Student Values

Submitted by Cheryl Werhner on Thu, 2017-07-13 00:00

When I think about how to get students invested in our ecosystem I think about all the times that I take them outside. Experiences in nature create a sense of value and passion by just being in nature. But...most students are influenced mostly by their home life and the values of their parents. I think it’s important to teach kids to think independently and be able to make their own decisions. If students are given the opportunity to appreciate our environment and be good stewards of this earth, I hope they will also see the value in socioecological systems that we have in place as our population continues to grow.


How do you get kids to connect to our ecosystem and see the value of how we manage our environment?



In response to the question, "How do you get kids to connect to our ecosystem and see the value of how we manage our environment?"

I feel like students will connect if their parents have taught them to value the ecosytem. I teach in Middleton and have noticed that a great deal of my students have a great appreciation and reverance for the ecosytem. Many of them enjoy spending time with their families and on their own in nature on activities ranging from fishing to camping and hiking. 

Helping kids to see the valuse in how we manage our environment is a much tougher task. The only way to truly help them connect and understand is through education. Educating students about this must be engaging and connect their natural interests with our ecosystem. Because many students are driven by technology, planning actitivties that encourage students to use technology to explore the ecosystem is a great way for them to make connections. We must help them to understand that management ensure continued use and enjoyment for everyone. This concept is much harder to teach. Let's all make sure we do our best to help educate our studetns.  

Pam Gibba's picture

I also work in Middleton (at the same school as Todd) and truly believe that our students do have a large amount of respect for our ecosystem. We have lots of "outdoorsy" families in our school's population. Many of our students have visited several areas discussed on this blog like Lake Lowell, Idaho City, and Eagle Island.

Beyond this, I have also noted that even at the particularly tricky middle school age, these students are open to hearing and learning new things about nature and the great outdoors. My first teaching assignment at Middleton included teaching 7th grade science. We learned about all kinds of living things and I made sure to give the osprey family that lived right outside my classroom window more than their 15 minutes of fame. The kids just ate up all the information they could find about ospreys. All it took was a little spark - the birds were literally right there and the kids could observe them all of the time!

I think that at the middle school age talking about management may be a little tougher. I wouldn't expect students to be enthralled by reading policies and regulations pertaining to the entire watershed. But I think that if a single subject that directly related to their sphere of knowledge and surroundings could be focused on, you could definitely grab their attention. And who knows, maybe they will have their own independent opinions and ideas about how to treat our ecosystem!