By Charles Saylan
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Extra info for The Failure of Environmental Education
As of the writing of this book, no such legislation has made it through either the House or Senate committees to which it has been referred. 7 The initiative’s backers hope the EEI will lead the nation in providing environmental curricula to primary and secondary public schools in the state, with an overall goal of creating a high level of environmental literacy in students. The curriculum is based on a set of environmental principles and concepts that reﬂects causes and effects, which is missing from the current state science standards and even from in-depth presentations of current environmental issues.
Without environmental education, we likely would not now have widespread recycling, environmental impact assessments, cleaner air and water in many communities, local decreases in pollution and urban runoff, and increased industrial accountability, to give Foundations / 37 just a few examples. But this is not enough. The successes of twenty years ago are not the successes needed today. As environmental education meets a social climate that is perhaps more open to its message, it must take healthy doses of self-evaluation and develop ﬂexibility, as well as return to the grassroots mentality present at its birth and rebirth.
Notwithstanding, much has been accomplished through the efforts of environmental educators, most of them working via self-organized, independent channels. The strides made in environmental education have had a massive impact on public awareness in a relatively short time frame and are an excellent example of grassroots success in the face of numerous obstacles, including sluggish institutions and political attacks. Without environmental education, we likely would not now have widespread recycling, environmental impact assessments, cleaner air and water in many communities, local decreases in pollution and urban runoff, and increased industrial accountability, to give Foundations / 37 just a few examples.