Whales in Lake Simcoe?
That's what a group of Grade 4s expected to see during a trip to an outdoor centre there last week.
"It shows how disconnected they are with nature," said teacher Jennifer Baron, who runs the Sibbald Point Outdoor Education centre on Lake Simcoe.
For most of the 7,000 York Region students who visit the centre, the five hours they spend with Baron in the woods isn't nearly enough to counteract an education system that has all but abandoned environmental content.
Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller has joined a growing chorus of teachers and environmentalists alarmed that Ontario is turning out a generation of ecological illiterates.
No, you fools, our children are ignorant of nature because their overprotective parents won't let them run around in the woods or fields by themselves for a bit because they might get attacked by a predator, human or animal.
What's more, they're being taught a whole load of rubbish about the great outdoors being as naturally pristine and antiseptic as a well-kept house. Clean and green isn't, and never was.
Let your kids run around the park with other kids unsupervised for a while. Let them discover the joys of the great outdoors without worrying about broken bones and creeping creatures, on two legs or four.
They'll manage just fine.
And they'll be able to tell a fish from a mammal.
Source: Toronto Star