Integrating Environmental Issues in Science Education; Greening science education; 2001 - PDF

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Integrating Environmental Issues in Science Education; Greening science education; 2001 - PDF Powered By Docstoc

Editors Neelima Jerath S K Saxena

Science and Technology Education Section Division of Secondary, Technical 8 Vocational Education United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization

Division of Environment Punjab State Council for Science & Technology

JUNE, 200 1

Compiled & Produced by PUNJAB STATE COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Sector 26, Chandigarh-160019, India Tel. : 91-172-793300, 793600 Fax : 91-I 72-793143 Website:

For & with the support of Science & Technology Education Section, Division of Secondary, Technical & Vocational Education, UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC & CULTURAL ORGANIZATION 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France Tel:331 45680816 Website:

Any part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, provided that the same is duly cited.

ISBN: 81-900603-2-5
Greening Science Education: To be cited as “Jerath, Neelima & Saxena, S.K.(Eds).2001. Papers presented at the workshop on ‘Integrating Environmental Issues in Science Education’ organized by PSCST with support of UNESCO (16-20 April,2001), Chandigarh, India for the South Asian Region”.

Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of editors or the official opinion of UNESCO or PSCST.


at: Offset Printers Pvt. Ltd., 292, Industrial Area, Phase II, Chandigarh, India


The world today is confronted with problems of a deteriorating environment, increasing poverty, illiteracy and a continuing degradation of the global life support systems. The hope of a better and safer future for mankind lies in the integration of environment and development concerns. In this direction environment education empowers people to take wise decisions and appropriate action. As such, environment education deserves to be central to the agenda of policy makers at all levels - the global, the regional and the national. The countries of South Asia nsed to share their experiences with each other, and also to cooperate in using environmental education as an instrument for pursuing their common goal of sustainable development. The Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, with the support of UNESCO, had organized a subregional workshop on “Integrating Environmental Issues in Science Education”. This book highlights the important issues discussed in the Workshop between the participants from the various countries and also experts in related fields. From the workshop has emerged a strategy for environmental education for the use of policy makers in the South Asian region. I am confident that environmentalists and educationists alike would take advantage of this book.

Chandigarh June, 2001.

Rajan Kashyap, LAS.
Principal Secretary Science, Technology & Environment Government of Punjab

The Punjab thanks operation possible. The Council without is especially interest indebted and support to Mr. Orlando Hall-Rose and Mr. Diileep Bhagwut, could have been organised, UNESCO, nor this State Council for Science & Technology wishes to place provided on record by UNESCO its grateful and coand deep of several appreciation organisations for the support and individuals and finances whose


made this publication


neither the workshop out. Principal



have been brought

Special thanks

are due to Sh. Rajan Kashyap, Technology interest & Environment


to the Government Executive

of Punjab, PSCST

Deptt. of Science, for their personal The Council institutions

and Sh. N.S. Tiwana,


and guidance. grateful to experts from all countries and international & national and busy

is extremely and ministries

for their contributions


of their other engagements

time schedule. The editors are also grateful to PSCST support staff for the help provided by them in compiling

this document.


Environmental problems pose a challenge to humanity, which is unprecedented in its scope and complexity. Achieving a viable balance between environmental protection and sustainable development will require fundamental changes in the dynamics and contents of our socio-economic life and behaviour. In response, educational curricula need to be so designed that perception and protection of environment should become second nature to children. It is only when they grow up to be responsible citizen that they would effectively take care of environmental issues. This publication, supported by UNESCO and based on workshop papers contributed by noted experts from five South Asian countries for the sub-regional workshop on “Integrating Environmental Issues in Science Education” delves upon the successful and not-so-successful initiatives in environment education being used by and discusses latest experiences, methods and techniques science and environment educators of this subregion. I hope it will serve as a useful aid for all those who intend to modify and improve science education for sustainable development.

N.S. Tiwana
Punjab State Council Executive Director for Science & Technology, Chandigarh

Orlando Hall-Rose
Science and Technology Chief, Education Section UNESCO, Paris

I would like first and foremost to thank the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), and notably Dr. (Ms) Neelima Jerath, its Principal Officer for the Environment, for organizing this Sub-regional Workshop which deals with a topic that is of essential importance in facing the scientific and environmental challenges of the new century. We are living in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology and where information has become the primary resource for all levels of population. At the same time, it is well acknowledged that environmental degradation, poverty, human rights, peace and inequality are common concerns in developed and developing countries. There is a general consensus today that education in general, and science, technology and environmental education in particular, are vital keys to development and thus to alleviate all these problems. But we are only beginning to realise just how essential it is for each, and every country to have its own scientific, technological and environmental knowledge base. Thus, the first step to building up this base is in the provision of appropriate educational programmes in these fields. Without this, countries cannot hope to have the necessary human resources which can enable them to be active participants in the changing world society. It is for these very reasons that the delegates at the Budapest World Conference on Science (1999) voted overwhelmingly in favour of reinforcing science education at all levels. Without basic science, technology and environmental education, people cannot participate fully in our fast-moving, interconnected and globalized world. We see every day the power of shared knowledge; but to share knowledge means sharing as active partners, not as passive recipients.

vi UNESCO is fully aware of its great responsibilities and the importance of its role

in translating this approach into a concrete reality and we are already preparing to give a new impulse to our work in these areas in an integrated manner. The Organization attaches great importance to national, sub-regional and regional initiatives aiming at developing science and technology education that take into account local socio-cultural, economic, as well as, the environmental specificities. In each of the Organization’s sectors - education, science, culture and communication - there are programmes dealing with these issues through a broad range of actions around the world. In the Education Sector, specifically, the Section for the promotion of science, technology and environmental education, under a broad perspective, deals with issues related to environment and health, especially those having a significant bearing on the quality of life of the population and environmental equilibrium. Without doubt the “new contract” that the Budapest Conference sought to pave the way for, involves renewed public support for environmental education on one hand, and on the other hand, the commitment of the scientific and technological community to place this educational approach at the service of sustainable development and pressing human needs in such fields as health, food production, energy, natural resources and others.

Development of science, technology and environmental education in an integrated manner today impact - or have the potential to impact - in the most far-reaching ways on our lives and the environment. It is clear thus that the notion of a social contract for the environment, particularly its ethical dimension, has important implications for the framework within which these subjects are taught. And of course, the actual scientific developments which have given applied technology new life-changing powers have important education efforts in particular. implications for updating science

So, there is a major challenge for renewing these subjects and another great challenge for teaching the issues linked to them. This makes me optimistic for the future of this highly influential educational approach, which has extraordinary potential not only for producing scientists, technologists and environmentalists but also for producing generations of responsible citizen who match scientific,

vii technological, social and ethical awareness.

This is essential, as so many issues of major importance today - related to space, biotechnology applied to human health, food production and safety, communication technologies, etc - require not only good analytical skills but a sound grounding in these areas.

Science and technology education in the new century must aim at much more than environmental knowledge and competence. It must, at its basic level, offer everyone the opportunity of a learning experience that contributes to personal autonomy and responsible citizenship. And for up-to-date, relevant science education to be available to all, it must be given a new momentum - not only nationally but internationally. Renovated educational programmes, teacher-training, educational materials and delivery systems all need special attention. UNESCO is looking forward to strengthening co-operation with the countries represented in this workshop and we hope that this sub-regional training workshop will pave the way for a more focused science, technology and environmental education at the national and the sub-regional levels. I wish you all a very successful and fruitful workshop.

Note from Editors
Human well being is intricately linked to environment. However, though throughout the history of civilization, man has worshipped nature, but at the same time, his activities have proved detrimental to its quality. In his effort to ‘develop’ man has placed an extraordinary stress on the environment leading to a myriad of environmental problems. These environmental problems recognize no geographical limits. Climate change, pollution across borders, deterioration of the earth’s life support systems (especially those associated with deforestation) are all critical environmental issues which need to be resolved through collaborative and common understanding between countries, regions & continents. Initiatives based on knowledge and sensibility of international organisations, governments & individuals are important stepping stones in this direction. Education & awareness play a definitive role in consolidating this knowledge and promoting appropriate action. Hence, trans-boundary cooperation in the area of environmental awareness, education & training is equally important. It is with this perspective that Science & Technology Education Section, Division of Secondary, Technical & Vocational Education, UNESCO, Paris, supported a sub-regional workshop for the South Asian region on “Integrating Environmental Issues in Science Education” which was organised by Punjab State Council for Science & Technology from 16-20th April, 2001 at Chandigarh, India. The present volume comprises papers presented and/or discussed at this workshop. The geographic scope of the project covers five major countries in South Asia, comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Pakistan could not participate inspite of a nomination and Maldives had to be left out due to unavailability of information on contact persons. This region not only has common elements in terms of history, diversity of resources and culture; but at


the same time also faces common economic, ecological and developmental problems. Hence, inter-country comparisons and seeking common solutions become challenging and rewarding. Part I of the volume contains Country Reports on Status of Science & Environment Education in the five participating countries; Part II comprises information on Environment Education (EE) initiatives in South Asian region; Part III discusses Issues & Initiatives with respect to Science, Environment & Society; whereas, Part IV deals with EE Techniques & Methodologies both, successfully tried & tested, as well as, new. Though all efforts were made to publish papers in their original format, however, in some cases, the length of too long contributions had to be reduced and in others, articles had to be reconstructed from tape recordings and slide presentations (with approvals and modifications from the original presenters). We hope that this book will prove useful to all those who are working in the field of science & environment education in the South Asian region.

