Learning Goes Green is a term that can refer to different initiatives and approaches to quality education for climate action. This means education that helps learners develop the knowledge, skills, and values to address the causes and consequences of climate change and to promote sustainable development.
Climate change is one of the most urgent and complex challenges of our time, requiring collective action and transformation at all levels of society. Education is a key driver of change. However, current education systems are often inadequate or misaligned with the needs and opportunities of the 21st century, failing to prepare learners for the green economy, the green society, and the green planet.
Some examples of best practices for Learning Goes Green are:
– Creating eco-friendly rules in a campus, such as turning off everything when not in use, using LED light bulbs, reducing, reusing, and recycling waste, controlling water usage, buying recyclable and eco products, using power bars, washing cups and plates instead of disposable utensils, and walking, biking or using public transport instead of a car.
– Incorporating green skills into the curriculum and pedagogy of all subjects and levels of education, using project-based learning, collaborative learning, experiential learning, or inquiry-based learning methods that encourage learners to apply their human skills in authentic contexts and situations.
– Using automation technologies as tools to enhance learning outcomes and experiences, not to replace human teachers or learners, using AI and automation to provide personalized feedback, adaptive learning paths, data-driven insights, or gamified elements that support learners’ motivation, engagement, and progress.
– Aligning education programs with the current and future labor market needs and trends, conducting regular labor market analysis, engaging with employers and industry partners, providing career guidance and counseling, or offering work-based learning opportunities that expose learners to real-world challenges and solutions.
– Implementing education for climate action, nurturing an understanding and awareness of the interconnections between social and environmental issues, as well as fostering a sense of agency and responsibility to take action.
– Developing green skills for technical and social transformation, including not only the technical skills needed for green jobs and low-carbon economies, but also the social skills needed for collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
– Reducing the environmental impact of education systems, reducing waste and emissions, and promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns.
– Enjoying the Earth and its natural resources, appreciating the beauty and diversity of nature, planting trees, eating healthy food, and engaging in outdoor activities.
– Organizing green projects or campaigns for college students that involve concrete actions toward the protection of the environment, such as tree planting, street cleaning, or other environment-themed activities.
The roles of the policymakers, educators, learners, and other stakeholders to embrace learning goes green are:
– Policymakers: Their role is to create and implement policies that support learning goes green, such as incorporating green skills into the curriculum and pedagogy of all subjects and levels of education, using automation technologies as tools to enhance learning outcomes and experiences, aligning education programs with the current and future labor market needs and trends, implementing education for climate action and climate justice, reducing the environmental impact of education systems, and providing incentives and resources for faculties to adopt green practices.
– Educators: Their role is to adopt and implement learning goes green in their classrooms, such as using sustainability as a theme or a lens to teach various subjects and skills, providing engaging content and hands-on activities that empower learners to take an active role in the sustainability movement, collaborating with colleagues, families, and caregivers to promote student success, fostering ongoing professional learning and development on green topics and practices, and modeling green values and actions for their students.
– Learners: They have a stake in education because they are the ones who receive the teaching and learning process from the educators. They also have the potential to become agents of change and transformation in their communities and society through their knowledge, skills, and values. Their role is to participate and engage in learning goes green in their classrooms, such as applying their human skills in authentic contexts and situations related to sustainability, using automation technologies as tools to enhance their learning outcomes and experiences, exploring opportunities for green careers and innovation, taking action and responsibility for climate action and climate justice, reducing their environmental impact and footprint, and enjoying the Earth and its natural resources.
– Other stakeholders: They have a stake in education because they are the ones who support, benefit from, or are affected by the teaching and learning process in schools and other educational institutions. They include parents, caregivers, families, community members, employers, industry partners, student support personnel, related-service providers, paraprofessionals, and others. Their role is to support and collaborate with learning goes green in educational institutions, such as providing feedback, resources, guidance, or opportunities for learners and educators, participating in green projects or campaigns initiated by schools or learners, advocating for green policies and practices at the local, national, or global level, and adopting green values and actions in their own lives.
– Member of the Academic Advising Committee at Cairo University (AAC member).
– Pesticide’s chemist and toxicologist, professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo university.