The Importance of Environmental Education in High School
In your classes, you likely learn about ideas like sustainability. You know about the importance of recycling and other practices that help to preserve the natural world. An environmental education is very important in high school to help students to develop the skills they need for the future.
Many people think of education in terms of the specific topics they learn about, such as mathematics or grammar. However, learning is about much more than that, especially when it encourages people to consider issues beyond their everyday lives. Environmental education can help high school students develop skills that they need for their future.
The most obvious benefit of environmental education is learning about issues such as pollution, sustainability, and the effects of fossil fuels such as oil and gas. However, studying these topics can also help people to think critically. This skill is the ability to analyze what people say or write to try to decide whether they are correct or have made a mistake, or even if they are lying. Without critical thinking, people often believe false things.
Environmental education can help with communication and problem-solving skills. As students consider how to help deal with the climate crisis, they also learn to communicate with each other and with outsiders. Students can learn to talk with politicians and the public and to write effective letters. They might even write articles for the local newspaper or a school publication. Being able to write and communicate can be helpful in many fields, such as education, psychology, and more.
With an environmental education, students learn to think about the long-term impact of various solutions. For example, people generally consider hydropower to be better than other forms of power. However, even this type of electricity can also be harmful to the environment, such as when the dams that help produce the power also cause flooding and destroy communities rather than helping them. With an environmental education, people can learn to balance the benefits and drawbacks of various projects.
Another important benefit can come from an environmental education. People can become very discouraged by all the bad news that they hear about the environment. However, learning more about the issues can help prevent people from imagining something worse. With greater information, people can decide what they need to do and help other people with their own decisions. For example, people who are concerned about government policies can learn what to say to officials so that they will act.
With an education in environmental issues, high school students can also make good decisions about living sustainably. Although high school students might not be able to make major decisions like moving to a more energy-efficient home, they can still influence other choices, including a change to local rather than imported foods or other decisions that can make a difference for the environment.
High school is a good time to learn about environmental issues. Whether your school has official courses dealing with these questions or takes a more informal approach, you can learn important concepts that can help you in the future.
Cambridge University Press. “Australian Journal of Environmental Education.” https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/australian-journal-of-environmental-education/article/abs/environmental-education-in-canada-contemporary-issues-future-possibilities/730AF86451E7E5EF96F3FCF34D082D71.
Fletcher, Charlie. “The Importance of Environmental Education for a Sustainable Future.” https://earth.org/environmental-education/.
North American Association for Environmental Education. “The Benefits of Environmental Education for K–12 Students.” https://naaee.org/programs/eeworks/benefits-k12-students.
Working Group on Environmental Education. “Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future: Environmental Education in Ontario Schools.” https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/ese/UserFiles/File/gettingstarted_file/shapingSchools.pdf.