Education is, at the same time, product and instrument of social transformation of society where it is inserted. Therefore, educational systems are both agent and result of social change processes. Now if the rest of the social partners not acting in the direction of change is very unlikely that the education system to transform the complex network that sit in the socio-economic structures, relations of production and exchange, and consumption patterns In short, the development model established.
To understand what is environmental education, it should explain what is not. Environmental education is a field of study such as biology, chemistry, ecology and physics. It is a process. To many people, this is a concept that makes it difficult to understand. Lots of people talk or write about teaching environmental education. This can not be carried out. You can teach concepts on the topic, but environmental education.
The lack of consensus about what is environmental education can be a reason for such misunderstandings. Often, outdoor education, conservation education and nature study are all considered issues such as environmental education. At the same time, part of the problem is also due to the same term environmental education is a name not quite appropriate.
In fact, the term Education for Sustainable Development would be a more understandable term, as it indicates clearly the purpose of educational effort: education on sustainable development, which is actually the goal of environmental education.
This implies the need to include environmental education programs in the planning and overall policy, developed through effective social participation. Too often fall into the temptation of attractive actions, with a colorful staging and large mass movements that do not compromise too much or question the process that is carried. Environmental education should be integrated with management and not be used as a justification to the possible shortcomings of the latter.
To enable the aims of education for sustainable development, ie to improve all ecological relationships including same man and nature and man together, and generating awareness, interest, abilities, motivations and commitments the environment, environmental education should convey basic concepts such as: The challenge that we must consider today is to encourage the transition towards sustainability and equity, be aware that this transition requires profound economic, technological, social, political, well as educational.
A key purpose of education for sustainable development is to make both individuals and communities understand the complex nature of the environment resulting from the interaction of its different aspects: physical, biological, social, cultural, economic, among others, and acquire the knowledge, values and practical skills to participate responsibly and effectively in preventing and solving environmental problems in the management of environmental quality.
Environmental education is key to understanding the relationships between natural and social systems, and to get a clearer perception of the importance of sociocultural factors in the genesis of environmental problems.
The recent fact, the acquisition should boost awareness, values and behaviors that promote effective participation of the population in the decision making process. Environmental education in this sense can and should be a strategic factor that affects the development model established for reorientation towards sustainability and equity.
Environmental education for a sustainable and equitable society is a lifelong learning process, based on respect for all life forms. It is an education that affirms values and actions that contribute to human and social transformation and the preservation of natural resources and the environment.
Therefore, education for sustainable development, rather than limited to a particular aspect of the educational process should become a prime base to develop a new lifestyle. It should be an educational practice open to the social life for members of society to participate, according to their possibilities, and several complex task of improving relations between humanity and its environment.
It is written and spoken, rather than in the past, on the subject. That is progress. Environmental education has taken some significance in the development of society in recent years and is included in the school curricula but do not cross from one line as a new discipline.
In daily life, industries produced daily tons of pollutants that spread in the atmosphere or released as waste into the seas and rivers. Frantically consume disproportionate amounts of energy for production or for transport. Generate excess packaging waste. In establishments that sell or produce food is not due caution health care consumers. Constantly used materials derived from threatened species or environments (when they are no longer consciously extinct or destroyed). Overused pesticides on crops and are diluted in irrigation water. Scattered everywhere, especially in the streets and beaches, tons of rubbish have been littering the landscape and gradually deteriorating public health. We do not anticipate disasters, floods and other natural phenomena and exploit our valuable natural resources indiscriminately without realizing that they are not inexhaustible.
Deteriorating and we are poisoning our own systematic and collective living conditions and has not taken the emergency measures are needed: we have not had an environmental policy, we have an abundant but fragmented legislation, there are gaps in environmental information, there is excessive licensing requirements for pollution and insufficient efforts in schools and society to create a national consciousness to deal with global ecological suicide that we are persevering … beyond all the good words. What happens in Argentina is playing, less or greater importance, worldwide.
It is necessary to consider a change for the twenty-first century, a change involving a break in the current system to evolve towards a new society based on real sustainable development, not utopian. But through our compartmentalized view of the world, our selfishness technological, economic and commercial anthropocentric system dominant over the natural, inter-ethnic feuds, exacerbated consumerism and waste in some societies while others go through periods of hardship, never will discuss the process leading to a new paradigm of universal survival.
Only when we reflect that we are part of a global ecosystem where there are multiple bidirectional links, through which we act on the environment but also environmental conditions the same, we are predisposed to change, we will be in the way of rational action with the environment, we should be on a new paradigm needed for the XXI century, the paradigm of reconciliation of man with nature for survival together.