Italy Adds Climate Crisis To Core School Curriculum In Worldwide First

In a global first, the nation of Italy is planning to place climate science and the climate crisis front and center in schools by including it as part of the core curriculum, an effort that will educate younger generations and pave the way for change.

Young people around the world have stepped up to lead the fight against climate change by calling for action from governments, corporations and organizations. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg recently made her presence felt at the climate strike that culminated in a rousing speech at the United Nations in which she shamed world leaders for failing to act decisively to save our planet.

While immediate action is needed, other ways to combat the climate crisis is to make sure people are educated about it, and that all starts in primary and secondary education provided to children.

That’s why Italy took a major step this week to make sure every child in the country understands what the climate crisis is, why it exists, and what we can do to stop it.

Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti, a fierce advocate for green policies that have thus far culminated in a plastic tax that aims to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that are burying us and the environment, added the climate crisis to the core curriculum, guaranteeing that it will be taught in schools by teachers who will be trained by a panel of experts who will also show them how to incorporate sustainability in subjects such as geography, mathematics and physics.

“The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Fioramonti told The Guardian. “I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”

The New York Times reports that the panel of experts will feature some heavy hitters, including Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Harvard Institute for International Development, and Kate Raworth of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute.

Grade school students would learn about the environment through the use of stories from cultures around the world, and as they advance will learn more specific information about the natural world along with the United Nations 2030 plan for sustainable development.

Learning from a young age will ensure that future generations don’t learn the hard way about sustainability and the environment like current generations are just figuring out right now. Still, that doesn’t mean we should wait for these future generations to deal with the problem. Climate change must be addressed right now so that these future generations have a world to protect using their new education. The knowledge will mean nothing if there is nothing left for them but a desolate planet plagued by drought and heat and devoid of millions of animal species.

It is the responsibility of every adult to do something to stop this crisis so our kids won’t grow up learning that we destroyed the planet and their future instead of learning about how we saved it and how they can continue to preserve it for years to come.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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