This year sees Bristol as European Green Capital and as part of their campaign, they have commissioned a report to survey 316 primary school teacher about educating the next generation about sustainability.
92% of teachers believed they should be teaching children about the effects of climate change, while 51% said the topic should be a “high priority” in primary school education, regardless of the curriculum.
However 73% said they do not currently have the right resources to teach sustainability in the classroom.
Engaging the Next Generation
There was significant debate over changes to the curriculum in 2013, which meant that a child could feasibly pass through primary school without the national curriculum demanding that they be taught about climate change.
Jonathon Porritt, the founder of Forum for the Future – one of the organisations campaigning for more sustainability in education – commented: “Both in the UK and internationally, it’s crucial that governments act now to avoid a dangerous rise in global temperature. The starting point should be engaging the next generation.
“It’s vital that we encourage and instil positive environmental behaviours in young people now, to help shape a different future than the one we are currently heading towards.”
To help solve the problem, Bristol 2015, the organisation set up to facilitate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, will launch a new UK-wide education resource this week, designed to put sustainability back on the education agenda.
The programme, available here, incorporates lesson plans that can be used across multiple subject areas and curriculum objectives and will be shared with delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.