That’s precisely what their whole school approach to learning in New Zealand has been doing since the late 90s and now the Enviroschools’ network has really caught on and has expanded to one quarter of all schools in the country. It’s also being adopted in other countries including Chile, Singapore and Brunei.
Schools become places where kaupapa is alive. This Maori word has no direct English equivalent, but “foundations, principles, elements, themes and ground rules” comes the closest in meaning. The kaupapa of Enviroschools involves empowering young people to investigate, explore ideas, make decisions, take action and reflect on the changes they have created. It's all about respecting the whole eco-system. Their real-life learning makes them aware of the fact that all communities are made up of people, plants, animals as well as the entire landscape in which everything lives.
Enviroschools work with trained facilitators who guide them on their sustainable journey. They create valuable links with other programs and relevant experts in the community. Sharing knowledge is an essential part of the Enviroschools' process. At the core is their Action Learning Cycle.
New Zealand has shown the world that schools can be places not only for sustainable learning and sustainable living, but also for sustainable “being.”