Awareness in UK schools

4 Mar

There’s been plenty of talk recently surrounding the UK’s reforms of the GCSE, secondary eduction syllabus. Much emphasis has been put on addressing climate change, and systems such as the greenhouse effect in the new proposals. These are already taught in GCSE sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) as well as in Geography and the now compulsory Citizenship.

But as a current pupil in the UK school system (first year of sixth form) it’s clear that there have been a number of key problems which have confused, bored and been ignored by British school children.

1. Old Textbooks

Many of the editions of the course textbook(s) are from as far back as the early 90s. The scientific community’s understanding of the planet’s ability to cope with climate change, and the causes of the changes has vastly improved, as has the level of accuracy and certainty in predicting future trends. So, newer textbooks are key. They need to be based around the global picture. It’s a global issue. My experience has shown that often the issue is simplified to a local level to aid “understanding”.

2. Inform Teachers

Most teachers are between 30 and 55 years old. What they leant at Uni is not going to necessarily be the case today. The Government needs to ensure the teachers understand the issues so that they can help pupils comprehend them too. Often learning is a case of reading, copying and answering parts of a text book.

3. Solutions

Kids need to be told what the possible ways to halt man made climate change are. Global warming is either portrayed as: a)hotter summers, yay!!! b)doomsday scenario or c) something which will be solved by some invention.

There needs to be a focus on what KIDS can do, FAMILIES can do, SCHOOLS can do and COMMUNITIES can do and well as the necessary GOVERNMENTAL and INTERNATIONAL intervention. It needs to be made clear that in the future it’s probably our generation of youths which will have to deal with the consequences, and we need to be prepared. Obviously major action NOW might weaken the punch global warming is sure to hit us with, but that’s not worth resting our laurels on.

4.) Cross-Curricular continuation

As it is environmental issues are dealt with in both the sciences and geography. This needs to be re structured. It suggest it’s purely a scientific issue, and not political or social. History lessons can highlight the effects of industrialisation. Citizenship can highlight ways to combat it. Religious Studies can involve environmental ethics. Geography must be the centre piece of the issue though, however not all kids take the subject. There’s a risk that it will be an overload, but i don’t think the message is getting through at all.

Previous generations have already made the world of their grandchildren and great grandchildren a much harsher place and have place a huge burden on today’s youth. It would be even sadder if history was to repeat itself.


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