Climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity and the importance of educating future generations on sustainability can’t be overstated, but doing this within the restrictions of the national curriculum is a huge challenge for overworked teachers.
Spearheaded by Nick Moss, headteacher of Minchinhampton Primary School; Radical Geographer, Paul Turner; and Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, the Ministry of Eco Education (MEE) was formed to put sustainability at the heart of education in Britain.
They’ve developed a new curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 – that’s up to 11 years old – that uses teaching materials from leading environmental organisations but still works within the current curriculum. It’s being piloted at 15 schools around Britain now and the aim is to reach 10,000 primary schools by 2025.
They also have materials to help secondary schools, all designed to help save teachers time by bringing together the best sustainability resources already out there and supporting them to weave these into their lessons.
A curriculum for the climate
The MEE approach aims to develop human agency and empower young people. Questions around themes such as energy, food and nature are used in conjunction with the best free content from 160 charities, including the likes of RSPB, WWF and Sea Shepherd – helping children gain an understanding of the world around them in the context of nature, climate and the planet.
Any school can join the Ministry of Eco Education at any time, there’s no need to wait until the pilot is over. Teachers can download detailed lesson plans alongside a framework to embed sustainability into every aspect of school life.
Catch MEE at WOMAD 2022
This year’s WOMAD festival is happening 28-31 July at Charlton Park, Wiltshire and Ecotricity will be there as we have been since 2013.
As usual, we've got some fascinating Green Britain Chats lined up for the Ecotricity stage. These are a great opportunity to discuss the latest ways of creating a Green Britain with panellists and festival goers, with the aim of inspiring everyone to become a true Green Briton.
Sunday’s chats will be all about the work of Ministry of Eco Education on the theme of ‘Educating Future Generations’. Paul Turner will be chatting to Nick Moss, the Head of Minchinhampton Primary, and pupils from the school, who’ll be sharing what they’ve learnt over the past year about saving the planet and preparing for a future where protecting the planet is a must.
Empowering future generations
Embedding sustainability throughout the curriculum will have positive, long-lasting effects. For young people, developing ecological citizenship can help create a sense of agency – the belief that they can make a difference in their community or the world more broadly, empowering them to take action on environmental problems.
Environment and climate-centred education also fosters critical thinking skills by encouraging students to question assumptions about natural systems and human relationships with them. These kinds of skills will be increasingly important as they face the climate challenges of the future.
If you’re a teacher, or a parent who’d like to learn more, please visit the Ministry of Eco Education.
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