IVN Nature Education and NME Zeeland join forces for new curriculum ‘Sustainable school of the future’


IVN Nature Education and NME Zeeland will start joining forces this year to develop an innovative and integrated curriculum on sustainability in collaboration with and with financing from the Province of Zeeland. In this program, children between 8 and 12 years old learn about local and global sustainability themes.

The importance of sustainability education

Behind the scenes we are still working hard to set up the curriculum. The goal has been set for some time; take children into the world of sustainability. With interactive lessons we guide students in groups 6, 7 and 8 through the challenges we face as a society. This includes themes about biodiversity, climate & energy, circular economy and agriculture. A link with the sustainable global goals is of course not lacking in this series of lessons.

Debby Boers, project leader Child & Nature at IVN Nature Education Zeeland, says: “The focus of the program is on the systemic approach. We want children to understand that they are not all separate topics, but together they contribute to the bigger picture. In this way we teach them that small adjustments, such as showering to a maximum of one song by Emma Heesters, influence the climate and the immediate environment around them.”

“We are grateful that the Province of Zeeland is covering the start-up costs of the program and thus recognizes the importance of sustainability education for our youngest residents,” says Janneke Donkers, theme leader of Climate and Energy at NME Zeeland. “Fortunately, in terms of setting up the program, we don’t have to start from scratch. We already have a lot of offers on these themes from NME and IVN. The trick for us is mainly to interweave existing materials and new lessons to be set up in such a way that it becomes one whole.”

New lesson program – Photo: IVN Nature Education and NME Zeeland

Farmers and entrepreneurs of the future

The Province of Zeeland believes it is important to involve the youngest generations in these themes, because all these themes are an important key to a healthy and future-proof living environment. Deputy Arno Vael (climate, water, agriculture): “These children are the farmers and entrepreneurs of the future. Like no other, they will have to deal creatively with challenges in areas such as climate change and food security. Thanks to the integrated approach of the curriculum, children learn how the various sustainability themes are connected to each other: one cannot be seen separately from the other. This makes children aware of the impact of their choices and encourages them to make responsible and sustainable choices.”

Tangible lesson components

The teaching package is intended for upper primary school. Students are challenged to examine their school situation and come up with solutions or improvements with which they can make their school ‘the sustainable school of the future’. For example, they draw up a climate-adaptive plan for their school, conduct research into solutions for salinization in the neighborhood and conduct a heat experiment in the classroom. The lessons teach them how the various themes are related and how they can have a positive influence on the entire system. The classes can present the findings and advice at the end of the program to, for example, the school board or the municipal council.

Learning through playLearning through play
Learning through play – Photo: IVN and NME Zeeland

About IVN Nature Education and NME Zeeland

IVN Nature Education connects people and nature. We let young and old experience how fun, healthy and important nature is. We do this with nature activities, courses, projects and campaigns. Learning and doing yourself are always central. By letting young and old actively experience how fun, educational, healthy and important nature is, IVN wants to achieve a nature-conscious behavioral change. Our 170 professionals, more than 29,000 members and 162 volunteer departments throughout the Netherlands organize projects, campaigns, courses and many nature activities. Knowing more? Then visit www.ivn.nl.

NME Zeeland

NME Zeeland is the partnership between the five NME centers in Zeeland. NME Zeeland connects our youngest residents through education to green social tasks on the themes: litter and circularity, climate and energy, biodiversity, healthy food and mobility. Would you like to know more about the five NME centers in Zeeland? Then visit www.nmezeeland.nl

The article is in Dutch

Tags: IVN Nature Education NME Zeeland join forces curriculum Sustainable school future


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