Forty-seven states are in the stages of developing "environmental literacy plans," which could help student engagement and achievement.
In the article, I don't think Rep. John Sarbanes could have said it any better:
"Getting their hands dirty has the greatest impact,” Sarbanes says. “It just gets them excited and engaged.” Sarbanes and other advocates say that student excitement spills over into other areas of academics and helps kids perform better across the board."I couldn't agree more. One of the best lessons I ever taught was an on-the-spot first grade math lesson in which we went to the playground and identified each and every 3-D shape we could find. We walked around the entire school building while the kids drew, and then described in written words, what made the object a sphere or cube or whichever shape it was. Then they put the "scientific documentation" in a project journal. And I'm proud to say that each and every child mastered the skill on their test.
So, yes..I'm extremely passionate about this. Is this new piece of legislation the ultimate answer? Of course not! But it seems like a step in the right direction. And once we can get the transition made to not only teach "green", hopefully the actual classroom will shift. I would love nothing more than to hear that my son spent half of his school day outside, where he learned science, and participated in reading groups on the hill side, and wrote using his notepad on the side of the playground - knowing that was what was needed of him at that moment, and knowing that once he put forth that necessary effort, then he could run and skip and scream to his heart's content.
Oh and have I mentioned how beneficial this shift could be to the growing epidemic of overweight and obese children? Am I crazy, or am I on to something here?