My class has been studying how humans impact our environment. I have been impressed with the passion my 6th graders have show towards protecting our resources. They have been shocked to hear about how little concern industrialists had for the environment. As a culminating activity for the class I choose to show the film of the Dr. Seuss classic the Lorax. The book was written in 1971 as a reflection on the side effects of industrialization. The Lorax speaks for the trees when addressing the industrialist Once-ler, hoping to stop the waste and destruction of the natural resources. The Lorax pleas fall on greedy ears as the Once-ler’s sole concern is profits and “human good”. Only after the last tree is cut down does the Once-ler realize the faults of his ways. The damage had been done.
As I watched the film, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels to education today. Teachers are the Lorax, speaking for the students, hoping the Once-ler Education Reformers listen. The Once-lers are killing the natural joy students have for learning. Making schools focus on content instead of students needs. Saying reforms are for the good of society. Reformers fail to listen to the experts like the Once-ler didn’t listen to the Lorax until it was too late. I don’t want to see a generation hate education because reformers fail to listen. We need more Lorax to speak up on behalf of our students before it is too late.
I speak for the students and their joy for learning! Without FUN and Joy in learning we will fail to have an inspired generation.