Dr. Neelima Jerafh Dr. SK. Saxena
Chandigarh, June, 2001

Foreword Preface Message from UNESCO Note from Editors The Need of Integrating Environment Issues in Science Education Neelima Jera th Country Reports 7 of 13 and Socio-cultural
I .. III V

ix 1

The South Asian Region: A Profile N.S. Tiwana, Neelima Jerath & S.K. Saxena Bangladesh Country Report on Incorporation Environmental Issues in Science Education Muhammad lbrahim with Bhutan Country Report on Science Education Special Reference to Environmental Issues Nandu Giri Strategies in Environmental from India Kartikeya V. Sarabhai Education




Existing Issues and Methodologies in Science Education in Nepal: Some Major Environmental Concerns Sharada Devi Maharjan Existing issues and methodologies in Sri Lanka P.K. Nanayakkara in Science Education



xii Environment Education Initiatives in the South Asian Region Alliance into 59 75

Initiating Development Madhav Karki

of South Asian Environmental

Towards Incorporating Major Environmental Science Education in South Asia Shivani Jain & Meena Raghunathan


Resource Material and Methodologies for Capacity Building for Science Education to Foster Sustainable Development in the SAARC Region Ram Boojh Science, Environment & Society Issues & Initiatives


Major Environmental and Socio-cultural Issues of India-Need for Integration with Existing Science Curricula Harjit Singh S & T Inputs For Promoting Environment Anuj Sinha and Ujjwala Tirkey Education in Schools


106 115

An Analysis of Existing issues in formal Science Education in India with respect to major local Environmental concerns Socio-cultural Inputs Erach Bharucha & Shamita Kumar


Perspectives of Ministry of Environment & Forests Goverment of India in Promoting Environmental Issues through School based Science Education K.K. Garg Education for Environmental Ethics and Ecological Conscience : N.S. Tiwana, Neelima Jerath & S.K. Saxena Environment Education Techniques and Methodologies Concepts through new



Explaining Complex Environmental Approaches and Techniques Nanditha C. Krishna Environment J.S. GILL Education through


Science Curricula




Role of Educational TV / Multimedia Science and Technology Education Jitendra Singh

in Promoting




Promoting Practical Interventions and Participatory Approach in Science Education w.r.t Local Environmental and Socio-Cultural Inputs Neeru Snehi Promoting Non- formal Science Education in India for highlighting Local Environmental Issues through Socio-cultural Inputs: Perspectives of WWF Sangeeta Jund Towards Effective Environment Education and Secondary Stage(s) in Schools Sushma Kiran Setia

: Concerns




at Upper Primary



Existing Methodologies for Science Education in Secondary Schools and new Approaches to address Local Environmental Concerns through Socio-cultural Inputs Surinder Dhingra Framework for Environmental Mrs. Asha Gupta Workshop Agenda Education



: : :

185 188 192

List of Participants

Greening ScienceEducution


The Need of Integrating Environment and Socio-Cultural Issues in Science Education
Principal Punjab State Council Scientific for Science

( Environment) Chandigarh, India & Technology,


New possibilities are opening up everyday as a result of continuous advances in Science & Technology. It is important that the enormous capabilities of S&T are utilised to improve the quality of life of our people. The immense power of Science & Technology, in not only preserving but also shaping the destiny of mankind, is reflected in the scientific policy resolution of Govt. of India which states that :

“ The key to National prosperity, apart from the spirit of the people, lies in technology. Technology grows out of study of science and it’s application. Scientific techniques can, in fact, reduce the demand on capital”.
Since a continuous improvement in the quality of life for human beings is the central objective of development and since this improvement can be obtained by several different approaches, there is a need to focus on the innovative strategies and new pathways towards which science & technology will have to be directed for ensuring a sustainable future in the long term. Countries, therefore, need to draw inspiration from this philosophy and endeavour to harness the potential of science & technology as an instrument of socioeconomic change. We need to ensure that science & technology percolates to the grassroots and becomes a part of the everyday life of our people. Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio (1992) a new vision of science education and training has emerged - a vision which proposes to balance the use of science & technology for developmental


Greening Science Education

activities associated with the conservation of environment. This is the vision of ‘Sustainable Development’. The real goal of this is to improve life quality for all by promoting development within the carrying capacity of the ecosystems. The issue is more relevant to developing countries as these nations can learn from the experiences of the developed countries and avoid costly mistakes. This, however, is possible only if all (including government, business and communities) are aware of the issues and have necessary skills for promoting eco- friendly developmental projects. To foster this, it is important that environmental issues be incorporated in all aspects of science education, covering all subjects at all levels, Further, the incorporation of socio-cultural elements will make science and environmental education more relevant and bring it closer to the grass-roots. The first Inter-governmental Conference on Environment Education (EE) in 1977 in Tbilisi, the Brutland Commission Report in 1987 and the Thessaloniki Conference in 1997 organised by UNESCO have also highlighted the need of promoting environment education at the global level and improve its quality and relevance to meet the requirements of contemporary societies for development and protection of environment. Taking a cue from these conferences, several initiatives have been taken up by the developing countries, including countries in the South- Asian region. Some of these include, introducing environment related subjects in school curriculum in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & India, programmes for resource material development by Education Department in Bhutan, broadcasting of environmental programmes through government media in Nepal, developing teachers guides for Environment Education in Pakistan and setting up Centres of Excellence in Environment Education in India. These initiatives, though important, are clearly inadequate and need to be further strengthened. Joint initiatives by developing countries would help us assess the individual progress made by each country in this direction, pool innovative ideas and conserve programmes. meagre resources allocated for S&T and environment education

It is, therefore, proposed to assess the Status of Environment Education in the South Asian Region, identify methodologies used by various countries to foster this, and to learn from each others experiences by :




in Science


in developing

Greening ScienceEducation
countries Discussing in South Asia. strategies for promotion of environment oriented science


education to create a sense of relationship in the minds of students between their specific environment and the science that they learn in the class room. Integrating local socio-cultural elements in science & environment education to make education culture specific and more responsive to local needs. Providing opportunities to science & environmental countries to interact with each other, share experiences for developing appropriate materials. educators of these and design strategies

Acting as a base for establishing a sub- regional network to promote ecofriendly science education in the region. Discussing the resource kit on ‘Science & Technology Education: Science for the 21St’,developed by UNESCO, Paris for use by secondary school teachers in developing countries. UNESCO and PSCST hope that this would lead to a better understanding of EE issues concerning developing countries in the region and eagerly look forward to the recommendations for joint action by the South Asian countries in future. It is hoped that these participating countries would continue to interact and share their experiences in the coming days.


Greening Science Education


The South Asian Region: A Profile
N.S. Tiwana,
Executive Punjab State Director Council

for Science



S.K. Saxena
SSO (Eynvironment) Chandigarh, India

PSO (Environment)

& Technology,

Scientific reports indicate that Homo sapiens probably first emerged in Africa. History, however tells us that some of the earliest civilizations flourished in the South Asian region. Sophisticated tribal societies with diverse belief systems originated here along with many of the world’s major organised religions like, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc. Invasions from the west later helped flourish Islam and Christianity and brought in races and communities which intermingled with the local population, affecting and, in t.urn, being affected by them. The process developed integrated communities which now dominate most parts of South Asia. Till about two centuries ago, this region was the hub of sophisticated agriculture, trade and arts. However, the colonial phase through which most countries of the region passed, led to large scale expansion, intensification & mechanisation of agriculture, clearing of forests & encroachment of grasslands and wetlands. A severe attack on natural ecosystems, particularly forests (which were considered as sources of raw material and revenue), also led to large scale environmental deterioration. In the last few decades, even after the region’s countries gained independence, a rapid growth of industrial, urban and developmental pressures have been experienced. This, coupled with increasing population and pollution, has further destroyed natural habitats. The developmental model adopted for the region, largely borrowed from industrialised countries of the west, has proved to be insensitive to both, biological & cultural diversity. South Asia is the world’s most populated sub-continent. It covers less than 3% of the earth’s surface, but inspite of the ecological havoc:, it still contains more


Greening ScienceEducation
diversity and displays a range of social, cultural &

than 8% of biological

developmental communities. Traditional beliefs and culture at one end and neodevelopment at the other has led to a myriad of situations where the so called ‘primitive’ tribes exist with ultra modern urbanites; the ‘hunter - gatherer’ societies cohabit the sub-continent with ‘hi-tech’ communities; and the desperately poor share their resources with some of the richest families.

.9 New Delhi



Sea i i


Bay of Bengal

: .. 1: &ale
MALDIVES, (’ ,. Indian Ocean’


from Kothari



Despite the diversity of South Asian countries, there are many areas of commonality. Their current natural resource management regimes are similar, they share a common past and experience common developmental problems including those of resource management, increasing population and poor literacy. The area which was endowed with a rich variety of phyto-geographic conditions, a wide range of habitats and diverse natural ecosystems supporting large number

Greening ScienceEducation


of flora & fauna is now witnessing a severe attack on its environment. An assessment of the problems & initiatives by these countries therefore, could be very fruitful to understand the uniqueness of each country on one hand, and commonality on the other. Such an assessment could reveal areas where countries could learn from each other and share common resources. A comparison of the physical and ecological profile of five major countries of South Asia (which were represented in the workshop) is presented at Table 1. Table-l.
Total area


& Ecological


of Participating
3,267,2632 High mountains, the Himalayas, in the north & northeast; Thar desert in the west; plains across most of northcentral India: Deccan Plateau flanked by hills of Western & Eastern Ghats; extensive coastline & two major island chains. 9392

147,181 High mountains of transHimalayas in the north, middle Himalayas in the central region and terai plains to the south.

147,579 Flood Plains & deltas of the Ganges, Brahamputra & Meghna across most of the country except few south-east (Chittagong) & northeast (Sylhet) hilly areas & adjoining Piedmont planes

46,000 Himalayan mountain ranges throughout, except some plains/foothills to the south along border with India

Sri Lanka
65,000 An island nation, with a central mountain mass rising from a low, flat plain surrounding it on all sides and extending to the sea.

