Ontario Putting Environmental Education Back Into The Curriculum

    Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders To Tackle Environmental Issues

    TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - By January 2008, all Ontario students will be
learning more about the environment in the classroom, Education Minister
Kathleen Wynne announced today following receipt of the report from the
Curriculum Council and the Working Group on Environmental Education.
    "We need to prepare tomorrow's leaders to tackle environmental issues,"
said Wynne. "That's why we're giving them better environmental education at
every grade level."
    "I'm pleased that the government is acting immediately on our group's
recommendations," said scientist and astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar, chair of
the Working Group on Environmental Education. "Ontario is taking important
steps to help more students understand that their local actions affect the
global community today and for generations to come."
    The McGuinty government is implementing the recommendations of the
Curriculum Council to give students more environmental knowledge and give
teachers the resources to build that knowledge. To do this, the government is:
    -  Integrating environmental education into all subjects in all grades
    -  Developing a new optional Grade 11 course focussed on environmental
    -  Increasing experiential learning opportunities for students
    -  Creating and publishing an environmental education policy by the fall
       to ensure high quality and relevant learning
    -  Establishing environmental education standards to be applied to
       current and future reviews of curriculum
    -  Working more closely with community partners and other government
       ministries to enhance environmental education
    -  Providing training and resource guides to teachers.

    The working group's report, Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future, is
available on the ministry website at
    "It is vital to the future of our great province, that our next
generation of community leaders and global citizens has a strong understanding
of the environment, climate change and the importance of conservation," said
Environment Minister Laurel Broten. "Students in particular, are demanding
more knowledge, better alternatives and concrete actions. They also want to
help make a difference."
    "Students, teachers, our community and our planet will benefit from these
changes that this government is making to the Ontario curriculum," said Dennis
Thiessen, chair of the Curriculum Council. "This collaboration of education
and community partners was a success. I look forward to the next opportunity
to advise the minister on how to improve education so more students can
    Today's announcement is another example of how the McGuinty government is
working with education and community partners to inspire students to fight
climate change and become environmentally responsible citizens. Other recent
initiatives include:
    -  Supporting and expanding the capacity of community organizations,
       including EcoSchools and Evergreen, that work with students on
       environmental issues
    -  As part of the government's Student Success Strategy, high schools
       will be offering a new environment major that allows students to focus
       on a future environmental career by completing a bundle of classroom
       courses, workplace experiences and industry certifications
    -  Launching two websites - www.obviously.ca for secondary students and
       www.ontario.ca/ezone for elementary students - that explain the
       challenges facing our planet and how to take action to protect the
    -  Holding a Clean Air and Climate Change artwork and essay contest for
       students that received almost 3,500 submissions.

    "We are growing a new generation of environmental leaders in our schools
who will help us build a strong Ontario for many generations to come," added

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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