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What is the importance of environmental education?

What is the importance of environmental education?


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By Cristian Frers

Beyond traditional education, that is, the simple fact of imparting knowledge, environmental education relates man with his environment, with his environment and seeks a change in attitude, an awareness of the importance of conserving for the future and to improve our quality of life. For this reason, it is up to pedagogy and the school to play a fundamental role in this process.


In its definition of Environmental Education, the United Nations indicates that its objectives are to train individuals to know and recognize the interactions between what is natural and social in their environment and to act in that environment. Trying not to give its activities guidelines that seriously deteriorate the balance that natural processes have developed, making possible the existence of an ideal environmental quality for the development of human life.

It is necessary to approach the issue of caring for the environment with the seriousness necessary to be able to reverse the habits that have caused damage, to date, to our planet. It is necessary to incorporate the idea that over time and maintaining harmful behaviors towards the environment, we are losing the opportunity to have a better quality of life, we are deteriorating our planet and the beings that inhabit it.

The need for awareness from each one of us is evident, to rethink in which values ​​and attitudes, the cultural change that we must assume, with respect to environmental problems, is layered.

Beyond traditional education, that is, the simple fact of imparting knowledge, environmental education relates man with his environment, with his environment and seeks a change in attitude, an awareness of the importance of conserving for the future and to improve our quality of life.

The adoption of a conscious attitude towards the environment that surrounds us, and of which we are an indissoluble part, depends to a great extent on the teaching and education of children and youth. For this reason, it is up to pedagogy and the school to play a fundamental role in this process.

Environmental education is an educational, comprehensive and interdisciplinary process that considers the environment as a whole and that seeks to involve the general population in the identification and resolution of problems through the acquisition of knowledge, values, attitudes and skills, taking decision-making and active and organized participation.

The child grows and develops under the influence of a complex teaching-educational process, in which the school fulfills a social mandate that has the objective that the future citizen receives teaching and education, and is integrated into the society in which he lives. a harmonious way, politically and ideologically formed in correspondence with the principles of our society. In this sense, the child must be educated so that he fully occupies his rightful place in nature, as a component element of it. He must understand that he is an integral part of the ecological system and that, as such, he has duties to fulfill.


The formation and development of correct habits in students, regarding the protection of the environment in and around the school, helps to link theory with practice and to familiarize them with these tasks and demands on a local scale. This makes it easier for them to understand the importance of protecting the environment and its various factors, at regional and national level, and how a society can plan and control the influence of the environment for the benefit of the community.

Take advantage of these topics, which are contents of school teaching but with a purpose, other than just information, that this limit is transgressed. That it reaches the formation of a conscientious citizen involved in this problem.

The need to address environmental problems requires a perspective that involves the critique of different types of knowledge and the development of human knowledge for the creation of alternatives. Hence, in addition to the economic and social obstacles given by the development style to address environmental problems, the possibilities of reversing the processes of environmental deterioration are also limited by the very conformation of the educational process and the construction of knowledge.

It is necessary to approach the study of the environment in education from a systemic perspective. We must be aware that the conceptualization of environmental education encompasses content from various fields: conservation, equity, pollution, urban / rural environments, human rights, ecology, environmental sciences, comprehensive education, population, energy, poverty, ethics, sustainable development, society, technology, quality of life, among others. In addition, that these fields intersect and overlap. We must then specify what relationships, interactions, results or consequences we are interested in discovering and subsequently communicating.

The State requires the mandatory incorporation of environmental education in favor of future generations and an adequate quality of life.

Environmental education in Argentina is little more than in its infancy, despite the efforts and official plans that are being implemented, both in the Ministry of Education of the Nation and in the equivalent bodies of the provinces, due to: lack of connection between the individual measures that are implemented and the social problem, the temporary nature of the proposed actions (they do not lead to the formation of habits), it is not allowed to develop the creativity of the subjects, since there is no continuity between the content that is transmitted and the conceptions and representations of the subjects and finally, the lack of information about local problems in conjunction with national problems. Official assistance is scarce or practically non-existent. This is mainly due to the precarious importance that is frequently given to education, both from the state and other sectors of society, which translates as a contraction of the public educational system, as an effect of a low budget and the absence of a debate about the quality and benefits of the education provided.

This education transcends the formal scope of traditional education, not being limited only to educational centers, but also being used in the workplace, in the company or the workplace, this being an excellent vehicle to communicate values ​​in favor of the environment , relating it to the productive characteristics. On the other hand, the effective development of environmental education demands the full use of all public and private means available to society, through different application systems and subsystems, linking with legislation, policies, plans and programs. of execution, the measures and control mechanisms and all the decisions that the governments adopt with respect to the environment.

The formation of socially just and ecologically balanced societies, which maintain a relationship of interdependence and diversity among themselves, must be encouraged.

Environmental education, in the context of sustainable development, must urgently generate changes in the quality of life and greater awareness of personal behavior, as well as harmony between human beings and between human beings and other forms of life.

The application of environmental education does not consist, then, in a mere application of adjustments and complements to the traditional programs of education, it is, rather, to summon new approaches, new contents and new methods, making the traditional ones more flexible. structures of educational systems.

Cristian Frers - Senior Technician in Environmental Management and Senior Technician in Social Communication - Argentina


Video: The Value of Environmental Education (July 2022).


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