(sq km)’

Total population’ (millions) in





Population 813 density (no. of personlsq km) in 1995 Major religious communities* M;H; Indigenous groups






H;M;S;C;J;B (7% tribal groups of population)

H;B few


B H M c

(70%); (15%); (7.5%); (7.5%)


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Agriculture, fisheries

Major occupations (in rural areas)

Agriculture, forestbased, pastoralism Wet summer monsoon (May-August) and dry winter (SeptemberApril)

Agriculture, forestbased, pastoralism, fisheries Summer (March-June) monsoon (JulySeptember), winter (OctoberFebruary), second monsoon in some parts (OctoberNovember) Sea level8,598 - 30 to 450

Agriculture, forestbased, pastoralism Wet summer monsoon (JuneSeptember), dry winter (OctoberApril)

Sri Lanka
Agriculture, fisheries


Summer (March-May), monsoon (June-October) winter (NovemberFebruary)

Summer (FebruaryApril), two monsoons (MaySeptember & NovemberMarch)

Attitudinal range (m)’ Average annual precipitation’ (cm) Temperature range (OC)’ Climatic/geographic zones

Sea level-l ,230 300

200-7,500 500

100-8,848 1 633

Sea level2,524 250

go-40°C Coastal, tropical, arid humid semi-

Sub-0°-30°C Sub-tropical mid-montane & Himalayan

Sub-0°-480C 9 biogeographic zones from coastal to tropical to Himalayan and transHimalayan 57

Sub-0°-23°C Humid tropical plains to Himalayan

16O-35OC Wet, dry and intermediate tropical zones

Agricultural land as% of total land area in 1994’





Forest land as 7.9 % of total land PAS as % of total land area5** Wetlands in 1989as%of total area5















Greening ScienceEducation
Permanent pasture’ as % of total land No. of higher olants4 No. of threatened higher plants4 No. of **** vertebrates4 No. of threatened mammals4 GNP per capita’ (in US$) in 1995 Human Development Index rank in world6 Gender Dev Index Rank in world6 1 2 3 4 5 6 * ** *** **** NA World Bank,1 997 (this figure Report, eta/., includes 1984 Pakistan
(Source : Adapted on Kothari era/., 2000)






Sri Lanka

5000 30

5000+ NA

15000 1256

6500 21

3000 NA

1650+ 36

1000+*** NA

4800+ 75

1150+*** 26

700+*** 4
















Govt. of India,1997 Kenting Kothari Adapted



Earth Science eta/., 2000 from Kothari

2000. H: Hindus, under J: Jains, M: Muslims, conservation S: Sikhs

UNDP,1998 B: Buddhists, Includes C: Christians, notified all areas law for wildlife

Does not include Data rounded Not available

fish species. tens

off to nearest

Data indicates that the situation demands urgent attention and calls for immediate action. Though several initiatives have been taken up by respective country governments, resource crunch is a major factor affecting translation of plans into concrete action. Hence, the need of resource pooling and common action. This


Greening ScienceEducation

has been recognized by various bodies of the United Nations also which have initiated several regional & sub-regional programmes in the area. Further, no action can be successful without peoples’ participation. This is possible only through promotion of environmentally oriented and socio-culturally relevant science education. The present initiative is one such timely intervention, which, hopefully will lead to a better understanding of the issues involved and promote common action. REFERENCES Govt. of India.1 977. Statistical Abstract of India. Central Statistical Organisation, Deptt. of Statistics, Ministry of Planning & Programme implementation, Govt. of India, N. Delhi. Kenting Earth Science Resources Report. Report. 1984. Land Resources Mapping Project. Water

Kothari, A.,Pathak, N. and Vania, F. 2000. Where Communities Care: Community based wildlife and ecosystem management in South Asia. Kalpvriksh and Indian Institute of Environment and Development. India. UNDP, 1998. Human Development Programme, N. York. Report. 1998. United Nations Development

World Bank. 1997. World Development Indicators. The World Bank, Washington DC.

Greening ScienceEducation


Bangladesh Country Report on Incorporation of Environmental Issues in Science Education
Muhammad lbrahim Executive Director Chairman and Physics Dept., Dhaka University Centre for Mass Edu. in Science (CMES) Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is environmentally a very vulnerable country. A low deltaic land, washed with many unstable rivers, it has a high population density living on limited natural resources. During the last decade or so, specially after the Earth Summit of 1992, various local issues of its environment, as well as, its extreme vulnerability from global trends of climate change, have come into serious public attention. The government and the NGOs took up issues in many fronts to mitigate environmental degradation. Legislations were invoked to try to arrest environmental pollution. Even ambitious and prestigious projects such as the Flood Action Plan came into severe criticism on environmental counts and Environment Impact studies were made mandatory before taking up any project. In this atmosphere, environmental concerns seeped into the school science curriculum. Almost in every grade some or other aspects of environment have been included, but even more than that, there has been important progress in the non-formal education sector. This, though less systematic, has made a better impression on the young people including active interventions towards improvements in the situation. LOCAL ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENT The following have been some major local issues of environment for Bangladesh:

Greening ScienceEducation
Water pollution, and pesticides, mainly due to human wastes, sewage, chemical fettilizers

Air pollution, specially in urban and semi urban exhausts, factory chimneys, brick kilns.

areas, due to vehicle wastes & factory

Problems with waste disposal - mainly those of municipal wastes often consisting of toxic materials.

Deforestation due to unrestricted use of wood as fuel and over- exploitation of timber with accompanying loss of biodiversity. Too much use of agricultural of returning it to the soil. Increasing monoculture residues for fuel and other purposes, instead

in crops and trees leading to loss of rich bio-diversity.

Problem with drinking and irrigation water. Lowering of water table due to over-exploitation of ground water, arsenic contamination, salinity, etc. River erosion installations. Desertification, Deterioration of natural fishing areas - severely reducing fish and the livelihood of fishermen. Adverse effect of shrimp culture and subsequent agriculture, forestry, and biodiversity. the availability on of causing destruction of habitats, livelihoods, towns and



Deterioration of Sunderbans, one of the biggest and richest mangrove forests in the world, with the loss of its plant and animal varieties. Denuding of forested agriculture. STRATEGIES The following 0 hills through over exploitation and unsustainable




are some of the strategies

Renewable Energy Sources and energy efficient devices-especially fuelefficient stoves have been widely promoted. Use of solar electric systems, biogas, efficient biomass-briquets have been encouraged. Though the actual effect so far has been limited, the efforts are being appreciated more and more. Solar Photovoltaic systems are becoming particularly popular for rural

Greening ScienceEducation
electrification. Organic farming is being encouraged with more bio-fertilizers


and natural

pest control. Monoculture is being questioned specially in forestation. and more varieties are being brought back,

A huge campaign for tree plantation has been undertaken, which has had spectacular success. The collaboration of government and private efforts in this endeavour has been exceptional. Non-biodegradable discouraged, though materials such as plastic bags are being criticized so far the effect is minimal. and

Natural gas being a comparatively abundant indigenous resource and the least polluting of the fossil fuels, has replaced other fuels in industry and power generation. Arsenic contaminated tube wells are being identified and marked. Experimentation is going on for feasible means on arsenic removal and also for alternative drinking water source from surface water. Regulatory laws on polluting vehicles, brick kilns, factory wastes, etc. are in place. The enforcement, however, is still very weak. Lead free petrol is being encouraged. Recently regulations are being considered which would make the use of catalytic converters and filters for diesel particulates compulsory for all vehicles. The campaign for low cost sanitary latrines has had a measure of success. Such latrines are now being manufactured and made available in all localities. Environmental ENVIRONMENTAL Impact Study has been made mandatory for all new projects. ISSUES IN FORMAL EDUCATION SYSTEM

The National Curriculum and Text Book Board (NCTB) took specific steps a decade ago to include environmental issues in the school curriculum at all levels. The inclusions begin at the earliest grades. For the primary grades the very name of the subject which combines science, hygiene, geography, history and social studies is ‘Introduction to Environment’. This is divided into two text books for each grade - subtitled ‘Nature’ and ‘Society’. Though not strictly confined to environmental issues - the syllabus contains many important aspects of


Greening ScienceEducation

environment. Moreover, other parts of the syllabus for primary and secondary education, including literature and science courses, also contain environment topics. The following are among those more emphasized :
l l l l l l l

Pure water : the reasons for water contamination. Air pollution : causes, effect on health, green house effect , Ozone depletion. of biodiversity, plant and animal conservation.

The importance Sanitation

: use of sanitary latrines and clean practices. and river erosion. kilns, pesticide, Prevention etc. of indiscriminate

The effects of soil degradation Pollution

caused by vehicles, factories,

The importance of trees and tree plantation. exploitation of trees. The effect of over population Fossil fuels and renewable

l l

on various aspects of environment. Energy sources.

The inclusion of environment topics in school syllabus has made these universally familiar and discussed. There is no doubt that this has contributed significantly in raising awareness towards urgent environmental issues. However, some aspects could be further improved upon. It is generally felt that : The syllabus and the text books usually can not keep pace with the changing circumstances in real life; for example, while safe drinking water from tube wells is still being simply emphasized, the arsenic situation has made a considerable change in the scenario. There is not much arrangement for field based observations through visits, experimentation and activities. Thus much of the content tends to remain at a theoretical level and does not lead to action in real life. Teachers, themselves, are not often passionate enough in their teaching or have up to date information on environmental issues. As a result, these tend to be lost within the other contents of the syllabus. Hence, formal education alone is not enough to create necessary knowledge, awareness and motivation among the students. In certain respects the nonformal methods of science education which supplement the formal one, are more effective and adopt innovative approaches towards environment education

Greening ScienceEducation
that avoid some of the limitations ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE of the formal stream.





