Those who are interested in the world of education know very well that school curricula—that is, what a society deems its youngest members must learn and know—are always changing. These curricula can change in various ways.
Changing with the Times
Sometimes the changes are due to data that is updated based specifically on scientific and neurological research. That is the case, for example, when a decision is made to change the age at which students should learn multiplication or division. Sometimes the changes come about more within the framework of teaching because the research in that area has shown that we get better results when teaching this or that skill, like reading, by using one method rather than another.
Sometimes the changes are more political. They reflect a desire to teach certain topics in a different way. For example, that is the case in history where, today, for very obvious reasons, we teach about colonization through a different lens than we did 25 years ago.
Finally, curricula change to better reflect our present. That is why topics like globalization or the internet came to be part of what is taught in human geography or in math through teaching computer languages.
A Most Important Change
Amongst these ‘innovations’, there is a theme whose stakes and urgency have made a remarkable entry in curricula: climate change. An interdisciplinary subject if there ever was one, we can find traces of it everywhere: literature, science, geography, technology, etc. Schools have increased initiatives in order to put the future of the planet at the center of its concerns and to make the younger generations more aware of this scourge on which they can have a direct impact.
At The École, I would like to recognize the crucial work of one of our Pre-K teachers, Virginie Martin, on this topic. Her energy as well as the support and involvement of the parents are a pleasure to witness. But they also show us how much we can do through our small daily acts in order to do our bit and to give our students the example of a school that is concerned about the environment.
To highlight Earth Day, which was yesterday, Virginie wanted us to make a very small gesture on our level. We know very well that because of the pandemic we have let down our guard and that the individually packaged meals that we are serving represent too much plastic and waste. We are thinking about long term actions, and for that, I would like to give our staff’s Green Committee a say as well as our Student Council, who spoke with me on this topic when I met with them just before the spring break.
Be the Change
So, for the end of the school year, I would like to propose one action. Although it may be symbolic, it will help to (re)start this conversation. Going forward, please provide your child with silverware for lunch. This will allow us to avoid using the hundreds of plastic forks and knives that we are currently using.
Next year we will be able to continue to develop many other actions like this. Every gesture counts! Thank you in advance.