Schools: The Seedbeds of Society

“I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.” -Socrates

Q&A:

1. How can we ensure that we raise lifelong learners in an educational system and a world that have grown so unsustainable is so many ways?

Make schools humane places that instill curiosity, wonder, creativity and confidence in our children. They are the little seeds who grow up to form the landscape of society itself. Healthy, nurturing relationships between people and place are the nucleus of healthy, sustainable communities.

2. Going beyond the basic definition of sustainability, we must ask ourselves: Who and what are we sustaining? And, who and what sustains us?

The concept of sustainability permeates every area of our lives. It is a constant exchange of energy between inner and outer resources, reflecting the connection between the individual and the rest of the world - the part and the whole. Nurturing an awareness of this, as well as our nature as human beings and our interdependent relationship with the natural world, must be foundational to all learning.

3. Why should schools integrate principles of sustainability, when they are so overextended, overwhelmed and stretched so thin they can barely manage to teach all that is required?

It is for exactly these reasons that this subject should be thought of as essential. The lessons of sustainability apply to school as much to community. School is the core of society. What we sow in our children we will reap in our future.

4. What if we lived in a society that gave priority to making sure its youngest citizens were getting their inner and outer needs for sustenance met?

Schools would grow into a microcosmic model for a sustainable world. We cannot talk about sustainability of life on this planet without also talking about how we educate our children.

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© 2017 Wendy Beth Rosen