In their report to the government in 2020, the members of the Citizens’ Climate Agreement were not wrong. Among their suggestions as evidence: Amending the Education Law to mainstream environmental and sustainable development education (EEDD) In the French school model. Our enlightened compatriots, like all those who have looked at it before them, have discovered what is inconvenient: in France we always talk more about the environment, but we do not know much about it.
The idea, however, is not new. She is even in her fifties. “We find it from the 1970s in trade union circles and political environment movements”, Sociologist Marie-Jacques, author of a thesis on environmental education in France and lecturer at Aix-Marseille University (UAM) testify. At that time, it first passed through the innovative practices of popular education, and through committed pioneering projects, such as the legendary Nature magazine holotEstablished in 1972, it has awakened generations of citizens to the art of understanding and loving the living.
The public authorities themselves will take up this issue, at least in the rhetoric. In its institutional dimension, the idea emerged during the first major international conferences on the environment, Mary Jack notes. We find it in Stockholm in 1972, at the United Nations Conference on the Environment, and then at the International Symposium on Environmental Education in Belgrade in 1975.. In France, a circular for environmental education was issued in 1977.
The problem: civic education will never activate it. Admittedly, a few years ago, we were turbulent. In 2013, the School Reform Act introduced it into the Education Act, and the “E3D” poster (such as School institutions in the process of sustainable development). Recently, in 2019, the mode of “environmental delegates” in the class was invented … but neither the means nor the course hours were followed. Above all, programs continue to dispense with the primary tool for understanding the environment: science.
“I don’t see any scientific ambition in the elementary school”despair of biologist and professor at the National Museum of Natural History, Marc-Andre Silos, is a major activist for promoting life, earth and environmental sciences at school. “Teachers, being pushed into literature and weaned from science during their training, are no longer equipped to even talk about trees in their schoolyard.”. In high school, the situation, he says, is equally worrying. “We’re sending the environment here and there, in geography, or in SVT or in environmental science, at the expense of really systematic vision.”
In short, ideological bias prevailed over the scientific approach. “Today we remain in a highly ethical environmental education, dominated by Ademe creeds [l’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie, ndlr]Researcher Marie-Jacques (UAM) analyzes it. Water and waste treatment and the electrification of the economy: Young people learn management thinking and ideologies of environmental citizenship and sustainable development.
This observation is all the more bitter in that the current crises – health, climate, biodiversity, etc. – require powerful scientific tools. “Previous generations have made mistakes regarding the problem of methodology. Providing younger generations with the tools to do better is an absolute emergency!Marc Andre Silos thundered.
“Training in scientific ecology has a double benefit, François Derou, director of the Les Petits Débrouillards Association for Scientific Discovery, which supports nearly 700,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 25 in France each year, adds: Be aware of the gravity of the situation and be able to participate in it. Just to get over the concerns… and the solutions that go along with them.” Like Marc-Andre Silos, François Dereux advocates a science that will be an integral part of culture, just like sports or theatre. And science as a dynamic situation throughout life, the only way, according to them, to continue to understand and act in accordance with what surrounds us: “Knowledge changes every six months, and so do the solutions.”notes François Dereau.
While waiting for school to start, all is not lost: The Therapeutic Session in Scientific Ecology is now accessible to all. For kids, teens, and adults, places and options abound. The show has grown and diversifiedexcited by Marc-Andre Silos: Let’s quote, Bell-Mel, Permanent Centers for Environmental Initiatives (nearly 80 today in France)botanical gardens, multi-age universities and their conferencesthese the general public, natural communities or of course natural history museums.” Not to forget the “Great Historical Societies” like the LPO (which claim that 500,000 people are educated annually in the environmental education) or Le Frene (formerly Réseau École et Nature). Finally, there is the media that matters “Excellent Famous”: Mathieu Vidard on France Inter (“the Earth squared”), Jamy Gourmaud on France TV, etc.
Another piece of good news is about democratizing a virtuous practice: citizen science. “The approach is not new per se. At the museum, our first program is called Stoc (time tracking for common birds), It dates back to 1989, Emphasizes Natalie Machon, professor of urban ecology and scientific director of the Participatory Science Programs on Plants at MNHN. What’s new, on the other hand, is that we are now addressing the general public, and that it sticks in great numbers.” A symbol of this success, popular bird-counting weekends bring together more and more people: more than 17,000 participating gardens in January, and more than 4,000 in May. As for Tela Botanica, the network of French-speaking botanists, it now has nearly 60,000 members…
With the help of the digital tool (applications and platforms) and with the awareness of the scientists themselves, “who have learned to finally get out in their comfortable laboratories”The approach connects participants to science and their environment. So The savages of my streeta participatory census program of urban plants launched by the Museum in 2011.It’s a huge hit, especially when it’s taken up by local relays, Witness Natalie Machon. In Blois, for example, almost the entire city was stripped! “. “As long as we care about him, conclude, People’s appetite for discovering the living is evident.”