What is Environmental Education?
Environmental education is understanding and knowing more about the environmental issues that affect our world. People can explore various issues relating to the environment, engage in policies and government issues, involve in problem solving an urban issue that is currently taking place such as climate change, waste and water issues and other topics of preserving natural resources. Many world bodies such as UNESCO and World Bank are investing heavily on Environmental education so that more people are aware of such issues and take active initiatives in their community. You can also read our detailed article on Environmental Education.
The Main Goals
There are a few goals for raising awareness of environmental education. Some of these include:
- Ways to engage all citizens to engage in environmental issues in their own regional cities or countries – this can start from a person’s own neighborhood or family space such as using environmental compost in their own gardens to managing household waste in their neighborhoods.
- Enhance decision making and problem solving skills – When people make certain decisions about environmental issues, this raises awareness to others including immediate family and friends. Having conversations about environmental impact from electricity to water shortage, brings in more people who care about these issues, spreading the decision to prevent harmful chemicals in the environment. This in turn leads to problem solving skills where a certain problem in the immediate community can lead to major problems such as pollution, that affects not only certain cities but entire continents.
- Spreading conversations and Participating in Environmental Education – Creating networks and spreading ideas about environmental education is one of the main goals. From local population to international organisations, is it important that every single person is aware and takes responsibility for environmental education. It is not just the responsibility of local bodies or government institutions, it is the responsibility of us all, and it starts with us, in our own homes and neighborhoods.
Careers and Opportunities in Environmental Education
There are many advantages for studying environmental education in college or universities, and many schools these days are also incorporating the idea in their curriculum, especially for high school children. There are a few growing career opportunities relating to ecology and sustainability. There are a wide variety of career choices from Environmental Scientists to Environmental Engineers currently being employed at various organisations around the world. Planning education also includes environmental education as it is a very important part of understanding city and regional planning as environmental issues are at the core of urban planning issues. There is also a UNESCO course and internship on environmental education that people can apply to if they want to make a difference globally. Most universities have a sustainability or climate change topic and this is very useful in understanding how the environment affects our every day lives. There are also many citizen scientists that are taking environmental matters into their own hands. If you are interested in becoming volunteer citizen scientist where you can take active initiative in your community and become recognized for it, you can find a lot of information online regarding this matter.
There are a few drawbacks including low monetary benefit in investing in environmental education. Most people do it for the passion and the area is mostly voluntary and honorary based. Different institutions also teach environmental education in different ways and it is not really stable or centralized as yet. Although, there is more awareness in the field compared to previous generations, and more world leaders are taking initiatives towards it, more can be done to improve the field of environmental education. It is ironic that importance of environmental education in our daily lives is not being recognized as it is in this world. More educationists need to invest their time in environmental education and raise awareness about the issue in today’s world, especially because we face many environmental calamities around the world, where millions of lives are under threat.
Environmental education is important in today’s world because of the relationship between humans and their environment on a daily basis. Many people are still unaware of these important issues and education, both formal and informal, from university classes to basic friendly conversations at the dinner table, is certainly the way forward to spreading knowledge about environmental issues & types of environmental pollution. This article has highlighted a few main goals and some basic information about environmental education. If you are interested in learning about the topic in more detail, it is advised that you conduct more research into the topic.