According to Natural Step (a non-profit environmental education organization), solutions for our sustainability problems can only be provided after we address the root causes of these systemic challenges. In doing so, we must teach our community and children about the basic laws of human and natural systems and the critical truth about how all things are interdependent.
Taking into account Natural Step’s suggestion, and to address Hawaiʻi’s sustainability challenges, the Waltah the Worm Educational Program incorporates self-efficacy concepts and strategic science-based frameworks to teach our community and youth about natural law, the effects of our behavior, and how parts of a system are interdependent and behave in relation to the whole. According to research, effective education programs that lead to behavioral change include: 1) clear and solid plans (curriculum); 2) tools that enable usage of knowledge in personal situations; 3) learners are shown how to use that knowledge; 4) the information is presented in a variety of ways to address diverse learning styles; 5) comfortable learning environments are provided; and 6) varied learning methods are integrated.
Accordingly, our Waltah the Worm experiential learning program integrates all of these aspects through our high-tech (i.e.: TV shows, website, learning management system) and high-touch approaches (i.e.: Palaka Moon Farm Learning Center, activity books) that are rooted in systems-based STEM curriculum.