“Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have?”–Jane Goodall.
Science has informed people throughout human existence. Knowledge of our living systems allowed humans to survive under the most challenging conditions.
Professor John Birdsell at UCLA taught us that the least formally educated on our planet held the most knowledge, those who lived in harmony with the land in West Africa. In 1969 he begged his students to teach children to live in harmony with the land. He foretold us of a likelihood that man would divest Earth of her resources and we who live a modern life would be perish as we depleted all of the resources that support modern life. Those who could live off the land would be the survivors, he predicted.
He had not even considered the possibility that the Earth herself might be doomed as our wanton neglect of her would change the very structure of her life support systems.
So we educators must wonder: How do we teach our children to prepare them for an unsure future? We have gone far beyond preparing them for jobs that may no longer be available. What if the planet no longer can support human life as we know it?
It’s time to pivot and include with our science education the goal of informing adults as well. It is no longer enough to dissect plants and learn about the water cycle. Our science education is crucial to life as we know it. And personal action is required if we are to survive the onslaught of pervasive science misinformation.
Our students must be both children and their parents. Our “Next Generation Science Standards” provide a blueprint for adults to learn about the interwoven natural world. As we educators create curriculum for our youth, we must share our knowledge beyond the four walls of our classrooms. Knowledge is power.
I believe that nature is a powerful tool to change the direction of the destruction of our planet. She is always present, always demonstrating her beauty and power.
if we share what we know about living systems, helping people to move out of their daily pain and problems, we can refocus people into looking for the beauty. The beauty of nature can become our path out of destruction of the planet.
If you are an educator or a parent, or just an interested adult or child, you hold power in your hands. Take a moment each day to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, and give gratitude for life-sustaining natural systems. Share this with others. Let people know you care.
Our personal connections with our planet and the people in it matter. We can turn this around! We must.
I invite you to share your story with me so together we can weave an ecosystem of caring in the present time in our nation! Let us be inspired to lead with our hearts.