of energy is excellent, as it not only focuses on the need to reduce the energy bill, but also on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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