“The protection of the environment appeared as a problem of mankind only nowadays, respectively when man conquered the entire favorable to lifespace of the Earth.”
Now, wealth and energy resources have been affected to such an extent that some of them are rapidly depleted, and some essential conditions for human existence, such as water or air, are showing signs of poisoning. Therefor the future of mankind is being questioned, if, of course, no vigorous measures are taken to protect the planet. Man has understood that he is also part of nature, that the Earth and its resources are limited, that this planet functions as a system, and that disturbances produced in one place can have repercussions for an entire circuit, including man. Mankind, however, cannot give up the high paces of economic development. The way to achieve these rhythms, while maintaining a good quality of the environment, is to exploit it in such a way that it can be regenerated and preserved permanently.
The first environm
ental initiatives emerged about 200 years ago from the need to save endangered species. Over time, the reasons that required the protection of nature have diversified. Since the 1970s, there have been clear signs of the planet's disease: ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, water, air and soil pollution. People have begun to Understand the need to adopt a responsible behavior towards nature. However, human responsibility for environmental protection is both individual, but especially collective: nature protection involves collaboration and mutual support at the local, county, national and especially international levels.Proof that environmental protection is a priority for European Union countries is the fact that the basic treaty of the European Community (Article 2 of the Basic Principles section) stipulates that the role of the EU is to promote a high level of environmental protection and improvement. Preparing children as future citizens of the European Union has become a challenge.
The training of students with an ecological conscience and conduct becomes a very important requirement for any school and extracurricular educational approach.
Depending on the age of the students, but especially on the initial, prior level, differentiated pedagogical practices are applied. The involvement of young schoolchildren in the activities of knowledge, understanding of facts and phenomena from the near universe, in identifying and solving problems of pollution and environmental degradation, results in the formation of beliefs and skills of defense, conservation and development of the environment-condition civilized and healthy life. Based on cooperation and collaboration, the diversity of practical activities carried out with students ensures the assimilation of many rules of behavior that are basic elements in the formation of a European education of the people of tomorrow. Convinced that the formation of an ecological behavior in young schoolchildren is an important aspect of the instructive-educational activity and that it is achieved, both in school and outside it through extracurricular activities and close collaboration with family and local community, I will present some practical activities carried out for this purpose with my students.
Practical-applied activities performed by students
Over the years, the main activities carried out in order to train students in ecological behavior were predominantly practical and the impact was great on students, generating interest, highlighting students' creativity, involvement, team spirit, competitiveness. Ecological educational activities, volunteering as well as selective waste collection activities were carried out, as well as educational activities regarding ecology and environmental protection.
On the occasion of "Earth Day", celebrated on April 22, we had an activity that consisted of: watching PPT materials and videos about how we should take care of the environment; making and distributing leaflets in the community; drawings and posters; I decorated bags with Eco messages that I donated to grocery stores in town.
In the "Forest Month" (March 15-April 15) we made together with the students an exhibition of thematic drawings, compositions and hikes. During these activities, students developed teamwork skills, communication skills and showed creativity, ingenuity and talent.
Within the ecological education project carried out every year in our school, "Nature, my friend", we carried out greening activities in which we collected garbage from the banks of the Someșriver, as well as from the school premises. Volunteer students from middle school classes, as well as the leading teachers were involved in this activity. Another activity within the project is the arrangement and maintenance of the "Green Corner" and all the green spaces in the school. The students, under the guidance of the teachers, planted flowers, dug and weeded the flower rounds.
This year I participated with my students in the World Wide Green Project - "Save Environment, Save Future".
All these activities, carried out in school are a way to acquire ecological knowledge and perceive and interpret the surrounding reality.They open wide possibilities to stimulate curiosity and interest in knowledge, educate children’s love for nature and its beauties.
In conclusion, we can say that ecological education targets different aspects of the development of the individual's personality. It aims to form the premises for understanding the effects of inappropriate behavior on the environment and, therefore, the attitude of environmental protection. The ultimate goal of environmental education for students is to form the basis of a thinking and attitude focused on promoting a natural environment conducive to life, to develop their spirit of responsibility to nature. Having all educational factors involved (school, family, community, media) in achieving these intentions, the child understands better the effects of inappropriate behavior on the environment.
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