Last year’s flood in Venice was a catalyst for Italy standing for change. A recent law passed in Italy requiring public school systems to incorporate climate change into the curriculum. Starting in September 2020, educators must cover the topic for a span of 33 hours over the school year.
Italy’s Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti told Reuters, “I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”
With young activists, like Greta Thunberg, exercising their voice against society’s impact on the environment, this proves how powerful we are in making change happen. This new addition will further prepare and inform children on how to approach changes that come. Climate change and sustainability topics will be added to subjects already covered such as geology, history, physics, etc…
“There will be more attention to climate change when teaching those traditional subjects,” Fioramonti mentioned to CNN.
Supportive of strikes and taking a progressive stance, Fioramonti has faced criticism from fellow Italians. However, this small step is already leaving a major impact. For example, New Zealand recently stepped into the climate curriculum game.
Following the children’s voices, James Shaw, New Zealand’s climate change minister told the Guardian, “One of the pieces of feedback we’ve got from teachers around the country is that they’re really crying out for something like this because kids are already in the conversation about climate change.”
Conversation plays a large role in just about any change we push for. At a certain point, we must walk the walk. With that being said, the new curriculum will go beyond teaching climate-related information. It’s not enough to talk about the bad news without putting forth action. Schools are implementing hands-on problem solving to be put to use such as creating edible gardens. With two countries in the lead, it’s certain others will take notice.
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