Essentially, Green Street supports programs that actively engage young people to protect the environment. For its second phase (2005-2010), Green Street has broadened the themes of its programs to include broader issues related to the environment and sustainability. The program remains an environmental education initiative with perspectives on related sustainability issues.
The mission of Green Street is to actively encourage elementary and secondary school students to engage in environmental protection and in building a better world on a permanent basis . This is achieved through programs and activities that enable students to learn about the environment, practice environmental management and take appropriate action.
The following benchmarks were developed in collaboration with the Green Street team. We believe that by achieving these criteria of excellence, Green Street programs will encourage young people to work for a more sustainable future not only during the program, but also afterwards.
Education staff, as an evaluation list to ensure that the Green Street Program it has chosen meets the most demanding standards;
Education administrator at the local, regional and provincial levels to assess the quality of environmental education programs for possible inclusion in their list of recommended resources;
Providers as a guide to improve their programs as an evaluation scale to develop rigorous evaluation tools as a reference for developing new environmental education programs;
External advisors and evaluators, who will measure the quality and results of the program;
Investors to evaluate the quality and level of excellence of environmental education programs when they are decided to support them;
Environmental Education Sector, a wide selection of benchmarks for environmental education in Canada.
The standards fall into three main categories: themes, curriculum design and content, and pedagogy as such or the practice of environmental education. A program that succeeds in bringing together all of the following benchmarks, or at least most of them, actively engages youth in environmental protection on a permanent basis. All Green Street programs depend on these criteria.
AT. Current topics of interest
To broaden its themes of interest, the Green Street program was inspired by the International Implementation Program of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO 2005, and the main concerns of young Canadians For sustainable development, as revealed by the 2002 United Nations Association of Canada’s “Mapping the Mind Maze” survey.
Initial themes of the Green Street program, namely biodiversity, climate change, ecosystems, energy and water, were expanded to include the following:
Biodiversity, the diversity of life on earth and the natural patterns it forms, creates the web of life of which we are an integral part and on which we depend. The human impact threatens the different species and all the living beings that depend on the interaction between the forms of life.
The adverse consequences of climate change are affecting the entire planet. In order to limit the deterioration of the atmosphere, awareness and action at all levels, from the individual to the international level, are required.
The interaction of the individual components of any ecosystem has a greater effect than the sum of its parts. All aspects of society and the economy depend on ecosystems and their functions.
The majority of the world’s population relies on cheap fossil fuels to heat homes, operate transport systems and operate the economy. Meanwhile, many of the world’s inhabitants do not have the luxury of simple electric lighting. The two ends of this spectrum of energy use are straining the ability of the environment to deal with the consequences of human consumption of energy.
Freshwater is an essential component of ecosystems and an essential resource for humans. Awareness and management of this natural element are critical to the environment and development.
Lifestyles and sustainable consumption
Sustainable living and working habits are needed to overcome poverty and protect the natural resource base for all forms of life.
Food and Agriculture
A healthy environment provides humans with the food they need to maintain healthy populations. Current practices and dependencies threaten this capacity, and sustainable food production must be achieved without compromising other environmental functions.
Peace and Human Rights
Competencies and values for peacekeeping and respect for human rights make it possible to live with dignity and to avoid situations of insecurity and conflict that hinder sustainable development.
Human health and the environment
Healthy people need good health and a healthy environment; Two important conditions for sustainable development.
Governance and Citizenship
The full participation of citizens in decision-making, as part of transparent governance structures and processes, creates the ideal context for addressing the challenges of sustainable development.
Sustainable Urbanization and Transport
If cities threaten sustainability, they also offer opportunities to address the challenges facing urban and rural citizens. As more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, many social, economic and environmental challenges will be met in cities.
Indigenous and local knowledge
Local and indigenous knowledge, including language, naming and classifying systems, resource use practices, rituals, spirituality and the worldview, is an important resource for the development of sustainable practices.
