By: Jocelyn Manacmol-Reyes
Master Teacher II
Mariveles National High School Poblacion

“What a privilege it is to be called upon to care for the Earth and the Sky.”
Indeed, this famous T’boli proverb gives a sense of pride to the human race for the reason that, among all the creatures, only man has been endowed with such great privilege.

Among men, it seems that science teachers were given a greater share of that privilege than the others because of the opportunity to educate and inculcate among the minds of their students the importance of caring for the Earth and furthermore to learn how to love and appreciate this only planet that harbors life.

Issue-based science teaching

A good way for the teachers to promote this advocacy  is by adopting a trend in methodology in teaching science- the Issue-Based Science Teaching. In issue-based science teaching, the social issues related to science are discussed in class. An issue is a topic of greater scope and magnitude such as pollution, the energy crisis, and ecological imbalance. Only when the students are aware of these issues can they be developed into responsible citizens with social values.
Here are some suggested environmental issues to be integrated in the curriculum:
•    Rapid deforestation
•    Preservation of national parks
•    Flood and droughts
•    Soil erosion
•    Use of chemical fertilizers
•    Real estate conversion of farmlands
•    Biologically dead rivers and lakes
•    Red tide
•    Waste disposal
•    Air pollution
•    Destruction of coral reefs
•    Ozone depletion
•    Global warming
•    Tsunami and tropical cyclones  
•    Earthquake readiness

Engaging students in environmental-related activities

To further deepen students’ appreciation of and concern for the mother Earth, aside from the adoption of the issue-based science teaching method, science teachers may also encourage students to:
•    Express their stand in some timely environmental issues, e.g., the operation of the Bataan Nuclear Plant, through debates
•    Support  and join environmental-oriented projects in school such as tree-planting, cleanliness drive, old newspaper and bottle collection for fund raising
•    Raise fund or donate materials to enrich library with books and the bulletin board with posted clippings about the state of the environment and how to improve it
•    Join field trips to places that will stimulate their interest in nature

Teaching by example

Since students learn better by example, teachers must practice what they preach. They must lead a clean and simple life, join environmental movements, support  environmentalist government officials and politicians. In other words, in the eyes of their students and the society, they must be role models in supporting the advocacy.

Teaching outside classroom

And finally, teachers may pass along information, not only to the students within the confines of the classroom but also to the family and friends,  about the environment and the need to be responsible for its improvement and preservation. After all, this would not just benefit those in existence today but the future generations as well.

By: Jocelyn Manacmol-Reyes

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