Wednesday, 26 February, 2020

Environmental Studies and Environmental Education


Environmental Studies and Environmental Education


Environmental Studies Environmental Studies (ctet environment notes) is a multidisciplinary academic field which systematically studies human interaction with the environment in the interests of solving complex problems. Environmental studies brings together the principles of sciences, commerce, economics and social sciences so as the solve contemporary environment, problems. It is broad field of study that includes the natural environment, the built environment, and the sets of relationships between them.

Aims and Objectives of Environmental


  • Studies (EVS) at Primary Level The general (ctet environment notes) objectives of EVS at primary level are given below
  • develop ideal citizenship in children and to give comprehensive knowledge of
    integrated curriculum of history, geography and civics.
  • To develop understanding of the contemporary problems in children.
  • training to children to change according to their social environment.
  • introduce children to democratic norms and to give training to children for good
    thought and meditation.
  • aware children about their social environment.
  • develop the feeling of national and international integration and to give knowledge
    about their rights and duties.
  • encourage children to be a conscious member of their family, town, village and country.
  • develop the feeling of nationalism in children and to motivate children to be an ideal citizen and have a good character in life.

Environmental Education (ctet environment notes) 


Environmental Education refers to organise efforts to teach how natural environments function and particularly, how human beings can manage behaviour and ecosystems to live sustainably. It is a multi-disciplinary field integrating disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, Earth science, atmospheric science, mathematics and geography. The term often implies education within the school system from primary to post-secondary. 

  • Environmental education is a process aimed at developing a world population that is aware and concerned about the environment and its associated problems 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.
  • According to Odem, “Environmental education is the education of biological and physical environment which surrounds human.


Environmental Studies through Environment

When a child attracts towards the creatures of environment then to familiarise the inter-relationship between the two through environment is called ‘Environmental Education.’

Environmental Education in Environment

  •  Man works for his existence and growth in (ctet environment notes) environment. He lives in family. Family is the primary social group for men.
  • When human advances from infancy to childhood he comes in contact with neighbourhood and community. He participates in activities of his society. Thus, he acquires knowledge about the environment. According to John Dewey, “All education begins when man participates in social consciousness of his race.”

Environmental Awareness 

  • Environmental awareness has direct bearing on the protection and conservation of the environment. As population will become aware of the environment, they will contribute more towards environment conservation.
  • Media and non-governmental organisation plays very important role in spreading awareness about environment. Different institutions like Zoological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India and Wildlife Institute of India play vital role in supporting the awareness programme.
  • Through study of EVS at very young stages, these young minds will be aware about the environment, it needs and usefulness etc and in a way they will protect and conserve the environment.

Need and Importance of Environmental Education

Some of the importance of environmental education are discussed below

  • Environmental education strongly promotes the need for personal initiatives and social participation to achieve sustainability. Environmental education is important for understanding the basis of our existence and those around us. Hence, this stresses on the subject
  • Environmental education, together with sound legislation, sustainable management and responsible actions by individuals and communities, is an important component of an effective policy framework for protecting and managing the environment.
  • Environmental education is a new focus for education. It is a way of helping individuals and societies to resolve fundamental issues relating to the current and future use of the world’s resources. However, simply raising awareness of these issues is insufficient to bring about change.
  • Environmental education must strongly promote the need for personal initiatives and social participation to achieve sustainability
  • It focuses on current and potential environmental situations, while taking into account the historical perspective.
  • It promotes the value and necessity of local, national and international cooperation in the prevention and solution of environmental problems.
  • It relates environmental sensitivity, knowledge and problem-solving skills and values clarification to every age, but with special emphasis on environmental sensitivity to the learner’s own community in early years.


Development of Environmental Education

Environmental education is not a contemporary subject matter. It can be dated back to as early as the 18th century with the treatise of Jean-Jacques Rousseau who stressed the value of an education that revolved on the environment.

