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California schools getting a little greener as environmental education standards roll out

Ed Source – Carolyn Jones

“As Californians celebrate Earth Day and the ecology movement over the past month, the state’s public schools are making steady progress in implementing some of the most comprehensive environmental education standards in the country, educators and environmentalists say. Buoyed by $4 million in the current state budget for K-12 environmental education, teachers are planning field trips to mountains and beaches, creating lessons on ecosystems and watersheds and showing students how human activity affects the planet. In April, thousands of students turned out for Earth Day events, picking up trash, pulling weeds and planting trees.” (more)

How To Raise Kids Who Care About The Environment

The Huffington Post – Caroline Bologna

“In today’s divisive and often frightening political climate, many parents hope to raise a younger generation that will lead the world with more care and compassion. In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, we asked parents and conservationists for their advice on raising kids who care about the planet.” (more)

The Architecture of Ideal Learning Environments

Edutopia – Emelina Minero

“To get a sense of the best practices in contemporary school design, we interviewed four of the top K–12 architecture firms in the U.S.: Fanning Howey, Corgan, Perkins+Will, and Huckabee. Collectively, the companies bill hundreds of millions of dollars in work annually, and have built or renovated thousands of schools throughout the country and around the globe. Key insights into five common design principles—technology integration, safety and security, transparency, multipurpose space, and outdoor learning—surfaced during our conversations.” (more)

‘It’s given the children a love of wildlife’: the schools letting nature in

The Guardian – Emma Sheppard

“The number of schools using gardens and the natural world to teach students continues to increase. The campaign for school gardening, a programme run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), now has 20,000 school members, with 81% growing plants specifically to attract wildlife and pollinators. “Biodiversity underpins everything,” says campaign manager Alana Cama.” (more)

What Is a Modern Learning Environment?

ED Tech Magazine – Staff Writer

“Education has shifted dramatically in recent decades — from an emphasis on fact memorization through “drill and kill” and “sage on the stage” teaching styles to a focus on higher-order thinking and future-ready skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Along the way, schools have raced to incorporate technology, first through stand-alone computer labs, and then through one-to-one device initiatives and massive networking upgrades. But in many cases, the K–12 classroom itself has remained stubbornly static, with students sitting in rows of desks and a teacher delivering instruction at a whiteboard or projector screen at the front of the room.” (more)

‘It captures their imagination’: teaching sustainability through the arts

The Guardian – Deborah Cleland-Harris

“At Fleet primary school in north London, children between the ages of three and 11 are learning songs about climate change and the environment. Tunes featuring fossil fuels, composting, growing vegetables and the impact of transport have all become popular in class, despite the somewhat serious messages at their heart.” (more)