Along with Teach the Future, we’re calling for reform within the English education system to meet the challenges of the climate emergency and ecological crisis.
At Chester Zoo we believe that conservation action should be at the heart of our education system. Young people deserve opportunities to make a difference and have their voices heard on environmental issues, and they shouldn’t have to strike from school for this to happen. Conservation action can and should be supported in school as part of a balanced approach to education.
Every year we work with close to 200,000 young people and hundreds of schools across the North West of England and in Wales to develop different ways to empower young people to act for wildlife through their school based education. From educational workshops and providing teaching resources, through to term-long projects, teacher training and transforming whole school curricula, our education work is a core part of how we deliver our mission of preventing extinction. It is also a vital part of empowering young people in the present and preparing them for the future they face.
Our Head of Learning recently wrote an to our political leaders outlining why we think a conservation based education is so important:
“We believe education should connect children to nature, inspire them to take action for the environment, empower them to contribute as active citizens and enable them to be heard by society. An education that embeds wildlife conservation themes at its core does all this and enables schools to take an active role in society. “
Charlotte Smith, Head of Conservation Education & Engagement
And we’re not alone in believing that the ecological crisis we face can and should be addressed through education. Our friends at Teach the Future are campaigning for a complete review of how the English education system is preparing students for the climate emergency and ecological crisis. They’re calling for an English Climate Emergency Education Act and funds to be made available to support young people to take action for the planet, as well as more focus on ensuring our schools and educational buildings are built in an environmentally friendly way. You can read more about their campaign and the specific demands they are making here.