B. Program design and content
The Green Street criteria are based on our current understanding of the most effective ways of learning. They are used to select and evaluate program providers who may have Green Street support.
To support Green Street, programs must have specific goals and objectives that are clearly articulated and reflected in all of their components.
Based on meaningful, well-founded concepts.
Appropriate to the age, skills and skill level of participants.
Adapted to curriculum, community, culture and place.
Organized in such a way that the new learning is based on the knowledge already acquired.
Students have the opportunity to practice their abilities and critical thinking skills (formulation of assumptions, collection, data organization and evaluation, deduction, analysis and problem solving, and study of controversial problems).
Acquisition of skills for safe learning.
Promote greater awareness and appreciation of the environment, cultures and opinions of others.
Include an ethic of protection, consensus-seeking and responable citizen action.
Supporting personal and societal capacity to act to ensure sustainability.
C. Educational methods
Strictness, critical thinking, learning through action, self-expression and authenticity are seen as essential to achieving high levels of student engagement.
Educational methods to support this goal are:
1. Consider the diversity of learners
The activities involve a range of modes of learning that address both cognitive and emotional functions.
2. Open Learning
Students have the opportunity to explore topics and are encouraged to do so.
3. Student-led learning
Group and cooperative learning strategies.
4. Experiential Learning
Concrete experiences help to develop and deepen the links with the environment and encourage the birth of a personal affinity, an emotional relationship with the land and other species. Out-of-school learning is part of the program or is encouraged as a complementary activity, where appropriate.
5. Link with the world outside the classroom
Learning activities are in the context of the real world.
6. Case Studies
References and local relevant cases are used as promote the assimilation of concepts. Case studies and scenarios are presented with a range of possible solutions.
7. Integrated Learning
Concepts and problems are studied in their social, political, economic, ethical and ecological contexts, and the fabric of dynamic and complex relationships is examined in the light of each of these systems.
8. Control Elements
Students have the opportunity to choose the elements of the curriculum content and the medium with which they want to work.
9. Service / Action Learning
Opportunities are provided to put into practice capacities and strategies for action to protect the environment (planning, communication, group skills, teamwork, safety and leadership). The program offers opportunities for active citizenship by linking school curriculum to environmental action in and out of school, at home, in the neighborhood and in the community.
10. Values education methodology
Examination and clarification of personal and societal value systems, and exploration of a range of perspectives, beliefs, prejudices and assumptions.
11. Evaluation of Learning
Students actively demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Evaluation mechanisms / methods are used, including opportunities for reflection and self-evaluation.
12. Learning materials
The materials are easily integrated into the curriculum. They provide education staff with clear guidance, general information and suggestions for adaptation. They are prepared taking into account all of the Green Street excellence criteria defined previously.
D. For a long-term impact
Promoting self-sufficiency and competence of education staff
Programs that encourage and strengthen the ability of education staff to integrate excellence criteria Green Street into the planning and delivery of its courses are more likely to continue when support is decreased.
Programs should promote awareness among education personnel of the principles of sustainability and the practice of these principles in their personal and professional lives.
The programs provide education staff with opportunities to extend student learning beyond the activities provided in the programs of the providers.
Programs that facilitate and foster strategic alliances contribute to the long-term sustainability of Green Street initiatives. When a portion of Green Street programming is adopted by the current school system, government agencies or local NGOs, the potential for long-term sustainability is increased.
Programs encourage the support or approval of schools or school boards.
Programs offer opportunities for sharing, extension and continuation (eg, informing / engaging peers and community members, follow-up, volunteer and mentoring programs, links to community action projects, Forums, camps, student institutes, support for environmental clubs, annual conferences and youth grants).
Programs link age groups so that students have multiple and coordinated learning opportunities through the cooperation of many organizations and agencies.
E. Marketing, Communication and Evaluation
Provide opportunities for students to be recognized and celebrated in the community.
Highlight the achievements of students as a means of raising awareness in the community.
Provide educational staff with relevant links to resources, programs, organizations and individuals.