Words by Smiley Team
The connectivity of nature can seem just as magical as children’s stories. What’s more, learning about it is vital for young people to understand how to live sustainably. But teachers fear this is not happening.
It’s for this reason that environmental NGO Ocean Generation hopes to bring the ocean and its importance to classrooms across the UK.
"Young people, aged 24 years and under, account for over 40% of the world population, so their understanding of the Ocean is critical," said Richard Hill, the CEO of Ocean Generation.
"This next generation are our future leaders, and to protect one of the earth's most precious ecosystems, they must first understand its importance and fragility," he added.
With the help of household products company SC Johnson, the organisation is offering free, open-source educational resources through its Ocean Academy programme.
The learning materials will teach children about ways the ocean supports all life on Earth, how it helps produce oxygen, regulates carbon dioxide levels and supports the climate. It will also help pupils understand humanity’s impact on the ocean, and how to best protect it.
Ocean Generation will distribute the online lesson plans to more than 50,000 UK pupils in 2022. Additionally, 15,000 students will get in-person lessons across about 75 schools.
A survey commissioned by SC Johnson found that almost half of UK primary and secondary schoolteachers feel that pupils lack quality education around the environment and sustainability. While only a fifth of teachers believe the current curriculum is easily applicable in the classroom.
It follows a COP26 promise from the UK Department for Education that it would include more about climate change in the curriculum.
FUNDRAISE: To teach more children around the world about the value of our oceans, fundraise for Ocean Generation.