A number of guiding principles for teaching the total human ecosystem were formulated by a curriculum development team at the Curriculum Development Center at Haifa University. These include:
Actual environmental problems confronting the learner have to serve as the starting point of the curriculum.
One specific environmental issue has to be presented as an inquiry study in depth, exemplifying the complex nature of the human ecosystem.
A system approach is to be used as a basis for understanding the human ecosystem.
The philosophical rationale of the curriculum is to be made explicit for teachers and students.
Opportunities for personal involvement and application of ecological knowledge are to be emphasized in the curricular material.
The curriculum has to be modular and suitable for flexible use by teachers according to the specific needs of their educational situations.
The “Man in Nature” project at Haifa University has implemented these principles in the following way: A number of topics were selected as components of the curriculum. Each topic was developed into a didactic unit. The various units serve as source materials for teachers’ choice. All units emphasize the system approach and include opportunities for application of knowledge. Teacher education accompanying the project stresses personal involvement and flexible use of the materials. Details of the project and a discussion of its implementation are presented in the paper.