Environmental Education: Maintaining the Quality of Life and Sustaining Development

What is Environmental Education?

Environmental education is a process by which people develop awareness, concern and knowledge of the environment… and learn to use this understanding to preserve, conserve and utilize the environment in a sustainable manner for the benefit of present and future generations.

For whom is Environmental Education Intended?

Environmental education is intended for all types of learners, students, out-of-school youth, community leaders, policy makers and the general public to develop appropriate environment-related skills.

What is the Aim of Environmental Education?

The basic aim of environmental education is to provide different groups of people as well as graduates in a variety of professional fields with the knowledge needed to develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment and the rational utilization of its riches. This education should inculcate competencies needed for the solution of environmental problems and foster the highest cultural level of human’s productive activity.

What is an Environmental Education Curriculum?

An environmental education curriculum is the sum total of all experiences that learners undertake to help them become environmentally literate. It may also be referred to as a program of activities related to environmental protection and improvement.

What is the Goal of the Environmental Education Curriculum?

The goal of the environmental education curriculum is to help individuals become environmentally knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated citizens who are willing to work individually and collectively toward achieving and maintaining the dynamic equilibrium between the quality of life and the environment.

What are the Objectives of the Environmental Education Curriculum?

The following are the objectives of the environmental education curriculum:
· Awareness
· Knowledge
· Attitudes
· Skills
· Participation

In short, environmental education curriculum objectives are learning about the environment, acquiring skills to investigate the environment and developing concern for the environment and its resources.

What are the Contents of the Environmental Education Curriculum?

The environmental education curriculum must include the aspects of the environment: natural and human-made, technological, social, economic, cultural, aesthetics. It must show the interconnections between the local, national and global problems, as well as the links between the actions of today with the consequences of tomorrow.

What is the Role of Environmental Educators?

The environmental educators (whether teachers, trainers, or communicators) play a significant and substantial part in environmental education by being role models to learners in ensuring acceptable environmental standards. The educators who show regard and acts for the environment take the lead and the learners follow.

Moreover, the environmental educators at any given level need to know what things, activities, lessons and projects are already taking place within the immediate environment to ensure continuity of lessons and learnings and at the same time avoid duplication anchored on the spirit of complementation and supplementation.

What is the Role of Environmental Education Learners?

Learners are a major component of the teaching and the learning process. As such, they have to be helped in enhancing their own responsibility and accountability to care for the environment and be its stewards. They need to be exposed to situations so that they can develop and possess unique ethics for the environment and participate in activities to conserve and protect it. They also have to be taught how to manage efficiently and properly so that the desired quality of life is maintained and development is sustained.

How will the Integration of Environmental Education be successfully achieved?

To achieve successful integration of environmental education, the following must be considered:

· Learning in the process areas of the curriculum and/or of the learning situations must be given a real purpose;
· Educators must develop a set of understanding about the topics that are relevant and challenging;
· Learners must, to some extent, participate in setting the direction of the learning activities;
· Educators must help develop activities that will inform them about what children already know about a given topic;
· Learners must be engaged in direct shared experiences to gather new information;
· Activities must be interactive and learners must be involved in a range of groupings; and
· Learners must be given opportunities to act out what they have learned.

For further inquiries, please contact:

The Environmental Education and Information Division
Environmental Management Bureau-DENR
2/F HRD Bldg., DENR Compound
Visayas Ave., Diliman Quezon City
Telefax Nos. 920-22-63 and 928-11-85