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Environmental Education Essay

2140 words - 9 pages

Environmental Education

When forming a curriculum, teachers need to determine three types of objectives- fact, skill, and appreciation for something. The “appreciation for” objective is the one that an environmental class stresses. Environmental courses emphasize the importance of conserving the Earth by creating environmental responsibility, evokes morals. In conservation, we have to decide what is important and certain actions we want to take to preserve what we feel is important. That’s why it is crucial for teachers to decide what is necessary to include in an environmental curriculum to create sensitivity and teach ethical problems. Teachers need to teach the three viewpoints that one could take on the environment. Once these ideas are taught, they need to be explained according to the logic behind the ideas; the students themselves need to be shown realistic examples and to feel connected to the environment. By doing this, the teacher is helping the student to form environmental morals that are necessary to form an opinion on issues that affect the Earth.
The first part of the curriculum that needs to be established is a clear definition of each viewpoint. Anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and egocentrism need to be clearly defined in order to provide the students with the basics to form a knowledgeable decision as to which paradigm they are going to adopt.
Anthropocentrism is defined as “a world view that considers humans to be the most important factor and value in the Universe” (Anthropocentrism). Students need a clear understanding how this definition extends to worldview; so, more than a definition, they need to know what details compose this view. They need to know that anthropocentrism is primarily a mechanistic viewpoint, meaning that everything on Earth is made up of parts to run a machine, with the exception of humans. This machine excludes anything with intrinsic value or something that has value in and of itself—versus the idea of instrumental value, which is anything, aside from humans, that is a means to an end or a tool for something else. In this view, humans are the only ones with intrinsic value. Knowledge, in this viewpoint, is to predict and control nature (Factor). “A result of this attitude is that any species that are of potential use to humans can be a ‘resource’ to be exploited…The view that humans have greater intrinsic value than other species also influences ethical judgments about interactions with other organisms. These ethics are often used to legitimize treating other species in ways that would be considered morally unacceptable if humans were similarly treated…Another implication of the anthropocentric view is the belief that humans rank at the acme of the natural evolutionary progression of species and of life” (Anthropocentrism).
Teachers need to provide logic, examples, and connections for students to grasp a concept. Teachers would need to explain that it is logical, that everything is comprised of...

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