Education Resources for Schools to Inspire a New Generation of Environmental Custodians
Our world is changing, and escalating pressures, such as climate change, mass tourism and modern land management, mean that we continue to lose precious habitat and wildlife essential to both human health and wider balance in the natural world. At the same time, in this increasingly interconnected world, a paradox is emerging whereby young people are becoming more disconnected with nature. It is vital that we find ways to instil positive life-long attitudes of environmental stewardship and global citizenship. Encouragingly, increasing numbers of young people are already taking action in response to pressing environmental challenges. As such, we need inspiring and thoughtful examples to inform this growing advocacy and to foster a shared understanding of complex global sustainability issues.
Bringing Environmental Learning Alive and Closer to Home
South Georgia’s unique human past and precious environment has a significant contribution to make to the Curriculum for Excellence, particularly at National 5 level, through related topics such as climate change, natural regions and tourism. We aim to create learning materials to support the UK Curriculum. Our ultimate goal is to help develop informed young citizens – to give them the confidence and inspiration to tackle complex environmental issues that impact South Georgia and the world.
A Targeted Approach: Materials for the UK Curriculum
Our next step is to work with teachers to develop and introduce this rich curriculum content. Given the demands of pressurized educational settings, we will develop initial materials and test them via a seminar at the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers (SAGT) conference in October 2019. Alan Parkinson, President Elect of the Geographical Association and one of the UK’s first climate change teachers (accredited through the UN Climate Change Teacher Academy), is preparing South Georgia-related Curriculum materials in advance of the Conference. These materials will form the basis of important learning materials for the UK Curriculum and SGHT’s emerging education programme.
There can be little doubt that South Georgia is a powerful global example of how humankind can move from natural exploitation on a monumental scale to long-term environmental stewardship and care. The development of these education materials will help us tell this important story among a new audience, inspiring a new generation of environmental ambassadors. These materials are also about the future. Through highly relevant case studies, pupils will understand more about complex global environmental issues and begin to see ways in which they can play their part in addressing these.
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