Developing and coordinating a school policy for environmental education
Curriculum planning, at least in my own school, seems to be in a state of constant change. My present concerns as the co-ordinator for Environmental Education are:
|• teacher priorities centre on core and foundation subjects (of the National Curriculum) |
|• cross-curricular themes are of secondary importance |
|• attainment targets are too prescriptive and are being translated too literally |
|• trends towards subject teaching are being reinforced and, therefore in future, themes may not be properly integrated |
|• the increasing number of attainment targets ‘to get through’ put staff under pressure |
|• pressures of time limit opportunities for first hand investigation and increase reliance on secondary sources |
|• not enough emphasis…on developing attitudes and values of responsibility (to the environment) |
|• implementation of environmental policy too dependent on the enthusiasm of one or two members of staff |
|• ‘chasing up’ already overworked subject specialists. |
Such was part of the content of a letter from a member of the NAEE seeking help with implementing a policy of environmental education in her school, in this case a large primary school in an area of the country with good local support for environmental education. The fact that she starts from a position of being in charge of environmental education in the school is an indication of the responsible way this curriculum area is being tackled by the school management. As a result her colleagues will recognize they have an obligation to cooperate with her attempts to implement environmental education within the whole curriculum of her school.
She is in a strong position compared with another correspondent realistically assessing the mood of teachers on his staff.