The most widely accepted definition of environmental education (EE) was put forward in 1970 by UNESCO and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the first International Working Meeting on Environmental Education. It states:
"Environmental education is the process of recognizing values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relatedness among man [sic], his culture, and his biophysical surroundings. Environmental education also entails practice in decision-making and self-formulation of a code of behaviour about issues concerning environmental quality."
In the almost 35 years since, TCC has added to this definition by acknowledging the interconnectedness of an individual's environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being — these four pillars of sustainability are major themes that structure TCC's Environmental and Sustainability Education Program.
Through the program, TCC helps communities foster environmental and community stewardship and education. Key to achieving this objective is supporting community schools and their associated districts by encouraging and assisting teachers to integrate environmental and sustainability education into their respective K – 12 curricula. By guiding teachers through the development of environmental and sustainability learning curricula, we provide teachers not only with a road-map for success, but also with support at the administrative level and evidence that prescribed learning outcomes are being met.
The overarching goals of our Environmental and Sustainability Education Programs are to inspire, create, and promote conservation leadership while focusing on student engagement and achievement. Programming is led by the TCC Working Group of Community Outreach and Development.
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