Sustainability in primary education

The way that the Australian National Curriculum is designed, there are three cross-curriculum priorities.

One of these overarching themes is that of sustainability. Having enough for all forever.

In the current era of consumerism, materialism, and the rapid climate change that comes along with all of those things, teaching young learners about the environment has never been more important.

In schools, kids should learn how to grow fresh fruit and vegetables. They should experience firsthand how to care for animals. They should be taught how to compost and how to recycle paper and plastics.

They should be exposed to innovative ideas around energy efficiency and water conservation, as well as being encouraged to come up with their own creative ways to solve the world’s current real-world sustainability problems.

In Philosophy, they should be involved in discussions about whose responsibility it is to look after the planet and why; about what being a global citizen looks like.

Schools should have sustainability committees and the teachers who form this committee should regularly work with students who could be heralded as eco-warriors or sustainability superheroes.

Teachers should also read books with an environmental sustainability theme to their students on a regular basis.

Overall, children should garner an awareness that everything we do, every choice that we make, effects the environment and therefore other people, now and into the future.


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