The Hexagon Project
In completing this inquiry work, we increased our skill level and knowledge in the following areas:
- Awareness: Young people need to be aware of the challenges the planet faces and understand that environmental issues don't affect everyone equally. By teaching them about environmental justice, we can help them understand that the environment is not just about trees and animals, but also about people, communities, and fairness.
- Empathy: Learning about environmental justice can foster empathy in young people. It can help them appreciate the experiences and struggles of individuals and communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental issues, many times due to socioeconomic and racial factors.
- Education for Action: Knowledge is the first step to action. Once students are aware of the issues and feel empathy towards those affected, they are more likely to want to make a difference. Teaching about environmental justice can encourage students to get involved in their communities, advocate for fair policies, and think about how their own actions can contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future.
- Critical Thinking: Environmental justice is a complex issue that involves understanding interconnected systems including ecology, economics, politics, and social structures. Studying these complexities can help students develop critical thinking skills, and better prepare them to understand and address other complex issues in the future.
- Long-Term Sustainability: Young people are the future stewards of the planet. The more they understand about environmental justice now, the more equipped they will be to make sustainable and equitable decisions when they are the ones in charge.
- Inclusion: Finally, teaching environmental justice is a way of ensuring that all voices and experiences are included in the environmental narrative. It highlights the importance of diverse perspectives in solving global challenges.