Introduction

The fragility of the planet’s ecosystem is one issue of greatest concern to human health and well-being in the 21st Century. The depletion of the ozone layer, atmospheric warming, rainforest destruction, desertification and the accelerating loss of animal and plant species together with the growing deprivation of the world’s poor represent an unprecedented threat to the very future of life on this planet.

Translating this concern into an educational response is the challenge which has inspired Team Planet.

Team Planet seeks to contribute to the ideal of sustainable development through the provision of structured materials and activities for pupils at all levels of the primary/elementary school. Highlighting that our own lives are directly connected to and supported by the systems which govern life on Planet Earth, this programme seeks to facilitate attitudinal awareness and behavioural change which foster harmonious co-existence with the Earth, all her people and systems. The programme also seeks to facilitate an understanding of social justice, peace and development as prerequisites for such co-existence.

Hence, Team Planet explores and develops four key concepts:

  • Nurturing
  • Dependence
  • Interconnections
  • Sustainable Development.

Team Planet embraces the ideal of child-centred, activity-based learning by encouraging students to develop their awareness and understanding; to hold opinions and to take appropriate responsibility for the shape and direction of their own learning. The programme is designed to engage pupils’ hearts and minds in active processes of analysis, synthesis, debate and decision-making. It aims to promote an understanding of global environmental issues and develop a personal code of environmental ethics.

Team Planet offers teachers an avenue to addressing some of the vital issues we all face in the years ahead and helps pupils seek their own path towards a more harmonious relationship with the Earth and all her inhabitants.

We hope you enjoy using Team Planet as much as we have enjoyed developing it.

Kathleen Horgan
Limerick, Ireland
May 2011