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Empowering Youth Through Environmental Education: A Path Towards a (more) Sustainable Future?

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

MicroPlasticsJO Workshop - 2022

As the world grapples with the escalating problem of plastic pollution, recent studies have proven that children are often more connected to nature and more sensitive to environmental issues than any other age group. They possess a unique perspective on environmental issues, and a greater sense of responsibility towards protecting the environment. Capitalizing on these unique aptitudes, MicroPlasticsJO provides effective education about plastic pollution that is relevant and adapted to the local context and barriers faced by young people and their communities.

Empowering the youth in the battle against plastic pollution presents a unique opportunity to transform them into proactive advocates for change. By instilling values and behaviors that are respectful of the environment, they can grow into responsible citizens who are committed to creating a future more respectful of the living world. To achieve this, it is crucial to use a variety of teaching methods that are proven to be effective in engaging young people through environmental education.

Environmental education and misconceptions

First, it is fundamentally important to recognize that environmental education is often misunderstood and can be misused. While a growing number of institutions, particularly schools, have started incorporating a few hours of environmental education every year in their students' curriculum, the impact of sporadic environmental education activities is often limited. This approach can give a false sense of collective progress and can ultimately be counter-productive. Effective environmental education requires a learning process and the acquisition of new knowledge and notions that can only occur over time.

Connection through contextualization

Commencing with elementary notions of biology, physics, and economics, children as young as 6 years old can begin to develop a deeper understanding of the environmental challenges faced by society. However, it is crucial that these notions are connected to their personal experiences, as well as those of their family and community. In this regard, contextualization plays a vital role in facilitating effective learning.

Art education, a catalyst for change

Hands-on activities also serve as a critical component in cultivating the attention and interest of young learners. Through encouraging the manipulation of commonly overlooked materials, such as plastic waste, and transforming them into personalized art pieces, youth begin to alter their perceptions of waste. In this context, art education plays a pivotal role in environmental education, serving as a catalyst for action and driving change towards more sustainable practices. It is, therefore, the essential first step towards bridging the gap between reflection and action, in other words, between theory and practice.

MicroPlasticsJO’s unique approach

MicroPlasticsJO's distinctive approach aligns with the prerequisites for effective environmental education. Our unique programs use a variety of teaching methods, including art education activities and group discussions, which have demonstrated great efficiency in engaging the youth. By addressing the root causes of environmental issues and promoting contextualized solutions, we help young people understand the importance of reducing plastic consumption and pollution. Our goal is to build a generation of environmentally responsible and empowered citizens committed to creating a more sustainable future.

MicroPlasticsJO Workshop - 2022

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