Today the traditional school system is lack of bringing sustainable future. The conventional schooling only certifies students with intellectual theories. It’s not helping students to enhance creative possibilities & imaginary thinking process. It’s also not providing a loving & joyful environment for learning.
To create a new mindset & new sustainable generation, we have to adopt the greener curriculum of the Eco school system. Eco School is a simple, comprehensive & collective way to achieve environmental sustainability goals. It aims to the personal & professional development of the youth.
Eco School is a solution to the green education system to transform the youth into power and more advance. The traditional education system follows a closed system; on the other hand, the Eco school curriculum is an open system giving applied knowledge. Policy & practices need urgent implementation of a green curriculum in every school.
- Basics Of An Eco School Concept- Small steps towards a green future
- Now let’s check out: what is Eco-School?
- But now question arises, how does an eco-school program work?
- Let’s have an illustrative look on the step by step “seven-step framework” and how it works.
- Let’s have a look at some lights of best practices happening in Eco-Schools worldwide. Also, observe its advantages for the core of modernization of creating a green future:
Basics Of An Eco School Concept- Small steps towards a green future
“You can not solve a problem with the same mindset that created it”- Albert Einstien.
“Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world”- Nelson Mandela.
“Education is about making the child grow with an uncluttered intelligence. An intelligence that is not identified and entangled in religion, doctrine, or prejudice will naturally lead to the ultimate blossoming of the individual.” – Sadhguru
Think! Could you realize & feel what these intellectuals tried to say?
Today’s world demands change as we face a different array of problems, whether it is about the economy, technology, health, or the environment. On which sector you go, “bringing sustainability” in every aspect has become crucial. We can no longer depend on our traditional system. To solve or fit into the new problems, we have to create a new mindset to create a new future, a new world of sustainability. To create a new mindset & new generation, we have to adopt the greener curriculum of the Eco school system. The major goal of such education is to raise a flexible child in a joyful environment. The kids will be grown up as-
- independent learner
- capable of generating new imagination/concept/idea
- thoughtful about the theories, concept & thinking process
- capable of problem-solving
- Physically & mentally healthy, joyful & happy.
“The system, structure & concept of our traditional school are providing knowledge to activate & adapt in industrial society which is good at providing knowledge in different areas but are not modern & innovative. They need to shift their purpose of creating a sustainable future” – Jennifer Seydel.
Now let’s check out: what is Eco-School?
Eco School is a simple, comprehensive & collective way to achieve environmental sustainability goals. It aims to personal & professional development of the youth for a better environment & better future. Eco School program concept was first created in 1992 in the UN conference on Environment & development. The conference identified the idea of protecting our planet. Its intention was to engage today’s youth to protect the climate & Environment of the future. Their principal aim was to set the vision for eco-schooling. Today 49,000 schools in 64 counties take part to anticipate in eco-school. Passionate young people like school students, teachers, staff, and parents are the eco-school target group. The program is based on the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals to transform our world.
In this way, the community can be benefited by having environmental management policies of their school. The program is an ideal way for schools to embark on a meaningful path towards improving the school & the local community’s environment.
But now question arises, how does an eco-school program work?
The eco-school program consists of three structural elements
- The seven-step framework
- The eco-school themes
- The assessment of the green flag
a) The seven-step framework: This includes an eco-committee. Here the students carrying out an elaborative 7 step program. Those will be explained in the next section.
b) The eco-school themes: These themes give more structure to the 7 step framework.
c).The assessment of the green flag: After a minimum of 2 years of this program implementation with the 7 step framework & structural performance, the school can apply for an award of a green flag
Let’s have an illustrative look on the step by step “seven-step framework” and how it works.
- Step 1. Eco school committee: First, you need to establish an eco-school committee consisting of students, parents, teachers, school staff & residents’ committee to support the program.
- Step 2. Environmental review: After that, you need the identification of the environmental issues of your surrounding school community. Then you can review how you can improve those specific resources to protect the environment. Remember always, protecting the environment means protecting yourself & the future. We need to focus on one or two eco themes.
- Step 3. Action plan: It includes discussion on findings, consult, decide on an eco-theme, and exchange ideas. And then finally draw a detailed action plan based on the team and get to work.
- Step 4. Monitor & evaluate: As we work, we monitor our progress that is a crucial step for our improvement. We can also assess how much our target met.
- Step 5. Link to the curriculum: With the right support from your teacher plan on curriculum lessons so that we can proceed to seek & learn further knowledge on the related topic, we met the target and learned skills to implement our action plans.
- Step 6. Inform & Involve: Slowly, you can get the whole school, neighborhood and maybe entire town involved for your project to implement.
