Environmental Classes – Education Beyond Textbook Learning
Environmental education should be included in the curriculum to supplement textbook learning and impart practical knowledge about their surroundings to students. Exposure to outdoor activities helps them to be close to nature, thereby enhancing creativity and retention capabilities of the children.
How can environmental classes be conducted?
Environmental education gives learners an opportunity to understand the relationship between nature and the human system and recognise the impact of nature on the ecosystem.
Environmental education helps in promoting experiential learning that goes beyond the clichéd classroom teaching methodologies. Experiential learning helps in clarifying concepts. For example, reading a chapter on trees can only initiate a process of memorising in the learners but being able to see and touch an actual tree can provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Similarly, impromptu teachings during a nature walk or while visiting a park can help nurture a deep understanding of the environment in the students.
Benefits of Environmental Education
Besides creating awareness about the environment, environmental education provides various other benefits to the learners. Let us take a look at some of those.
Developing creativity and inquisitiveness:
Environmental classes are hands-on experiential learning opportunities that boost imagination and enhances creativity. Students can be given group tasks to perform outdoors, which can enhance their creativity and intrigue them.
Enhances critical thinking skills:
Environmental education stimulates the students to gain in-depth knowledge about the things they see around them. It also makes them sensitive towards grave issues like global warming, deforestation, etc. Thus, their critical thinking skills are enhanced.
Leads to a healthy lifestyle:
Conducting classes outside the four walls makes students more active and helps in eliminating lifestyle problems, such as obesity, attention deficit disorder and depression. It encourages the students to follow healthy food habits. Stress levels are also reduced due to increased time spent outside.
Creates increased responsibility towards nature: Environmental education helps students realise how their decisions and actions affect the environment, and thus they are inclined to be more responsible towards conservation of nature.
Empowers the students:
It helps in promoting active learning, teamwork and leadership. The comprehensive knowledge acquired empowers students to voice their concerns and opinions about the environment more confidently, over a wider platform and thus make a difference in the communities.
Thus, environmental classes act as a connection between nature and society. It is a blend of experiential and collaborative learning.