The Science Club Movement has been active in the country since the mid seventies under which school or college based clubs, as well as, independent clubs, have been established by young enthusiasts. Environment studies have been one of the most popular activities of the science clubs.Students try to observe the environmental phenomena, especially various type of pollution and environmental degradation from close quarters, collect data on these, and present their findings in interesting ways for popular dissemination through science fairs, exhibitions, seminars, etc. They also experiment with mitigation ideas. Though their research methods are usually simplistic, this is an excellent means of science education where the science club members learn directly from real life situations, as well as, from secondary information. This greatly reinforces what they learn at school. At the same time, their activities and presentations create a larger impact among their peers and the people in general. As a big incentive to their work, the science clubs in every district compete in the National Science Week every year which includes local science fairs, essay competitions, seminars, etc. This creates a lot of public awareness on the topics. It also gives incentives and opportunities to science teachers to be more proactive with topics. SCIENCE MUSEUM AND SCIENCE CENTRES

The country has the National Museum for Science and Technology in Dhaka which is the focal point for Non-Formal Science Education. Apart from an interesting gallery on Environment which exhibits the issues with samples from real life and presents the situations in various interesting forms and models, the museum takes up more active programs for young enthusiasts. It conducts weekly Science Lectures by experts and specialists on selected topics. Some recent series included - ‘Flood Mitigation’, ‘ Renewable Energy’ ‘Biotechnology’, etc. The Museum has a program called ‘Young Scientist’s Project‘ which provides financial and technical assistance to those young investigators who want to pursue R&D on their ideas - many of which have environmental content.

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MEDIA Newspapers and electronic media have been playing an important role in NonFormal Science Education. Environmental issues are specially favourite as topics. Investigative reporting on specific issues of environment in newspapers, as well as, in Television and Radio have generated many occasions for public awareness and debates and has made way for interventions for mitigation. Magazines on Science and Environment have a more specialist approach and there have been a few popular ones in Bangla and in English. Most of the national dailies carry a special weekly section on science, technology and environment. Often environmental topics of urgent nature occupy major headlines too. In fact some of these have resulted in important public actions. For example, “The Save Buriganga Movement” highlighted by newspapers and Television has resulted in important public action against the gradual encroachment and choking of the river flowing through the city of Dhaka. NGO INTERVENTIONS The most important NGO intervention in this area has been in the field of

alternative education. NGOs have organized Non Formal Education Systems for adolescents and adults, as well as, for the children. These provide life-oriented education for various target groups such as school dropouts, disadvantaged women, etc by adopting innovative approaches where the learners do as they learn. Motivation and livelihood being important elements in these, the learners are more at ease with the things they learn and usually take these into practice simultaneously. For example, CMES’s Basic School System has a component called ‘Home to Home Program’ where the learners study environment in the neighbourhood as a part of the school routine. BRA& Adolescent Schools and Libraries arrange special study circles through peer organized efforts in local environment. NGOs are contributing towards Environment Education in other important ways too. In fact, the major concerns of some NGOs have been to protect the environment and long term livelihood of the disadvantaged people. They are taking up issues with the planners and authorities as well as with major perpetrators of environmental degradation, even through many of the latter are quite powerful groups. In the process, NGOs are creating large scale public

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awareness CAPACITY and public education BUILDING on the issues concerned. FUTURE



The future of Environment Education depends on capacity building and R & D inputs. Contributions and experiences in non-formal education are now being consolidated towards the strengthening of main stream education. The government has created Directorate of Non-Formal Education (DNFE) within the Ministry of Education to strengthen the capacity in mass education. So far, its major intervention has been in the field of mass literacy. However, the present plans include continuing education with strong life-oriented components including environmental content. The Directorate could act as an important intermediary in trying to replicate the innovative approaches of the NGOs and those of other non-formal means for the mainstream formal education sector. The major tasks in overcoming present limitations in formal education sector in

providing effective environmental education is to strengthen its capacity to absorb new information and to engage the experience and imagination of the students. These will need ‘outer campus’ interventions as well as ‘inner campus’ ones. Actual observations and experimentation in the field would provide ‘down to earth’ basis. These would require new kind of capacity building in terms of teacher training, teacher motivation, facilities and teacher-student ratio. The text books too have to be re-oriented to meet these new requirements and so has to be the examination system. Environment studies is a rapidly developing subject even in the local context. Unlike some other research sectors, development here does not exclusively depend upon specialist scientists and scientific organizations. The local public, young enthusiasts, and above all, local dedicated organizations can make important contributions. These efforts should have active interactions and interfaces with science education. The students should be encouraged to make their own observations and to engage their imagination and actions to the subject. This is all the more appropriate for curriculum developers, text book writers and the teacher-trainers. There has been some movement in Bangladesh towards such a future, and there is a growing tendency for the formal and non-formal sectors of science education to work together for such developments.

20 Greening ScienceEducation

Bhutan Country Report on Science Education with Special Reference to Environmental Issues
Nandu Giri
Lecturer in Chemistry & Science Education Samchi, Bhutan National Institute of Education,

A wave of concern for the environment swept across the developed countries in the sixties and reached its climax in 1970 with the celebration of ‘Earth day’ under the auspices of the United Nations. In Bhutan, environmental education was incorporated into the science curriculum in the early eighties. The Royal Government of Bhutan has given due importance to environmental education which is taught in the schools right from the pre- primary level. The objective of environmental education is to create awareness in people, particularly students, about the importance of protection and conservation of our fragile environment and the need to restrain human activities which lead to indiscriminate release of pollutants into the environment. The kingdom of Bhutan has advantages over other nations in preserving its environment. About sixty percent of our land is still covered by natural forests. The industries are fewer in number and the Royal Government is taking every effort to protect the environment. The following is a brief note on the Royal Government’s science education (Education Division, 1996) : educational policy about

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Science in the curriculum should satisfy intellectual, utilitarian, vocational, cultural, moral and aesthetic values. Besides these, the teaching of science should impart training in “scientific methods” and develop “scientific attitudes” which are valuable and at the same time transferable and applicable to life-situations. Science education (class 4 to 8) should provide a basic quantum of scientific

knowledge, skills and values as part of the students’ general education to enable them to understand the physical world around them. The students should be equipped with scientific methods of enquiry and investigation. As such the science curriculum should lay a sound foundation for those who would pursue technical training after class VIII, as well as, for those who continue on to class IX to study science further. AIMS Teachers should guide the students to develop: and their relationship to both, the natural and

Understanding of themselves physical environments. Investigating skills.

Curiosity, originality, open-mindedness and concern for the responsible management of resources and care for the environment. Concept of scientific enquiry - the notion that there is discoverable upon available facts pointing to a conclusion. truth built

Understanding and application of the principles of good health in areas such as safety, personal fitness, diseases and community health. Basic theoretical knowledge livestock and forestry. LEARNING EXPERIENCES necessary in farming such as agriculture,

Students should have opportunities to identify problems, pose questions, conduct experiments, observe phenomena, objects, plants and animals, organise, analyse and learn information gained from these experiences and record their overall findings. They should also have opportunities to work independently and in

22 Greening ScienceEducation
groups and develop LEARNING critical and positive thinking.

OUTCOMES will help students to:

These experiences

Understand the variety, characteristics and needs of living things, changes and adaptations in living things, and the interdependence of living things within communities; Understand the variety and characteristics of energy, earth and space, and changes Understand changes; the problems of materials, sources and forms in physical environment; and environmental and show



and benefits of technological


Create interest in their environment, enjoy their investigations concern for the judicious use and management of resources. OF SCHOOL EDUCATION in Bhutan is as given below:

STRUCTURE The structure

of School education



LOWER PRIMARY (PP to Class3) El.

UPPER PRIMARY (Classes 4 to 6) ’

LOWER SECONDARY (Classes 7&8) El-

SECONDARY (Classes9841 0)

LOWER PRIMARY A child starts going to school at the age of six. The lower primary school education consists of one year primary followed by three years lower primary, i.e, classes I,ll,and III. At lower primary level environmental studies form the basis for the study of science at higher classes. A child starts learning science through environmental studies. In environmental studies, the topics are presented in such a way that children

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are introduced to learning using the local environment as the base, rather than teaching facts foreign to it. Our environment with its rich traditions provides ample opportunities for this approach, i.e. the information children learn is not far from their own life, traditions, culture and experiences. Such a mode of learning becomes a strong base for developing environment friendly values and systems. Children can, further, begin to appreciate their own culture and learn to preserve and practice it. In the environmental approach the children are placed, as far as possible, in the

position of discoverers and instead of being told the facts they are encouraged and guided to find them out for themselves. The children are helped to learn through their own efforts. They obtain information through observation and In this method, direct memorising of facts is not encoureged. The experience. teacher’s role is to act as a facilitator. The aim of this method is to develop the spirit of enquiry. Hence, there is no spoon feeding or mere acceptance of facts which are stated by the teachers. In this method, it is necessary for the child to observe facts correctly and to record them giving proper reasoning. Here children have to read, discuss, listen, ask questions and do things themselves. Through
l l


studies children


Gain knowledge Understand environment. Respect Inculcate

about the environment. of the society to that of the natural surroundings.

about the relationship

l l


for the quality of their immediate

positive feelings towards themselves,

others and nature.

