Learning: Innovative Education

The primary objective of current educational practice in Western countries is to produce students who are equipped with skills and competencies necessary to engage effectively with the labour market. Instead, education needs to teach creativity, innovation, and adaptability for a turbulent and uncertain future. Children should be spending more time outdoors with more hands-on learning. Universities need to produce eco-conscious problem solvers and critical thinkers, not simply efficient workers.

Go back to our full list of topics.

How can you make a difference?

  • Allow children to cook, clean, cut, sew, climb, explore, and ask questions. 
    • Encourage coordination and sharing of responsibility for educating children between those groups? home schooling expanded into/through the community. of course, ideally, that would be/need to be in tandem with drastic reduction in expectation/need in hours spent in labor market work.
  • Take kids outdoors in all seasons and kinds of weather, to let them explore nature in a child-led way (i.e., allow them opportunities to find what they are interested in, and allow time for them to explore it. Adults can bring suggestions and inspirations, but let kids be kids)
  • Lobby your local educational governing body to include environmental programming and significant outdoor time for children of all ages

Policy Suggestions

Local and MunicipalFederal & Provincial/State
Enforce minimum mandatory outdoor programs for kids at all school levels, children need to be outside for their mental, physical, and environmental healthShrink and reorganize higher education including limits on graduates and PhDs and recreation of polytechnic craft colleges with emphasis on practical, and traditional craft and engineering skills with high tech autonomous fabrication/additive manufacturing
Provide outdoor cultural, educational, and relational activities for people of all agesRequire publicly funded universities to have equitable gender and racial representation on governing Boards
Make knowledge free – open access knowledge portals through schools, libraries, universities, etc. to expand learning opportunities
Build community relationships and community-engaged / service-learning courses. This can provide an opportunity for students to learn from experiential experts, rather than academic experts (who often don’t have much relevant personal experience). Agriculture is a great example here – we can pay farmers who are willing to share their expertise with students through applied, experiential courses.
Redevelop elementary and secondary curriculum include:
a) Slow down, put into perspective and eventually quit “toxic teaching”, i.e. the teaching of toxic principles (e.g., growth at all costs, even at the cost of sending people to work when it’s unsafe, just to keep the GDP up)
b) Create curriculum that includes alternative pedagogical approaches (e.g.: child-led learning, with teachers-learners relationships being more mentorship-based)
c) Curriculum redevelopment that improves critical thinking, hands-on skills, ecological and community based morals, and resilience building

Allies, Related Resources, and E4A Publications

Change in Action

While not all of these projects direction involve E4A, they are great examples of diverse examples of socio-ecological change in action.

To suggest a change, edit, or update please contact us! You are also welcome to explore and comment on our collaborative Google Document where we share ideas and resources.