TEACHING WITH THE EARTH CHARTER
Schools and educators around the world have incorporated the Earth Charter into their teaching and have generated a number of lesson plans, activities and entire curricula around the various principles. In fact, if you remember from an earlier module, the National Peace Academy’s entire framework for peacebuilding and peacelearning is built around the idea of right relationships expressed in the Earth charter: “…peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.”
This page introduces you to a number of Earth Charter teaching resources for the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education, in addition to resources for teaching in nonformal settings. Read the Guide for Using the Earth Charter in Education and then choose at least one of the other resources to review.
Guide for Using the Earth Charter in Education (all levels)
“This Guide provides basic information on how to use the Earth Charter in educational settings. It will be especially helpful to educators who are working in the fields of environmental education, education for sustainable development, human rights education, human ecology education, peace education, humane education, social education and allied areas.”
Teaching a Sustainable Lifestyle with the Earth Charter (primary & secondary levels)
“This current Guideline is geared toward teachers of primary education, especially for the Second Cycle of Basic General Education. It uses the Earth Charter as an educational tool and incorporates its values and principles of creating a more just and sustainable world. It offers various techniques and activities for teachers to put the crosscutting theme “Environmental Culture for Sustainable Development” into practice.
“Furthermore, this Guideline attempts to promote educational programs which will drive the formation of attitudes, aptitudes and behaviors based on a respect for nature, human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace.”
The Earth Charter in Action at the University of Georgia, Athens (tertiary level)
“During the Spring 2011 semester, 19 University of Georgia students signed up for a 3-hour credit Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) course, Costa Rican Culture and Ecology. The course met once per week for two hours during the semester in Athens, Georgia, and included a 9-day field experience immersion in Costa Rica over Spring Break. The students kept journals throughout the semester, reflecting on their readings and guest presentations, and they made daily entries reflecting on their many experiences while in Costa Rica.
“They read the book, Earth Charter in Action, and their final project assignment was to write a brief paper about an example of the Earth Charter in action at the University of Georgia. Each student was given one Earth Charter principle to serve as the focus of their paper. Two of the students, Amanda Lee and Maria Kelly, took the course for Honors credit and had the task of assembling all of the final, edited papers into one document which they have presented here.”
“Our goal for Earth Scouts is to support families evolving their own sustainable lifestyles, by bringing you activities, stories of successful community service dreamed up and carried out by youth, group process tips, explanations of the Earth Charter, and the experiences of other Earth Scout Communities. Our definition of family for this book is broad: loving people who join together in the hard and important work of raising children. Living by the principles in the Earth Charter, and trying to be a caring and responsible member of our Global Human Family requires creativity and a supportive community. We hope you find tools and ideas for both in the pages of this book.”
Click here to view all the Earth Charter educational resources.
Reflection Question: The Guide for Using the Earth Charter in Education outlines ten themes and eight educational goals that are emphasized in the charter. Think about the educational contexts in which you work, have worked, or will be working. If you were to integrate elements of the Earth Charter into that context what educational theme would you choose and what educational goal would you pair it with? Why?