  • Some years later, the Swiss-born naturalist, Louis Agassiz, echoed Rousseaus philosophy. It was these two influential scholars who laid the foundation for a concrete Environmental Education Programme, known as the Nature Study, which occurred between the late 19th century and early 20th century.
  •  Following the effortful work of many other naturalists, April 22nd of the year 1970 was declared as the first ‘Earth Day’ and 5th June, 1972 the World Environment Day. Two years later in 1974 the first World Environment Day was held with the theme Only One Earth’.
  • The importance of sustainable development was established in the year 1987, when the World Commission on Environment and Development published the Brundtland Report.
  • According to the Brundtland Report, sustainable development implies meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland, 1987). In 1992, the World Environment Day was held during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, supported and embellished the goal of obtaining sustainability. 
  • One of the most significant aspects of the Rio Earth Summit, was Chapter 36 of Agenda 21; fulcrum of our current environmental sustainable development.
  • Agenda 21 focused on “reorienting education towards sustainable development; increasing public awareness; and promoting training.” 
  • In 2005, the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation held the first National Environmental Education Week’ between the 10th and 16th of April
  • Environmental education has long been considered as a crucial aspect of our existence. It is an international concern which has brought and has yet to bring all the nations together striving to reach one important goal, one which gives the interdependency of the environment.

Besides these, there are a number of events that also took place like

  • Establishment of World Wildlife Fund in 1961. 
  • International Biological Programme, 1963. 
  • United Nations Environment Programme, 1972. 
  • Project Tiger (Conservation Programme), 1973.
  • Pollution Prevention and Control Act, 1974
  • Water Utility Act, 1977.
  • Air Pollution Prevention Act, 1981.
  • Environmental Protection Act, 1986



Curriculum of Environmental Education at Primary Level 


  • Environmental education is imparted as EVS which forms a common component of syllabus, prescribed by the States and CBSE. The textbooks for environmental studies which are prepared by NCERT has taken cross curricular approach to teaching environmental concepts through language, mathematics about the environment.
  • In classes I and II where there is no separate EVS book. For classes III and IV, EVS textbooks are available. EE has been further reinforced under the Art of Healthy and Productive Living (AHPL) for which a single teachers handbook has been developed for classes I to V.


The contents and concepts covered in these books are as follow

  • Familiarisation with one’s own body.
  • Awareness about immediate surroundings.
  • Need for food, water, air, shelter, clothing and recreation. Importance of trees and plants.
  • Familiarisation with local birds, animals and other objects. Interdependence of living and nonliving things.
  • Importance of cleanliness and sanitation. Importance of celebration of festivals and national days. Awareness of sunlight, rain and wind
  • Caring for pet animals


Obiectives of Environmental Education

The objectives of environmental education are to (ctet environment notes) increase public awareness about environmental issues. It gives impetus to explore possible solutions and to lay the foundations for a fully informed and active participation of individual in the protection of environment and the prudent and rational use of natural resources. The main objectives of environmental education are as follow

  • The common duty of maintaining, protecting and improving the quality of environment, as a contribution to the protection of human health and safeguarding the ecological balance.
  • It provides the way in which each individual can, by his own behaviour and action, contribute to the protection of environment.
  • It provides opportunities to acquire the knowledge, values, attitudes, commitment and skills needed to protect and improve the environment.
  • It encourages pupils to examine and interpret the environment from variety of perspectives physical, geographical, biological, sociological, economic, political, technological, historical, esthetic and ethical.
  • It helps to arouse pupil’s awareness and curiosity about the environment and encourage active participation in resolving environmental problems.
  • It plays an important role to minimise population growth.
  • It helps to develop national integrity among the students. It plays a significant role in the protection of wildlife and to operate forest laws judiciously.

Scope of Environmental 

Education Environment is a wide and comprehensive subject which studies biotic and abiotic components along with other components. These components affect the human life directly or indirectly. These components are discussed below.

Natural Resources

Resources are of two types: human and physical/ natural resources. Natural resource is the functional or practical capacity of an element which satisfy the need of human and benefit him. EVS discusses about the conservation and judicious use of natural resources in its content.

 Food and Nutrition 

  • Generally, the production of foodgrains comes from resources.
  • Thus, the production supply and use of foodgrains come under environmental education. Each biological component gets its supply of food from environment whether directly or indirectly.
  •  This is the reason that all the figures like, alternative foodgrains, foodgrain conservation, nutrition value of foodgrains, balanced diet, causes of malnutrition etc. Which affect human life, have a place in environmental education.


Population Education (ctet environment notes)


  • Population and environment both are interrelated and directly affect each other. Men depend on environment to satisfy their needs. But due to their greedy attitude they exploit the natural resources which has created a negative impact on the environment.
  • This is the reason that environmental education also deals with population education.


Population Explosion

  • Continuous growth in population gave rise to many problems. The result of these problems is the excessive use or exploitation of natural resources, which are affecting our environment.
  • Thus, environmental education includes population related topics in its subject matter like population explosion, its causes, measures and suggestion. This is the need of the hour to study these in environmental education.


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