UPPER PRIMARY General Science is taught from class IV to VI. Most of the topics are integrated to the environment around us. The primary science curriculum is concerned with contexts, as well as, giving a broad understanding Science. These contexts relate to the main social and economic activities in Bhutan. Their inclusion develops children’s appreciation of the complex relationship between science, technology and society. The concepts, skills and values in science are taught


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child centred learning activities which are organised in pairs, small


groups, or individualty. SYLLABUS AT A GLANCE

The broad topics covered in classes 4,5,and 6 are given below: CLASS 4 Measuring Water and soil Food and health Sight and sound Trees and wood Clothes and dyes LOWER SECONDARY A balanced science is followed in classes VII and VIII. An integrated approach is used to teach the contents. The related contents are integrated to the environment around us. The pertaining environmental issues like air pollution, soil pollution, water pollution, greenhouse effect, water cycle, nitrogen cycle, CFC, etc are recently incorporated in our syllabus. The syllabus of school level science is described here as under. SCIENCE SYLLABUS FOR LOWER SECONDARY CLASS 5 Sorting and separating Farming and gardening Energy Keeping healthy Pushing and pulling Air CLASS 6 Materials and properties Electricity and magnetism Structures and forces Living and growing Changes and reactions Planet Earth

Science syllabus for lower secondary is intended to build students’ knowledge based on the general foundation in Science laid across classes IV to Class VI. As a whole, it aims to provide a basic quantum of science knowledge to develop in students skills such as, observation, recording, measurement, classification, prediction, inference and manipulating the environment for the purpose of investigation. These scientific methods, in turn, help to develop scientific attitude whereby learners acquire open thinking minds, ask relevant questions and react to ideas and events.

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Unit I Our Natural Environment


Nature and its composition

17 hours

Matter; The three states of mattersolid, liquid and gas; The Particle Theory of matter; Brownian motion; Diffusion in gases and liquids; Melting; Freezing; Molecules; formula; Boiling; Evaporation; Cohesion; Sublimation Adhesion; Symbols and and Condensation; Atoms;

Elements; Classification

Compounds; of matter.


13 hours


of air and their uses; Properties air pressure; Atmospheric


air; Factors affecting and prevention. The earth IO hours The basic rocks rocks; chemical

pressure and its application;

Air pollution - causes of common basic types of of

composition The three

and minerals;

Rocks and minerals found in Bhutan; The of rocks and soils; conservation Soil pollutionSoil profile; Different types causes


minerals; Weathering; and prevention. Water 13 hours The molecular

of soil and their properties;


of water; between

the hard

properties methods

of water; The difference of removing the hardness

and soft water;Types Water pollution Sunlight 13 hours Sunlight importance

of hard and soft water; Some from water;

- causes and prevention. source of energy; The

as the ultimate of sunlight;

The properties

of light;

Eclipses: Reflection of light; Refraction of light; white light is composed of different colours. Living things 14 hours Composition of living things; Cells; plant cell and

animal cell; Variety of life on Earth; The five kingdoms - classification of living things.


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Unit II Natural Processes
Physical and chemical changes 13 hours Physical equation; chemical Water cycle Carbon Nitrogen cycle cycle 7 hours 8 hours 7 hours 13 hours change factors changes. of forests. effect. and chemical which influence change; physical reand


of atoms and molecules;


The water cycle; the importance The carbon cycle; The greenhouse The nitrogen Chemical weathering; cycle; Lightning.

Environmental chemistry Food chains &webs


in the environment;


Rusting; Combustion consumers

(petrol, wood). Food

5 hours


and decomposers; Pyramid

chain; Pyramid of number: Pyramid of energy;

of biomass;

Food web. Species; types organisms; grids; Saprophytic Fluctuating Imbalances; Population; Collecting Free living; organisms population; Bhutan and ;


13 hours

Habitat; Ecosystem: occurring specimen; Parasitic; Carrying

Community; Different between Symbiotic; capacity; adaptation;

of relationships

Using quadrants;

competition; sustainability.

Unit Ill Energy
Energy sources 10 hours Energy; made renewable for Bhutan. Forms of energy 10 hours Different forms of energy: the law of conservation of energy; Units of energy; The importance to our health. Saving energy 7 hours Energy and life; Minimising energy loss; Simple Preventing of food Sources energy energy; of energy; Energy Natural and human and nonappropriate sources



calculations on energy conservation; an energy crisis in Bhutan.

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15 hours

Nutrient elements Soil affects agriculture; fallowing; protection Reproduction plants; and their role in plant growth; pH of soil; Use of lime in - fertilisers, pests field of crops- plant breeding, and weeds; propagation.

soil improvement Improvement from diseases,

in plants- vegetative

Animal health

15 hours

Cattle in Bhutan-new health; crops; Diseases Pasture

breeds of cattle; cattle and cattle; Fodder lands; Factors affecting

of husbandry

introduction of pasture development programme, Breeds of pigs in Bhutan - management; Some common hatching; Forest life 5 hours diseases Diseases of pigs; keeping - poultry; for Improvement of stock; Choice of eggs

and their prevention. why there Forests of forests of writing and

Bio-diversity; is bio-diversity; and people;

Bhutan and bio-diversity; Importance of diversity; Forest fires; Conservation numbers, reactions steps


17 hours

Radical, formulae,

combining chemical

and equations

steps for writing equations; pure substance; compounds - properties of acompound; Mixtures - properties cement of mixture; Types of industries and essential oils (lemon grass oil).


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Unit II Health and Diseases
Our body 13 hours Cell- unit of life; Important Types of animal tissues sustentative parts of a cell; Tissues; - epithelial tissue,

tissue; nervous tissue and muscular system, system, Endocrine Skeletal system, Nervous system, Respiratory system, and system

tissue; Organs - group of tissues; Organ systems - lntegumentary system, Excretory Reproductive Food 5 hours Food diet; Reproductive health 7 hours groupsCirculatory system, system. carbohydrates, proteins, fats, Muscular system, Digestive



water and fibre; , food & hygiene.


Healthy cooking

Secondary Pregnancy pregnancy:

sexual characteristics; family planning-

Menstruation; and

- maternal health and nutrition during contraception sexually transmitted diseases and

contraceptives; their prevention. Child care 5 hours Breast-feeding,



of a baby


different stages; Immunisation; Common diseases and their prevention 13 hours Causes of diseasesborne germs; diseases;

Safety of children. Examples other of air diseases

borne, water


Diseases caused by worms; Contagious and their prevention.

Substance abuse

13 hours


of drugs

and their effects-depressants, Addiction; Hazards family drug, abuse; Effects of drugs (alcohol, on the individual, taken to reduce

stimulants and hallucinogens; of substance and society; smoking, domachewing) Measures alcohol and tobacco



13 hours

The external and Internal structure of the eye: How do we see things; Power of accommodation:Similarities and differences betweenthe eye and a camera;Somecommon eye problems;Eyecare;Theear; Howdo we hear;Keeping your balance; Sound; Frequency; pitch; Loudness; Echo; Earproblems its care;Somecommonmentaldisorders. and

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Unit III Technology
Using force 20 hours Force; Types of force; Gravitational balanced


force; forces;


in design


Friction; Reducing friction; Machines; Types of levers;

friction; Methods to increase Levers; Principle of lever; Pulleys; Single fixed pulley;

Movable pulley; Inclined plane; Screw; Wheel and axle; Gears. Dyeing 7 hours What is a dye?; Different types of dyes; Mordant; The process of bamboo dyeing; of plant dyes; Chromatography. Supply and Use of Electricity 20 hours Static electricity; Current electricity; current from magnet; Electromagnet bell; Electric Relationship Electricity sockets; electricity. Paper making 5 hours What is paper; Sources of fibres for papermaking; Process of papermaking; Deysho - raw materials and process of deysho making: Recycling paper. circuit; Measuring between at home Earthing current ; Wiring Conservation

Producing in electric

current; Voltage; and voltage; and plugs and power measures for - live, neutral

earthing; Colour code; Three-pin paying for electricity, Safety

and safety; fuses; Saving and

In classes subjects. Certificate

Physics, content Chemistry is same and Biology are taught Council as separate for School

IX and X The syllabus (ICSC).

as that

of Indian

The teaching strategies used in teaching Science in Primary and lower secondary

30 Greening ScienceEducation
classes are: 1. Lecture cum demonstration about environmental learning issues by organising issues is imparted through lectures and

The knowledge demonstrations. 2. Co-operative

The children are made aware of the environmental group activities in the form of co-operative learning. 3. Guided discovery learning

In guided discovery through discovery. 4. Field trips

learning, the children are guided to arrive at conclusions

The children are taken for a field trip to find out the effect on the environment by human activities. 5. Case studies A case study on environmental a project work. 6 Problem solving on environmental issues and celebration issues is given to the children in the form of

In this method, children are given problems asked about their solutions. 7 Awareness programmes like seminars, of social forestry day, etc.

debate, symposium,

As a part of the school activities, environmental awareness programme in the form of seminars, debate, symposium, etc. are organised regularly. The social forestry day is celebrated on June 2”* every year by planting trees. REFERENCES Education Division. 1996. The purpose of school education in Bhutan. Govt. of Bhutan.

