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Meaning of Environmental Education
Environmental education is the study of the natural and the manmade environment that we live in. It includes forests, fields, lakes, and the ocean as well as buildings, roads, and city parks. It’s also the study of the way people interact with the environment by making it better, making it worse, or having no impact on it.
Relevance to Homeschool Curriculum
If you’re looking for an interdisciplinary approach to homeschooling, then environmental education is a solution. The main subjects that relate to environmental education are science and social studies, however, math and language arts, and even visual and performing arts can be incorporated into the curriculum.
Features of Environmental Education
In the research paper Goals for Curriculum Development in Environmental Education by Harold Hungerford and colleagues, environmental education curriculum is segmented into four parts. I’ll go into more detail about each part in later blog posts, but here’s an overview.
- Studying ecology and earth science.
- Learning about social issues that affect environmental problems or are affected by them.
- Investigating these issues.
- Developing solutions to problems and issues and taking action.
For kindergarten through fourth grade, the focus should be on studying ecology and earth science. However, there will be times when young children can learn about issues and work to help the environment. Young learners should explore the environment in their local community, such as places they can visit and objects they can see and touch. If they make a connection with their local environment, they are more likely to care about the larger environment when they are older.