Scope of Environmental Studies:
Environmental studies is an integrative subject because it covers all the features of the physical as well as the biological environment. Its relation with so many subjects and realms makes its scope wide. It can be applied in the following realms:
1. Natural Resource Sustentation and Environmental management :
- EVS helps in managing wildlife, forest, and natural resources.
- EVS also provides the solution to various problems like pollution and the decrease of natural resources.
- An environmental scientist is working for ecological balance, conservation of biodiversity, as well as protection and regulation of natural resources.
2. Scope of EVS in the industry:
Due to industrialization, our environment has been affected badly. So, to protect our environment from further degradation, there is a need to adopt an environmentally friendly process and technology. In this innovational field of technology, biotechnology has shown good promise. Biotechnology is helpful in other avenues of environmental science.
3. Scope in research and development: Various research projects and work are accepted in the field of environmental studies. Researchers are being done to control pollution to counter global warming, reduction of greenhouse gases and adoption of endless energy sources.
4. Scope in Human health and sanitation: For healthy and disease-free life, a pure and hygienic environment is a must so sanitation is necessary. So, the study of human health and sanitation is an important feature of environmental studies.
5. Scope of EVS in Social development: NGOs and media are making effort to unfurl different awareness issues like pollution, conservation, and awareness which results in making the masses aware of different aspects of the environment.
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Objectives of EVS teaching at the Primary level:
- To allow children to understand the importance of developing good habits and hygiene.
- Develops the skill of children to perform the task in an orderly manner.
- To make them understand simple graphs, maps, flowcharts, and statistical tables.
- To develop the interest of children in the study of nature and surroundings
- To develop creative, observational, and innovative qualities in a child.
Significance of EVS:
- Environmental studies are essential because they provide knowledge about the drinking water, food, air, etc for life.
- Environmental studies help to conserve the ecological balance by providing fundamental knowledge of environmental systems.
- Environmental studies provide necessary skills to raise the questions and too often obtain answers to some of the environmental problems our planet faces today.
- Environmental studies will make the child aware of the environment in the early stage to contribute to society in a worthwhile manner.
- Concepts from the EVS can be applied to agriculture and in a sustainable production system.
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Environmental Studies and Education :
Environment education is a process aimed at developing a world population that is aware and concerned about the environment and its associated problem and which has the knowledge, attitudes, commitments, and skills to work individually and collectively towards the solution of current problems and for prevention of new ones.
The objective of Environment Education:
- Develops the basic knowledge and understanding of the environment and its inter-relationship with man.
- Develops the skills to solve environmental problems.
- Develops the ability to evaluate environmental measures and education programs.
- Develop a sense of responsibility and urgency towards the environment to ensure appropriate actions to solve environmental problems.
- Develop awareness about the environment and its problems.
Environmental Education at Primary Level:
Environmental education at the primary level is as follows:
- The main objective at this stage is to foster inquisitiveness about the world and engage the child in explorative and hands-on activities that lead to the development of basic cognitive and psychomotor skills through language, observation, recording, distinction, classification, conclusion, drawing, illustration, design and fiction, estimation and measurement.
- The atmosphere of the classroom should not stress the child to perform, but allow learning to take place at an individual rate and permit free interaction among children and the teacher.
- EVS provides a child with enough opportunities for exploration of the environment, interacting with it and talking about the environment.
- The curriculum of EVS helps a child to interiorize the values of cleanliness, honesty, cooperation, and concern for life and the environment.
As stated by the National Curriculum Framework (2005), “Environmental studies for primary class should be a subject, which combines and circumscribes the concepts and theories from science, social science, and environment”. Environmental studies are not taught at a very primary level (classes I and II) but the concept which is important to know at that stage of life is taught through language, mathematics, and poems.
The national curriculum framework (2005) suggested that in environmental studies at the primary level there should be no place for definitions, facts, and meagre information. Children should be provided with opportunities to express, learn by doing, asking questions, and experiment. The language to be used in the book should not be formal, but it should be such that children can understand it easily.
EVS books should contain chapters made out of real-life incidents, everyday challenges, and present-day issues related to petrol, fuel water, forest, protection of animals, pollution, etc. The books on EVS should provide children’s opportunities to debate, engage, and develop a sensitive understanding of these topics.
The syllabus of EVS has been divided into six themes to introduce every aspect of learning which is considered important for the child at the primary level.
The six themes are:
- Family and friends (including animals, and plants)
- Things we make and do.
Integrated EVS has a goal of comprehensive development of an individual's social, physical, and emotional perspective.
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