- Step 7: Eco code: Finally, you can drop an eco-code. This can be a moto talk, song drawing that represents our schools’ commitment to the environment. After we are gone through the seven steps, we can get an award. But the real prize is the everyday joy to have a clean environment.
Now you’re going to ask yourself, why get involved?
Through eco schooling, you will be able to create a more sustainable, less costly and more responsible school environment. It will lead to change in the future, and you’ll also have leadership opportunities.
But how can you get involved?
You can actively involve being a part of the Eco council. Your division work on a project around one of the ten eco-school themes for one of your classes. There are also lots of opportunities for students to take on leadership roles. Students will also be able to make positive changes not only on campus but also in the community.
So, what are the practicing areas of Eco/green schools?
- Facilities & operations management designed to decrease the environmental impact & decrease the budget
- Health & wellbeing enhanced by incorporating experts who can work & learn in school
- Education for sustainability culture & curriculum
Let’s have a look at some lights of best practices happening in Eco-Schools worldwide. Also, observe its advantages for the core of modernization of creating a green future:
- Chicago public school (CPS) is a unique public-private partnership school. They are tearing up the old crumbling asphalt surrounding the schools. They are also taking the worn-out playgrounds. They are replacing them with outdoor classrooms, rain gardens, tracts and all sorts of opportunities designed to manage storm water in the flood-prone neighborhood and bring green school.
- Also, Net zero elementary school is opened in the US. The building is using renewable sources. They are producing more energy than its consumption recently. Thus contributing to less greenhouse gas to the atmosphere during operations. Every year, school districts in the US spend approximately $100 billion on maintenance, service & capital projects. They defer an additional roughly $ 50 billion. Imagine if 13,588 public school districts passed policies that required sustainable facilities design, operation & management. Imagine if all the children & workers every day attended & involve in work experience in the building. That’s how it’s possible to live lightly on the planet.
- The environmental health issue of children is prevalent by these eco-schools. Blue valley schools have a comprehensive environmental health program. It ensures clean, breathable air in and around the school. In this way, the students have to decrease operating costs. They become less prone to asthma-related absences. It enables more academic improvement status.
- In the NYC department of education has created a small health wellness & learning center. It’s called “Green Bronx Machine.” It’s the place where children are learning how to grow food & nourish their bodies.
- Greendale Schools has a health clinic in their school. It facilitates free medical, dental & mental services at school. It also benefits the community, as well.
- Encinitas Union school district in California who thrown out STEM programs. (i.e. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics- in an interdisciplinary and applied approach). They adopt & implementing a DREAMS program. It entails design, research, engineering, art, math science. Here they form student research team who works with experts. They collect & analyses the data. Afterwards, they report to the Board of Education about the recommendation on how those systems & schools could improve further. They design the new concept based on the gap & current issues uncovered in the audit. This way, they resolve to achieve their DREAMS.
- In Maplewood Richmond Heights where students are growing all the lettuce used in their cafeteria. They are learning about the food web & ecosystem through urban chicken & urban bee. They become entomologists of the upper canopy of their school tree. They’re climbing trees & learning about maths & physics.
- Another center for sustainable future is Lenawee Intermediate School District in Michigan tech academy. The students learn biology, chemistry & agriculture science. They are working alongside Michigan Tech Extension Bureau producing canola. Turning the canola into biodiesel. Taking the agriculture waste & turning into ethanol, which is used to fuel the district’s bus fleet. How amazing it is!
- Green School, Dream school of Indonesia, is an international school. The school aims to create a green structure & curriculum. Their goal is to achieve a sustainable future generation. The school is made up of bamboo and has its recycling center for the surrounding community. They generate their own energy needs. They also grow their organic food for their lunches. They aim to create mindful, flexible, active & thoughtful generations – to achieve a sustainable future. They focus on a holistic academic approach from kindergarten to high school in three areas: thematic, proficiency & experiential. Let’s have a look:
Eco School is a way, a solution to the green education system to transform the youth into power and more advance. The traditional education system follows a closed system. Eco school curriculum is an open system giving applied knowledge. They envisioned the sustainable blossoming of future generations with vast possibilities, and the system creates the Sustainable schooling from kindergarten to higher-level graduates. They are more innovative & qualitative than a traditional school system. They aim to improve the achievement gap that traditional school owns.
In this case, policies & practices need urgent implementation of a green curriculum in every school. It would lead to the betterment of the Environment and create a new, better future generation. Discussion with school staff, teachers, and principals are crucial to make it happen on the community level as soon as possible.
So, what you’re waiting for? Start your green journey, Live green, think green not tomorrow, but today!
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