What is environmental education – its ideals and practices

From “knowledge accumulation type” to “thinking education”

Even if asked what is environmental education, I can not quite answer in a word. Generally, in Japan it seems that there is a strong tendency to grasp environmental knowledge, the transmission and accumulation of recycling technology as environmental education, but this is not the essence of environmental education at all.
For example, can you say that it is true education that let children gather aluminum cans and steel cans to make schools a recycling base and compete for numbers? In order to think seriously about the garbage problem, first of all, the priority order is to reduce waste (reduce), then reuse (reuse) and finally regenerate (recycle), which is basically the basic order, “Introduction recycle It is not “it is.
Although it is certain that there are many points to be learned from German environmental education, even if you transfer the technology to Japan, paying attention only to the superficial aspects such as the use of environmentally-friendly products to elementary school students’ stationery I do not think that it is meaningful. After all, it is only to impress adult values. Although it may be good in terms of broadening the bottom line of environmental activities, it is not easy to think that this is the essence of environmental education.
In short, the current Japanese education lacks the idea of ​​teaching the importance of not putting out garbage before teaching to recycle garbage. What is even more important is to nurture the ability to think and judge voluntarily by children themselves through actual experience, why not put out garbage, what to solve in order not to put out garbage, in other words , Conversion from traditional knowledge transfer type, knowledge accumulation type education to “thinking education” of exploration creation phenotype. In this regard, it can be said that there is the essence of environmental education.

● Raising “the power to live”

In the first report summarized by the Central Education Council of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in July 1996, the basic direction of educational reform in the future is “to nurture the ability to live”. “The ability to live” means “ability to find tasks on your own, to clarify the structure of the problem, find out its solution method by yourself, to execute,” and “the ability to express your own ideas” Therefore, the report recommends that it is most needed for future school education to nurture such ability.
This context also applies to the way of environmental education as it is. Human beings are using the earth as they live, the earth is not only human beings. It is now for human beings to find ways to use the earth carefully, with the feeling of gratitude to nature that both are living alive, so that we can eat delicious food only when there is work of microorganisms We sought.
To that end, explore and solve solutions, including what is the problem in the global environment, how to solve the problem, and how to live yourself We sometimes have to develop the ability to change, not only to change our way of life and morality, but also to the place where we need to change social structure, manner and rules.
To this point, I think that it is understood that environmental education is not corrected and it is nothing but “life style education”. Environmental education is by no means education of knowledge stuff.

● The importance of “to experience”

In the UK, the developed country of environmental education, we adopt the basic principle of FOR, ABOUT, THROUGH, IN as an element of environmental education. As I said, this idea that it is necessary to learn knowledge (ABOUT), through environmental improvement (THROUGH), and experience (IN) for the global environment, as it is now, It is adopted.
Especially, experience is an important element of environmental education. In this case, there are three experiences, nature experience, life experience, social experience, but among them the nature experience is the most important factor in nurturing rich sensitivity, and it is something you must continue from early childhood . With rich sensitivity, you can sense what is wrong in the natural environment and social structure, and that question leads to the next quest. As Ms. Rachel Carson of Mr. Spring of Silence says, the rich nature experience is to grow the soil that plants the seeds and the seeds will die even if you plant seeds without growing the soil .
Living experiences are the basis for working wisdom and intuition that is not academic ability that can be measured by deviation value. Social experience is about creating human relationships. Modern people are not good at making rich human relationships for both children and adults, but as long as the first things learned come alive with the foundation of human relationships of mutual trust, we have various values It is also possible to communicate with people to solve problems.
Through these experiences, my way of living and values ​​in society are formed, and problem solving abilities are cultivated. Even when finding a solution, not a choice between maru or bash, but a flexible alternate idea that can be watched beyond a lot of solutions, including alternatives, will follow. I think that such processes are important for environmental education.

● Ministry of Education, Environmental Education Policy of the Environment Agency

Japan’s efforts on environmental education was late compared to the UK and other countries, but the Ministry of Education set up an environmental education study group and initiatives began, and in 1990, guidance materials for middle and high school teachers were also created It was. In the period from 1998 to 1911, the teaching guidelines for elementary, middle and high school students were revised in response to reports from the Church of Justice, etc. Since 2002, the five-day system of school education has been implemented and, as a contemporary educational task, “Comprehensive learning time” with the theme of internationalization, informationization, health and welfare, etc. is to be newly started.
Meanwhile, the Central Environment Council of the Environment Agency also announced on December 24th last year that “Environmental Education and Learning – Future Towards a Sustainable Society” summarizing the direction of environmental education in the future and concrete promotion measures I am trying to start full-scale efforts by submitting the report entitled “Environmental Agency” to the Director of the Environment Agency.
I am also one of the participants in the deliberation as chairperson of the environmental education subcommittee. In this report, the concept of “connecting” is emphasized as the direction of promoting environmental education.
“Connecting” means “connecting the plans” (citizens, administrators, business operators, private organizations, etc.), “connecting the players” (home, community, workplace, school, outdoor activities, etc.) It is the idea that environmental education is systematically and continuously promoted by mutually cross-linking diverse elements such as educational opportunities and human resources such as various policy methods of administration.
Needless to say, the curriculum of the school also needs social studies, science, national languages, home economics and so on, collaboration of the relevant government ministries and agencies (collaboration) is required rather than individual entities separately, policies of the administration are required separately Collaboration will also progress greatly from now on.

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