879 A p p e n d i x B Curricula for Environmental Education and Environmental Health Science Education in Primary and Secondary Schools Environmental education is defined as “an active process that increases awareness, knowledge, and skills that result in understanding, commitment, informed decisions, and constructive action that ensure stewardship of all interdependent parts of the earth’s environment” (North Carolina Environmental Education Plan, April 1995). Environmental education should begin early and continue through high school. Children who receive environmental education may be able to prevent environmental exposures through personal health choices and through community involvement. As adults, these children should be well prepared to participate in the political process as informed and environmentally literate citizens. A number of excellent environmental education curricula have been developed. The development and selection of environmental education materials is based on the Environmental Education Materials: Guidelines for Excellence published in 1996 and revised in 2004. More than 1000 practitioners and scholars developed the Guidelines through a critique and consensus process (http://www.naaee.org/programs-and-initiatives/guidelines-for-excellence/ materials-guidelines/materials-guidelines). Environmental health science education has been an emerging area of study and curriculum development since the mid 1990s. Within the school system, environmental health can play a valuable role in bridging the gap between tradi- tional environmental education and health education. Too often, students see
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