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Strategies in Environmental Education Experiences from India
Centre for Environment

V. Sarabhai
Education, Ahmedabad, India.


Today as we make plans for Rio +lO, we should remember that Rio itself was Stockholm +20. But unlike Rio, which became the largest gathering of heads of States and Governments, the position in 1972 was nowhere near the same. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India was the only visiting head of Government at the Conference in Stockholm. This was not so much because of India’s deep commitment to the environment per se, but rather because of the awareness that unless development needs and those of poverty in particular, were dealt with simultaneously, there could be neither protection of the environment nor success in the programmes to achieve development. Launching the World Conservation Strategy in India, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi reminded the audience that “the interest in conservation is the rediscovery of a truth well known to our sages. The Indian tradition teaches us that all forms of life: animal and plant are so closely linked that disturbance in one gives rise to imbalance in the other”. The Indian Constitution laid down the responsibility of Government to protect and improve the environment (Article 48A, Constitution of India) and made it a “fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife” (Article 51 G, Constitution of India). It was in this background that a Department of Environment was established by the Government of India in 1980, and a Ministry formed in 1985. The role of the Ministry was seen as a nodal agency in the Central Government for the “planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of various

32 Greening ScienceEducation
environmental and forestry programmes”. In order to achieve these tasks, the Ministry recognized the “creation of environmental awareness among all sectors of the country’s population” (Supreme Court of India, 1991). The Ministry, in turn, recognized environmental education as a key to the success of an overall environmental strategy and decided to help in the setting up of a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Environment Education (EE) to play the vital role of setting the pace and the agenda for EE in the country. The Centre for Environment Education, CEE, was set up in 1984. In this paper, I discuss the principal strategies and the experiences of India and CEE. THE CHALLENGE OF INDIA in the context

With over a billion people and at least 17 major languages, with poverty and low literacy levels, with over 650,000 primary schools and with a rapid increasing population, the development and environmental challenge is enormous. But in spite of all the human pressures, India continues to be rich in it’s biodiversity. With over 1,27,000 species and a variety of habitats, India is one of the world’s mega biodiversity centres. While several of the goals of development remain elusive, with better nutrition and health care, the life expectancy at birth which was a mere 24 years at the turn of the last century and 34 years at Independence in 1947, today is close to 70 years. The agricultural revolution has ensured that the food-grain production has not only kept pace with the growth in population but has grown faster-a factor of four, while population has grown three times over the past fifty years. Industrial production has shown an even more rapid growth, about 15 times since independence. Per capita income has grown 45 times during this period. India has made considerable strides in slowing down its population growth rate. But with all the efforts, the current estimate is that our population will only stabilize somewhere in the middle of the century, by which time we will have become the most populous country of the world. Till then we add a population of approximately one Australia to India every year. With about 16% of the world’s population and a little over 2% of it’s land, there is already enormous pressure on our resources. But while the population increase puts pressure on our resources, the pressure of “development” is perhaps even greater.

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The Constitution and the Government’s commitment to the environment along with the rich tradition of environmentally sound practices are an important backdrop in which the country’s EE strategy has been evolved. The Central Government and every state within India, now has a Ministry or Department of Environment. All education departments recognize EE as an essential part of education. The law courts have been sympathetic to environmental issues and the Supreme Court has passed a directive that all students must go through a compulsory course on environment and the media must show, free of cost, a certain amount of programmes to create environmental awareness (Supreme Court of India, 1991). India has a vast network of NGOs that are actively participating in the creation of awareness on development and environmental issues. Working on their own and with Governments, they are the backbone of the strategy to create greater environmental awareness, especially that leading to environmental action. Also, the rich tradition of India emphasizes on living in harmony with nature. The Bishnoi cult, for example, is follower of a Rajput saint, Jambeshwar Maharaj, who lived towards the end of the fifteenth century. Bishnois emphasise vegetarianism, non-violence, protection of trees and respect for all living things. In 1730, 363 Bishnois of Khejadi village, mostly women and old men, are said to have laid down their lives in an effort to protect trees against the orders of the Jodhpur Maharaj. Sacred groves are a unique tradition that has been responsible for islands of biodiversity in various parts of the country. Ashoka’s pillar edict, dating back to 272-232 B.C., proclaims protection WEAKNESSES

for plants and animals.

Illiteracy, which is estimated at around 48% (Census of India, 1991), and a high dropout rate in the school system impede most educational programmes. There is also insufficient recognition of EE, or for that matter education itself, as an essential tool for development. While commercial communication in the form of advertising is recognized by the business

34 Greening ScienceEducation
community as essential, development communication and environmental

education and communication still remains at a sub-critical level as far as funding is concerned. The slower visible impact of EE on improvements in the environment is an inherent “weakness”. OPPORTUNITIES

The rapid growth of mass media and the coverage of radio and TV offer a major opportunity for EE. The increasing availability of the Internet is also an emerging opportunity. With the media giving more coverage to environmental issues and, in particular, highlighting environmental linkages with various calamities and degradation, people are more interested in learning about the environment.


With opportunity, the new and powerful media with their increasing dependence on advertising revenues, have sparked off a consumerism which will have its own impact on people and their behaviour. The advertising budgets are huge compared to the total resources being spent on EE. These ‘alternative’ consumer messages can be seen as a threat to EE. A GOVERNMENT STRATEGY OF



While the principal responsibility for Environmental Education through the formal educational system is with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the parallel responsibility of EE through non-formal efforts lies with the Ministry of Environment. But these efforts are by no means exclusive. There is a large amount of co-operation between the Ministries and with the institutions associated with them.

EE IN THE CURRICULUM The national system of education, as defined in the National Policy on Education, 1986, visualizes a national curricular framework which contains a common core including several elements having a direct bearing on the natural and social environment of the pupils. The National Policy on Education, 1986 (NPE) states that the “protection of

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the environment” is a value which along with certain other values, must from an integral part of the curriculum at all stages of education. The policy of the states: “There is a paramount need to create a consciousness environment. It must permeate all ages and all sections of society, beginning with the child. Environmental consciousness should inform teaching in schools and colleges. This aspect will be integrated in the entire educational process. ” There has been special emphasis on the need and this has been kept in view while designing and developing text-books. The philosophy environmental education could be infused into primary level. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is the apex body in the area of developing curriculum for the formal education system. Currently there is a national debate on how to make EE not only widespread but also effective at all levels of education. The strategy under discussion envisages strategy are:
l l l

for environmental education, curricula, framing the syllabi behind the curricula is that the curricula especially at the

a four-pronged


The four elements

of the


Infusion of EE, for effective EE,

Teacher Training

Providing some space within the education system to discuss Environment separately and emphasize its linkages with other disciplines, Use of non-formal methods of EE through the involvement of NGOs.


The success of the above strategy will depend upon the close synergy and partnership between the MHRD and the MoEF, their key institutions, State Governments, NGOs, as well as, educational institutions throughout the country. In addition, the four components are closely linked and one cannot be viewed in isolation from the other. The operationalization would need to keep this in view. This national level process has been undertaken by the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests with support from the World Bank. CEE has been closely involved in facilitating this process on behalf of the MoEF. The first step, which is ongoing, is the analysis of curricula across India to review the degree and quality of infusion of EE. The exercise is being undertaken by a

36 Greening ScienceEducation
partner organization Bharati Vidyapeeth Research (BVIEER).

Institute of Environment








Today, most EE programmes are designed and implemented with National and State level perspectives, hence the full intent to environmental education cannot be achieved because environmental concerns and problems may be locale specific and therefore, do not lend themselves to global solutions. Therefore, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, supports a centrally sponsored scheme of ‘Environmental Orientation to School Education’ (EOSE). Under EOSE financial assistance is provided to government and voluntary organizations and other institutions working in the field of environmental education to develop locale specific programmes and materials. CEE is one of the designated nodal agencies for EOSE. To date approximately 120 projects to support development of locale specific programmes and materials by NGOs have been facilitated.



One of the strategies of the Ministry of Environment and Forests is to establish ‘Centres of Excellence’ for research, training and education which would play a pivotal role in strengthening the country’s infrastructure and thereby, its ability to deal with these issues. The Centre for Environment Education was set up in 1984 at Ahmedabad under this programme. A second Centre, the C.P.Ramaswamy Environmental Education Centre at Chennai was set up in 1988 under the same scheme. The main activities of both the Centres are the development of environmental resource materials, organization of training programmes and creation of environmental awareness among teachers, students and the general community.






The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, started National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) in 1986 with the aim of creating environmental awareness at all levels of society. Under NEAC, the Ministry provides financial assistance to selected non-governmental organizations, education and training institutions, community organizations, etc. to create massive environmental awareness among citizens of India. Diverse target groups ranging from students/youth/teachers to rural and

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tribal population, women, professionals


and the general public, are covered are basically composed

under this campaign. The Campaign programmes of a spectrum of short duration programmes.




The Ministry of Environment and Forests has set up ENVIS for different aspects of environment. The objectives of this system are to provide national environmental information service to the users of originators, processors and disseminators; to build up storage, retrieval and dissemination capabilities; to promote support and assist education and personnel training programmes designed to enhance environmental information processing and utilizing capabilities; to promote exchange of information amongst developing countries. CEE has been designated as the National ENVIS Centre for Environmental Education.




Setting up of Natural History Museums with unique facilities to promote nonformal environmental education and to create environmental awareness among people is a strategy of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The National Museum of Natural History is located at Delhi. Regional Museums are also being established at Mysore, Bhopal and Bhubaneshwar.



A non-formal pro-active system of imparting environmental education to school children by involving them in various environmental activities through the scheme of Eco-clubs has been evolved by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. An Eco-club may be set up in a middle/high school and should consist of a minimum of 20 members and a maximum of 50 members, particularly interested in the conservation and protection of the environment, and willing to dedicate time and effort on a regular basis towards this end. The members may be drawn from students belonging to classes from VI to X. Each Eco-club is in the charge of an active teacher in the school concerned. The Ministry provides some financial support per annum per Eco-Club. To extend and improve the coverage of the programme, this effort is now being intensified. It is planned to set up eco-clubs in at least 100 schools in


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each district of the country and it is planned to implement the programme through State/UT. The scheme proposes to raise ‘National Green Army’ in schools all over the country to spread environmental awareness and carry out action-based programmes for protection and improvement of environment.




