Gifted & Green. Sustainability/Environmental Science Investigations That Promote Gifted Children’s Learning

Schroth, Helfer, 2017

Environmental studies provide an ideal opportunity for gifted children of any age to build critical and creative-thinking skills while also building skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas. Exploring issues related to sustainability and environmental concerns permits gifted learners to identify problems, develop research questions, gather and analyze data, develop possible solutions, and disseminate this information to others. Green issues are especially appealing to gifted learners as they are sensitive to the world around them and often long to engage in projects that touch on issues facing their communities. Although the relevance to STEM subjects is clear, green investigations can also build skills across the content areas, in diverse subjects such as English/language arts, social studies, music, and art.

Many who are about to embark on an exploration of sustainability and environmental issues have certain questions. How can I integrate sustainability and environmental issues into my curriculum? What learning and content standards support sustainability education? Can I explore environmental issues with gifted children at any age level? Are there resources that can assist me in adapting a green curriculum? Happily, there are a variety of ways to integrate sustainability education concepts at any level of the K-12 curriculum. The article by Schroth and Helfer (2017) published in the Gifted Child Today summarizes the topic in a practical and insightful way, encouraging all of us to take action towards sustainability issues.