As I continue to read Friedman's book, Thank You for Being Late, I am struck by the call to action to protect planet Earth. He succinctly demonstrates our collective responsibility to act now to save our planet for generations to come. If we care about our children, we will do what's right by changing the way we live and advocating for change throughout the world.
How can we make this message and call to responsibility visible in our schools?
First, we have to re-look at curriculum and begin teaching students early rather than later about the impact of their daily habits and efforts with regard to their responsibility to planet Earth. Students need to recognize the direct correlation of their efforts with regard to environmental protection. How can we do this?
I work with educators and community members who commit substantial time to this endeavor by fostering school recycling, less to no use of plastics, school yard gardens and composting, rain collection, water conservation and environmental education. We can do a better job with this by matching our curriculum standards to conservation and environmental education that is memorable and impactful for children. We need to help students, from an early age, become well educated, responsible, positive stewards of the environment.
Global Education and Service Learning
We also have to consider our global education and service learning efforts. Students need to understand that what they do in their neighborhoods and homes affects the whole world and that through service work, good decisions and education, they can have a positive impact on the world. One area that we can focus on is working to advocate for good education for all the world's people with education for girls and women as a priority since the education of women has been tied to positive development.
Further, in our families and communities, we can help to educate young people early about reproductive opportunity and rights. To understand early both the responsibility and opportunity of what it means to parent children in ways that matter is to foster greater potential and promise for generations to come.
As school communities we can continually model conservation efforts with regard to the products we purchase, the way we recycle, protection of our natural lands and more. I really need to commit to this effort more and will look for ways to better integrate this into our teaching/learning efforts and experiences throughout the year.