K. Environmental Education

A total $1 million has been allocated — but is as yet unspent — to develop an environmental curriculum for middle schools. Many districts already devote considerable class time to environmental issues, and there has been a proliferation of curriculum materials.

Several studies have documented that many texts emphasize environmental politics over ecology. For example, in his 1996 study of texts used by Wisconsin schools, environmental education expert Michael Sanera concluded: “Textbook treatment of environmental issues is influenced by an ideological view that presents human beings as evil and blames the United States in particular and Western industrial societies in general for every environment ill. … Weak science and misleading or incomplete information lead students to draw conclusions contested within the scientific community.” [37]

Given the importance of sound science to resource management, the best environmental curriculum consists of a thorough grounding in biology and chemistry.