Lanu - Normale Ansicht

Why? Just because! Environmental ethics for children

Development and testing of philosophical methods for environmental education in children

Target group

The project is aimed at children of pre-school and primary school age and their carers (Educators, teachers, religious leaders and also parents).


Questions like this are discussed with the children in the project:

  • Is it dirty, when leaves lie on the ground?
  • Can nature be dirty?
  • What is dirt, what is rubbish?
  • What do you do with your rubbish?

The aim of the environmental ethics project
The project aims to couple the methods of philosophising with children with classical approaches to environmental education. The project can be viewed as part of the UN Decade “Education for Sustainable development 2005-2014”. By coupling the methods of philosophising with children with classical approaches to environmental education, the children (and their supervisors) are encouraged to ask questions about environmental issues and think independently. They should think about ecological, economic and social relationships and recognise the consequences arising from their own actions and behaviour as consumers. That means not only the facts are communicated, but also the ethical basis for associated behaviour is included in a child friendly way.

“Environmentally aware” behaviour is not prescribed, but the children (and their teachers) are encouraged to think about why it is sensible.


The project “Why? - Just Because!” was recognised as an official project within the UN - Decade for Education and Sustainable Development.

Project partners:

The project is supported by the German National Environment Foundation, and run by the Saxony State Foundation for Nature and the Environment in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research(, in particular the Kids’ Environment Bus,, the Amöba Association for Environmental Education ( and the Moritzburg Protestant College.

Project timing:

The project will run for 3 years (09/08/2011 - 08/08/2014).

Project partners:



Anna-Katharina Klauer

Sächsische Landesstiftung Natur und Umwelt, Akademie
Büro Leipzig
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig

+49 (0)341 235 36 30
+49 (0)341 - 235 36 29