Not just Creating Little Treehuggers: Environmental Education as a Learning System

Read the full post at Sustainablog.

What’s going on in Washington these days? Duh, debt ceiling negotiations, right? Fortunately, that’s not all… there is still legislation in the works that addresses other issues beyond government spending. One bill that’s back: the No Child Left Inside Act, which would provide a funding mechanism for state environmental education initiatives.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that members of Congress (from both parties) have tried to get this law passed… its history goes back to 2007. The argument surrounding it has generally focused on a perceived ideological agenda by supporters: essentially, we treehugging types want to brainwash the young into thinking as we do.

I could try to fire back directly against this argument, but I doubt I’d change any minds of people already wedded to it. Rather, I’d like to point out some of the educational benefits I see coming from studying the natural world and efforts to protect it. Could it create kids more concerned about our use of natural resources? Sure… but I think environmental education offers some real benefits to students that have nothing to do with treehugging… and much to do with how kids learn best.

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