The Ministry provides financial assistance for the production of films, videospots and other audio visuals on important environmental issues for creation of mass awareness.These are normally telecast by our National Television (Door Darshan) Channels. There are slots in our National TV Channel specially for environment. THE CEE STRATEGY Centre for Environment Education (CEE) is a national centre in the field of

environmental education (EE). Its main objective is to promote, across a wide range of target audiences, environmental awareness-an understanding of natural processes and the interdependence between human beings and environmentand concern, leading to environmental action. CEE’s target audiences primarily include children, youth and the general community. Equally importantly it addresses its efforts to servicing the EE needs of special groups such as teachers and educators, journalists and communicators, business and industry, government departments and NGOs, planners and policy makers, in-service professionals and community-based organizations. From its inception CEE’s activities have been rooted in and guided basic strategies for maximization of their effectiveness and impact.

by certain


TOOLS uniform educational programmes and materials

Any attempt at developing

for a country as diverse as India is bound to run into difficulties. Therefore, adaptability to different geographic, cultural, social and economic contexts are built into the basic design of CEE’s programmes and materials making them suitable, relevant and useful nationally.

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FLEXIBILITY Given the wide diversity of the country, any educational programme or product, to be effective at a national level, will have IO be flexible enough to aliow appropriate modifications and changes. CEE’s educational programmes and products are like the saree (Sarabhai, 1985)-more a tool than a finished product, a tool that comes alive in the hands of each communicator, its application being the combined effort of the designer and the user.


MULTIPLIERS The most efficient way of reaching out nationally in a large country, especially in school system, is perhaps through the government systems and NGO efforts. CEE, wherever possible, has tried to mainstream several of its school level EE programmes and products. CEE has worked, on several projects, very closely with the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Some of CEE’s school level publications have been translated and included into the school curriculum by state departments of education. Similarly, the Southern Regional Cell of CEE coordinates a compulsory in Environment in all B.Ed colleges in the state of Karnataka. course

Also, strategies have been designed with a built in multiplier effect to achieve maximum reach and impact. Strategies include building up of partnerships with key partners in government and voluntary sectors; using the mass media, seminars, workshops, etc. In order to reach a large number of school children, CEE works to capacity build teachers as primary agent, for introducing and sustaining EE in schools. This is because a single teacher can reach out to at least 100 to 200 children every year over a period of 15-20 years of his/her teaching


MEDIA Information technology (IT) advancement in the last few years has thrown open an entirely new medium of communication, which is fast and economical. CEE decided to look at internet as a powerful medium for not just sharing experiences and information but also for reaching out to more people and popularizing EE. The web has great potential for EE as it provides a medium which is not just interactive but can also be updated frequently.

40 Greening ScienceEducation
This is a great requirement dynamic. Of particular reference to the use of IT for EE in school education is the GLOBE project, being implemented by the MoEF. CEE is a nodal agency for this programme. Besides this, CEE has already launched seven sites targeted at various groups like children, teachers, youth, educators from the region, policy makers, etc. These are: (about CEE) (for decision makers) for subjects like EE and ESD which are so environmental education)

(for educators) (for children) (the south and southeast asia network for

(for youth) (about climate change)

The future areas which CEE would like to look at is ways in which IT can be used for providing Computer Based Training on the web, as part of its capacity building activities. This becomes particularly important as the cost of getting participants is going to become increasingly expensive. Making use of multimedia, CEE, with support from different agencies is developing a number of environment based CDs for use in both formal and non-formal education. Exhibitions form another effective medium for environmental communication. CEE develops and fabricates exhibits on diverse environment-related themes. Television and video facilities are becoming more widely available in the country. CEE recognizes the effectiveness of this medium in environmental education.




While CEE’s mandate is to reach out across a wide range of target audiences it has strategically selected from within these groups in order to achieve

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reach and impact. An initial strategy was to target the middle

schools (Std. V to VIII), age group 1O-l 4 years, as the entry point to introduce activity based learning-by-doing approaches for environmental education. This was keeping in mind that at this stage, while children are open to and capable of grasping new ideas, they are also not too pressured by competitive examinations. Thus the school managements also are more willing to allow innovative approaches at this stage.



The areas and target groups requiring environmental education are enormous and cannot be handled by one single institution. CEE has, therefore, developed a strategy of working with others. Partnerships and networks are developed utilizing complementary strengths of other organizations to avoid duplication of effort and synergistic convergence of ideas and goals. One example of such a partnership is school cluster programmes. Developing a sustainable model of partnerships between CEE, government and nongovernment institutions to sustain and invigorate this network was a key strategy adopted from the start. To this end CE.E developed a model of close partnerships between the local schools, local NGOs and State Departments of Education across the country. Today, under the schoolcluster programme supported by MoEF year-round programmes go on in schools through 55 NGO-school clusters covering all States. Over 1000 schools

are part of this network. THE WHEEL


CEE strongly feels that it is a waste of precious talent and resources to reinvent the wheel. CEE also strongly feels that blindly using materials developed elsewhere would defeat CEE’s role as innovators. It would also possibly reduce the chances of successful and widespread use of the materials. Successful adaptation involves a variety of inputs including a fair amount of imagination and creativity. Some examples of such adaptation is the Nature Scope India which is the adaptation of the American Nature Scope under an understanding with the National Wildlife Federation, USA. Another such collaboration is with the World Resources Institute, USA under which a series of manuals is being developed for college teachers to aid them in introducing


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environmental concepts, issues and perspectives to undergraduate students.

With particular reference to such efforts at school level, CEE has set-up a facility called the ‘Environmental Education Bank’. The Bank is a collection of physical and computerized environmental education resources, aimed to serve as ready-reference to educators for developing EE teaching resources based on their own needs. EXPERIENCING NATURE

Sundarvan, a nature education park, is part of CEE. This facility seeks to expose urban children and adults to the beauty and harmony of nature and to awaken their love for flora and fauna. This is carried out through a number of educational programmes using small animals, nature camps and training camps. Regular snake shows are held in Sundarvan to dispel myths and educate visitors about the nature and behaviour of reptiles. Outreach programmes include taking small animals to schools for demonstrations. Two permanent camp-sites have been set up for nature education in the context of forest and marine environments respectively at Bakore and Beyt Dwarka in Gujarat. These are managed by Sundarvan. TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING

Over the years, programmes to capacity build individuals and institutions towards better environmental education and communication has become an important thrust area of CEE. A range of short and long term training programmes programmes are offered. As mentioned earlier, CEE conducts EE training for lecturers from DIETS, SCERT, text-book boards, etc.

CEE conducts EE Workshops for teachers. Such 3-5 day workshops introduce teachers to the concept of EE, a variety of approaches that can be used for EE and towards the end, it facilitates development of EE teaching material, which each teacher, based on his/ her requirement, develops by accessing and using the EE Bank facility. Some of the other capacity building programmes include Training programme in Environmental Education (TEE), Internship Programme in Environmental Journalism, Training in Librarianship and Documentation (TLD), Training for Indian Forest Officers, Certificate Course in Environmental Education (CCEE) to fulfil1 the requirement of trained professionals in EE in South And South

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East Asia. All these strategies are a pat-t of CEE’s concept of networking gain access to greater expertise and resources and avoid duplication efforts.

to of




Various international activities are carried out by the Centre. The activities include on-going training programmes, workshops in collaboration with other NGOs, Institutes, etc. The activities/programmes include Workshops/ Seminars/Specific Focus Meetings, Training Programmes, Subject Expertise, Collaborative Projects and Partnerships and Networking. SASEANEE-South and Southeast Asia Network for Environmental Educationwas launched in the year 1993 by IUCN and CEE. SASEANEE is a network of agencies and individuals interested in networking, initiating, or supporting environmental education programmes in the Region. The Secretariat is located at CEE. The South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), has through the Ministry of Environment and Forests, designated CEE as it’s Subject Matter Focal Point of Environmental Education and Training and National Focal Point. CEE has coordinated a number of regional and international level projects. For example, in 1998, CEE conducted a month long special training programme in EE for a group of 15 on-site teacher educators from the Institute of Teacher Education, Maldives. CEE, with support from UNESCO, conducted Sub-regional Workshops on developing self-learning material for middle and high school level on best practices in coastal conservation. CEE, being one of the Subject Matter Focal Points (EE and training) of SACEP, has developed a set of books on select environmental topics for children. Also a number of workshops have been conducted in collaboration with International Agencies, Institutions & NGOs. Resource materials brought out by CEE have been adapted and developed for use in neighbouring countries by agencies of those countries. CEE has entered into various collaborative

44 Greening ScienceEducation
projects with international partners whereby there is sharing of resource

materials and programmes. Such collaborative projects help in sharing and enriching the perspectives of all the partners concerned. These include partnerships with the following: National Wildlife Federation, USA, State University of New York, US National Park Service, World Resources Institute, USA, Field Studies Council, UK, International Environment (TVE), UK and UNESCO-UNEP. CONCLUSION The goal of EE is so enormous, complex and complicated that it requires strategic interventions at various levels and in various sectors of society. We need to work at the policy level, at the same time, we need to generate various innovative ways of introducing EE in schools; in linking schools with NGOs and communities; in facilitating locale-specific programmes and developing basic material. This is a large task and has to be undertaken with urgency. REFERENCES Ministry of Environment and Forests.l999-2000. Annual Report MEF, Govt. of India. Television Trust for the

Sarabhai, K.V. 1985. Stratagy for Environment Education : An approach for India. CEE, Ahmedabad. Supreme Court of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No 860 of 1991, M.C.Mehta vs. Union of India.

