Early childhood and environmental educators continue to explore question of developmental, appropriateness in environmental education for your children. Unfortunately, certain well-intentioned approaches towed environmental education may overwhelm children with feelings of concern what is essentially adults’ responsibility stewardship environment. Misguided approaches may shower young children with complied ideas they cannot fully understand and about which they cannot construct when informed and reasoned opinions.
It is possible, however, to ignite the spark for environmental protection! These approaches focus on nurturing children’s reverence and care The authors recommend an approach that teaches ” from the inside out,” oral that recognizes how children’s emotional connections to nature are born of at aesthetic sensibility. The affective connection to nature, in turn, forms i foundation for social consciousness. Environmental activism grows from aesthetic response, knowledge, and genuine social consciousness: With sensitive adult guidance, feelings can inspire children’s knowledge an action.
An emphasis on the beauty and wonder of nature may suffice as the cord of environmental education for a very young child. These children also may be helped to develop simple concepts of interdependence that are relevant to they own world. Environmental responsibility can be nurtured in this early year through close-to-home lessons and through modeling and practice of simply habits of the “other three Rs” (reduce-reuse-recycle).
By the time children reach kindergarten and the primary grades, the aesthetic groundwork for environmental appreciation should be laid. Unfortunately, kids do not get outside much these days, and so they have fewer opportunities to develop such an appreciation.
In fact, many schools in the United States have eliminated outdoor time in the form of rest. Children spend more time in structured after-school activities, and parents are reluctant to allow unsupervised play time after school or on weekends. Consequently, few children today have opportunities to commune with nature.
Some researchers attribute much of the psychological distress evident in Western societies to a growing disconnection of people from nature and natural cycles in everyday life. Young children are unlikely to love that which they have not had the opportunity to know; therefore, encouraging elementary children’s experience with, and emotional connection to, nature is critical.