If you click here, you can read the thoughts of Jen Baughan, the CEO of Solutions for the Planet, on her visit to the ASE conference in Liverpool last month.

We were struck by this passage:

“Two of the workshops that I attended were focussed on Environmental Education (EE) in secondary schools.  The first workshop, facilitated by King’s College London, focussed on a broad overview of the landscape of EE; where is it, what is it and what should the future be?  In the session they set out the current situation of environment education (EE) provision in secondary curriculums in England and shared current trends in other countries.

One of the things that stood out to me was how small the audience was and that there were only two practicing secondary teachers in the room.  With the removal of EE as a value underpinning the English National Curriculum in 2014, how high on the agenda of schools is it?  How high can it be?  Learning for sustainability is embedded as one of the seven topics in the Scottish National Curriculum and is an element of standard teacher training.”

Whilst in one sense this is not surprising, it’s always disappointing to hear.  Of course, not everyone in schools who count themselves as an environmental educator would be ASE members, or think of going to the conference, and so it’s important not to think that this seeming lack of interest is a characteristic of all schools.  And these days there are the sustainable development goals (and sustainability more generally) to draw the attention away from environmental education.  But how many secondary school science departments are interested in the goals?

We don’t know the answer to that question, but suspect that it’s fewer than it should be …

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