Study Notes on Environmental Studies & Environmental Education

By Komal|Updated : February 19th, 2021

"Environment" includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property. The word ‘environment’ is derived from the old French word ‘environ’ – which means to ‘surround, enclose, and encircle’.

"Environment" includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property. The word ‘environment’ is derived from the old French word ‘environ’ – which means to ‘surround, enclose, and encircle’.

Constituents of Environment

Physical elements-  landforms, water-bodies, climate, soils, rocks, and minerals.

Biological elements - plants, animals, micro-organisms and human beings.

Cultural elements - economic,, legal, ecology and political environment

Environmental Study:-

is a field that episodically studies the connection of human beings with the environment. Environmental studies concern with the principles of the physical sciences, economics, and social sciences to keep tap with environmental issues. It is a broad field of study that includes the natural environment, ecology and environmental science and its associated subjects. It is an interdisciplinary study as subjects like ecology, biochemistry, toxicology, geography, geology, meteorology, sociology, etc. are dealt with under environmental studies.

The Need for Environmental Studies

1. Environmental studies help us to understand the importance of our environment.

2. Environmental studies teach us the optimum utilisation of available natural resources efficiently and effectively.

3. Environmental studies enable a healthy way of living.

4. Environmental studies enable us to know the behaviour of organisms under natural conditions and the interrelationship between organisms.

5. Environmental studies let us know how to conserve biodiversity and maintain an ecological balance.

Objectives and Guiding Principles of Environmental Studies:

According to UNESCO (1971), the objectives of environmental studies are:

(a) Creating awareness about environmental problems among people.

(b) Imparting basic knowledge about the environment and its allied problems.

(c) Developing an attitude of concern for the environment.

(d) Motivating public to participate in environment protection and environment improvement.

(e) Acquiring skills to help concerned individuals in identifying and solving environmental problems.

(f) Striving to attain harmony with nature.

Environmental Education:-

Environmental Education (EE) refers to the education about the natural environment, its function and the role and contributions of human beings in the management of the ecosystems. EVS is the vast field and includes subjects i.e. biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, earth science, atmospheric science, mathematics, and geography.

Environmental Education (EE) refers to education being provided within the school hemisphere regarding environment protection, environment conversation, optimum utilisation of resources from primary classes onwards. In secondary classes, students are being taught the Environmental Protection Act 

However, it sometimes includes all efforts to educate the public and other audiences, including print materials, websites, media campaigns, etc.. There are also ways that environmental education is taught outside the traditional classroom. Aquariums, zoos, parks, and nature centres all have ways of teaching the public about the environment.

Characteristics of Environmental Education:-

1. Helps in imparting knowledge about the environment to the students of all classes.

2. Make students think critically, productive and creatively about the environment. 

3. Make students educate about environmental issues and hazards.

4. To create awareness in students about the optimum utilisation of available resources.

5. Developing new methods to preserve the environmental resources, i.e. rainwater harvesting, developing ways to purify the air quality,  dwelling methods to reduce pollution- air, water and land.

6. Creating awareness about sustainable development.

 Components of Environmental Education:-

1. Help us to derive an awareness about the environment and its surroundings.

2. Keep our knowledge updated about the environment, its surroundings and environmental changes.

3. Develops a positive attitude about the protection of the environment and motivates us to contribute to the ecological imbalance. 

4. Helps us to dwell the skills to identify and help resolve environmental challenges.

5. Motivate us to participate in activities that lead to derive the solution to protect the environment from the depletion.

Point of Distinction:-

Environmental Education

Environmental Studies

  • Enhances awareness and knowledge about the environment
  • Provides facts and opinions about the environment
  • Focuses on individuals teaching and critical-thinking
  • Focuses on group teaching and critical-thinking
  • Lays down on individuals problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Lays down on group problem-solving and decision-making skills

Status of Environmental Education in School 

  In India, the education system had begun including the environment as a subject in the school curriculum from 1930 onwards. The Kothari commission (1964-66) suggested that basic education should include Environment Education as a subject in the school syllabus and relate it to the life of human beings. The teaching of the environment at primary stage should be according to the facts, concepts, principles and processes in the physical and biological environment.” by keeping in mind the understanding level of the student and essential concept that should be taught according to the understanding level of the students.

Environmental Education at primary, secondary, higher secondary levels is taught according to the grasping level of the students. In today's times, Environmental Education plays a crucial role to generate awareness among student and make them kind and humble towards the environment by performing activities related to nature love e.g. showing pictures -animated one that flowers have feelings they need love and affection so we should water them on a daily basis and should not pluck them. Teachers can run the campaign for the benefit of planting trees - trees provide us with the fresh air, fruits and flowers.

Environmental Education helps us to encourage awareness about the environment and motivate students to actively participate in resolving environmental problems. Keeping in view all concerns EVS introduced as a Subject inculcating Social and Science Subject in one Subject. Teaching students EVS subject right from their childhood helps in developing the right attitudes towards the environment will be nurtured in the young minds. It was introduced without any delay from class –1 as EVS, as a subject so that right from their childhood, the right attitudes towards the environment will be nurtured in the young minds.

A Curricular Framework of Environmental Education:-

•  Implementing Environmental Education in the school curriculum.

•  Inculcating Environmental Education by replacing social studies and science subjects.

•  Developing medium and strategy of including unit- chapter wise.

•  Development of syllabus and instructional material for all classes of school by connecting with the environment.

 Objectives of Environmental Education:-

The objectives of environmental education:-

1. To increase public awareness about environmental problems and explore possible solutions.

2. To lay the foundations and actively involved the individual in the protection of the environment. 

3. To create awareness among the people i.e." The environment is the precious heritage of mankind".

4. Developing a plan to maintain, protect & improve the quality of the environment in order to safeguard the ecological balance:-

   (a) The need for proper and optimum utilisation of resources,

   (b) Developing ways in which each individual can contribute to the protection of the environment in the long run,

   (c) The ultimate goal of environmental education is to improve the management of the environment and generate solutions for environment protection.

5.  Make people aware of environment protection and generate curiosity about the environment protection activity

6. Encouraging the active participation of man-kind in resolving environmental problems.

7. Celebrating Environment Day on 5th June on a mass scale in order to generate awareness about the importance of trees, plants, better air quality and the importance of fresh air.

8. Environmental issues such as (i) The greenhouse effect. (ii) Acid rain and (iii) Air pollution should be given major importance to derive the solution.




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