It’s almost here! Our newest State of the World report, EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet, will be making its public debut on April 20. Join us for the webcast of our EarthEd Syposium, live from Appalachian State University. You can also pre-order your copy today!
With global environmental changes locked into our future, what we teach must evolve.
All education will need to be environmental education, but environmental education cannot focus solely on teaching everyone to live just a bit greener. Instead, it will need to both teach students to be bold sustainability leaders as well as equip them with the skills necessary to survive the turbulent century ahead.
EarthEd, with contributions from 63 authors, includes chapters on traditional environmental education topics, such as ecoliteracy, nature-based learning, and systems thinking, as well as expanding the conversation to new topics essential for Earth education, such as character education, social emotional learning, the importance of play, and comprehensive sex education.
Ultimately, only by boldly adapting education do we stand a chance in adapting to our rapidly changing planet.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of our exciting FUTURE FUNDAMENTALS section. Keep your eyes peeled for more sneak peeks this week!
EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet
Erik Assadourian is a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and director of State of the World 2017 and Worldwatch’s EarthEd Project.
Education prepares children for life in the cultures into which they are born, giving them the tools and knowledge that they need to survive in their physical and social realities.
Throughout most of human history, cultural knowledge correlated strongly with the knowledge that was needed to survive and thrive in the immediate environment. Information was passed, for example, for how to identify edible plants and dangerous animals or how to make fire, tools, clothing, and shelter. Today, however, the cultures that most humans are born into are variations of consumer cultures—cultures that are rapidly undermining the Earth’s systems.
For humans to thrive, we will need to systematically rethink education, helping students learn the knowledge that is most useful for their survival on a planet that is undergoing rapid ecological changes. Students also must learn how to prepare for and adapt to the ecological shifts that are already locked in to their future—and ideally do this in ways that help both to restore Earth’s systems and to preserve their own humanity.
State of the World 2017 explores how education—particularly formal education—will need to evolve to prepare students for life on a changing planet.
“Perhaps tomorrow’s students will be not only better equipped for surviving the challenges ahead, but also well on the way to building a sustainable future.”