Public schools in California now have state approved environmental curriculum for students starting in kindergarten through to grade 12.
Viewed as a landmark decision, California continues to lead the country in bringing environmental issues to the forefront of it’s population.
The Board of Education for the state of California signed off earlier this year on 76 sections of curriculum – part of California’s Education and the Environment Initiative – and they are expected to be available for teachers online shortly at no charge.
“This is another example of California leading the nation in environmental policy,” said Lindsay VanLaningham, deputy director of communications for the California Environmental Protection Agency. The K-12 curriculum is serving as a model, she said, and other states have requested information about California’s efforts.
While many schools already have environmental education, state officials said much of it is considered supplemental because lessons are not focused on state academic standards.
Using the environment as the context, the new curriculum teaches standards required in other subjects, such as social science, officials said. That way, it can better engage students but not create an additional lesson to fit into an already busy school day.
The curriculum ranges from lesson on food production for second-graders to studies on the role of government in economics from an environmental perspective for 12th graders.