Teaching styles vary throughout the country, and the world for that matter. It is up to the teacher, school, or school district to decide what they will put in their curriculum. Many school are teaching environmental issues as early as Kindergarten. Typically, environmental issues are incorporated into the science curriculum in geology or biology. Yet, many public school systems already have a bloated curriculum which is already too vague. Some schools have chosen not to add education about environmental issues for religious purposes as well.
As mentioned by the contributor above, many schools start with environmental curriculum at the kindergarten level. California’s recent release of an approved K-12 environmental curriculum will make this even easier for schools that are interested in including it in their classrooms. The curriculum includes ecosystems information for kindergartners, recycling information for fourth-graders, and environmental economics problem sets for high-school students
There are also charter schoosl and preschools that adhere to a general theme of environmental education, with the hopes of establishing environmental awareness early and firmly in children’s minds.
I remember having a “save the rainforest” sleepover at my public school in the second grade, in which we learned about endangered species and watched the movie Fern Gully. This was 15 years ago. I think schools teach kids about the environment starting at a very young age, by incorporating it into the lesson-plan in various other subjects. Rather than teaching environmental courses to first-graders, I think primary schools add environmental ideology to the reading lists for history and language arts, to the songs in music class, to the crafts in art class, etc.
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