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Existing Issues and Methodologies in Science Education in Nepal: Some Major Environmental Concerns
Associate Tribhuvan

Devi Maharjan
Education Nepal Kathmandu,

Professor of Environmental University,

Nepal is a mountainous, land-locked country in South Asia, between China and India, with a vast range of geographical and cultural diversity. Its population of 24 million has undergone rapid change in the past decade. Being a developing country, rapid population growth and environmental degradation is a major problem. Although signs of modern technology are seen in Nepal, its educational system is still lagging behind, resulting in considerable hindrance to the country’s economic development. EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN NEPAL in Nepal. :

Ten years of formal education (often in one school) is available Beginning at an age of 5+, the school education system comprises
l l l

5 years of primary education 3 years of Lower Secondary 2 years of Secondary

(Grade l-5) for 5+ to 9+ years old, education (Grade 6-8) for lO+ to 12+ yrs old,


(Grade 9&l 0) for 13+ and 14+ yrs old.

There is a national curriculum, with Nepali, the national language, as the medium of instruction in government schools. However, the better endowed private schools have their own curriculum, with English as the medium of instruction. Private schools do not receive government grants but charge higher fees and pay teachers more.

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These schools manage to cover the national curriculum content for their

candidates to sit for the local progress examinations at Grade 5 and Grade 8 and for the national examination which take place at the end of tenth grade. There are also Higher Secondary schools which provide for Grade 11 and 12 classes to prepare for university entrance, where undergraduate courses are usually of three or five years duration. ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE CURRICULUM

In 1992, with the aim to develop awareness and the importance of environmental and health issues in everyday life and the appreciation of social norms, environment components were introduced for the first time into the Social Studies subject for the first three grades in Primary school curriculum. At grade 2 and grade 5 Environment was incorporated together with Science and Health, as a core subject, As the Lower Secondary school aimed to make the students aware of their responsibility towards the social and natural environment, at that level ‘Population and Environment Education’ became the core subject. Science, as such, was another separate compulsory subject. From 1995, a compulsory integrated subject ‘Science and Environment’ was introduced at Secondary level, with the aim of contributing to economic development. It was also intended to familiarize students with national traditions, their cultural and social heritage and to make them more aware of scientific issues and democratic values. However, even before its implementation in 1999, the environmental components were deleted from Science, in order to include them into an additional new core subject: ‘Health, Population and Environment.’ ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION IN NEPAL

The Nepal school curriculum at various stages address a wide range of components of the environment, including living things, local fauna and flora, natural resources, pollution, health and population issues. Unfortunately, prevailing classical methods of teaching and learning, the limitations of resources and trained man power, and the prevailing examination system are some factors which have negative influence on the quality of education which is improperly geared towards its targets.

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Research carried out by IUCN has shown that students taught by trained teachers and with good facilities achieved satisfactory outcomes, much better than other students without these privileges (Pandey & Karki, 1998). STL MATERIALS WORKSHOP

With this situation concerning the status of the environmental education in Nepal, and in response to the Project 2000+, this author seized an opportunity to run a workshop on STL materials development in 1998. A group of teachers was invited to come together for a week to consider how to develop teaching materials that could promote students’ thinking and attitudes specifically addressed to Nepal’s environmental issues. After discussing the philosophy of scientific and technological literacy, we divided into groups to pinpoint concepts and activities appropriate to some local environmental problems and their impact in our daily life. The topics developed included aspects of pollution, food adulteration, use of fertilizers, water purification, health and economy in daily life - all intimately related to sustainability of the environment of the country. Eight draft modules were tested, revised and then published in a book. The approach emphasizes learning through group work or activities such as discussion, investigation, demonstration, role play, communication, etc. Suggestion are provided to teachers about methods of assessment of progress towards different objectives of each unit. One unique feature is encouraging students to participate in dramas or making posters which disseminate findings in the school or local community (Pandey et. a/., 2000). TEACHER Methods EDUCATION of promoting FOR SCIENCE scientific AND ENVIRONMENT literacy for sustainable

and technological

development are slowly entering teacher training courses. Recent progress in teacher education in Nepal by SEDP includes development of detailed in-service training manuals for upgrading the competency of secondary science teachers as well as for Health, Population and Environmental Education teachers who have to implement the new curriculum. Similarly, the publication of an Environmental Education Source Book provided more background information for teachers and students in this field. Human resources have also been

48 Greening ScienceEducation
strengthened by introducing Environmental Education within the B.Ed. degree of Tribhuvan University. Similarly the National Centre for Educational Development is providing in-service training for primary teachers which includes a component of environmental science. TEACHING STRATEGIES IN SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT

Until recent revision of the curriculum, science was taught as a body of knowledge, with occasional verification of theories and principles. The new curriculum attempts to be more meaningful to the daily life situation. The curriculum has been improved by addition of student activities but a shortage of trained teachers and resources, prevalence of high student-to-teacher ratio and poor school environment are all serious constraints on the choice of effective teaching strategies, which demand attention. SCIENCE EDUCATION IN NON-FORMAL CONTEXT

In Nepal, so far there have been no deliberate attempts to include science and technological literacy as a major goal of formal courses. However the teachers and the students involved in these activities are in favour of these as a means of making people aware of the environment and factors influencing local situations through extra-curricula activities. Case studies like the ‘Marginalised Youth Project’ in opportunity to develop science concepts using local environment for income-generating methods for the Similarly, science competitions and fairs, eco-clubs and Nepal provided great technologies and the marginalised people. radio programmes are

becoming popular among children, as well as, the local people and are helping to generate and use local resources, encourage re-thinking and promote indigenous technology which had earlier been neglected. FUTURE OF SCIENCE 81 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN NEPAL

A major factor influencing the future of science Nepal is the emphasis on examination-oriented by students and encouraged by most parents. a change in the nature of the examinations. alternative methods of measuring knowledge,

and environmental education in teaching and learning, preferred A change in this attitude requires It will be necessary to develop skills and attitudes which are

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needed by future citizens.


Besides this, a tendency towards top-down educational policy and abrupt changes by successive donor-dependent governments cause instability and an uncertain future. Nevertheless, there is hope that the gradual reform of the examination system (although very slow), improvements in teacher training methods, and development of some imaginative teaching materials, can bring about change in teaching learning strategies. Further, if environmental issues can be addressed along with school science, promoting indigenous technology and using local environment and resources, we can progress towards the goal of sustainable development. The use of local strategies of learning and various ways of communication such as exhibitions, role play, case studies and street theatre, can be encouraged the formal, as well as, in non-formal education realm. in

Every opportunity should be taken to promote education of children and adults in locality-specific environmental knowledge, nature conservation, agricultural practices and applications of appropriate technology related to cultural values. This will be a massive challenge requiring cooperation between the government, donor agencies, NGOs and the community groups if the environment of Nepal is to be preserved REFERENCES Alme, P. 1993. Environmental Concerns. Cambridge University Press. for the next generation.

CERID. 1999. Development of Scientific Knowledge and Skill on Marginalised Youths of Nepal. A case study. Kathmandu. HMG. 1995. Science and Environmental Statistics of Nepal. MDES. DOE Nepal.

HMG. 1998. School level Education Statistics of Nepal. MDES, DOE, Nepal. HMG. 2000. A Educational Information of Nepal, 2000. MDES, Planning Div, Nepal. IUCN. 1993. Environmental Education in Nepal, A Review. Kathmandu, Nepal.

Maharjan, S.D. 1994. Development of an Environmental Studies Science Curriculum for Primary Schools of Nepal. Dept. of Education, University of Delhi, Delhi. (Unpublished Ph D Thesis).

50 Greening ScienceEducation
Maharjan, Nepal. S.D. 2000. Teacher Education & Whittle, Training Opportunities in Environmental Education in

Science S.D.

Newsletter, P.A.

No 148. British Council. 1999. Promoting Students Scientific &

Maharjan, Technological CERID, Maharjan, Sustainable Pandey, Education Pandey, Education,




Skill & Attitudes


Our Environment.

Kathmandu. S.D. & Whittle, P.A. 2000. Scientific and Technological Literacy for


in the 21st Century. S.D., Sakya,

in Bio Ed 2000, France.

B.D., Maharjan, Source

B.D. & Karki , U. (Eds). 2000. Environmental

Book, IUCN, Nepal. in Environmental

B.D. & Karki, U. 1998. Primary School Student Achievement IUCN, Nepal.

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Existing Issues and Methodologies Science Education in Sri Lanka
P.K. Nanayakkara Assistant Director of Education Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka


There are 9972 schools as follows.

in Sri Lanka. These schools are divided into four types

1 AB schools - Schools that have Science Advanced as Commerce and Arts streams. 1 C schools - Schools that only have Commerce Type 2 schools Type 3 schools

Level stream as well

l l l

and Art streams.

- Schools that have grades 1 to 11. - Schools that have grades 1 to 5.

The number of 1 AB, 1 C, type 2 and type 3 schools are 586, 1863, 3910 and 3613, respectively. The student population of Sri Lanka is 4,190,657 and teacher population is 191,321. system of Sri Lanka consists of three major stages. They

The present education are as follows, 0
l l

Primary stage Junior secondary Senior secondary stage stage

Grades 1 to 5 constitute the primary stage in the school. The student population of the primary stage is 1,797,854. Grades 6 to 9 constitute the junior secondary stage and the student population is 1,321,556. Senior secondary stage is divided

52 Greening ScienceEducation
into two parts as follows

: - Ordinary Level (G.C.E. O/L)

General Certificate

of Examination

Grades 10 and 11 constitute this level. At the end of grade 11, students have to sit for the National level examination, G. C. E. O/L. The student population of this level is 731,993.

General Certificate

of Examination

- Advanced


Grades 12 and 13 constitute this level. There are three streams in Advanced level as Science, Commerce and Arts. After facing the G.C.E. O/L examination students can select any of the streams according to their results of the examination. After the two years in Advanced Level, they have to sit for G.C.E. A/L examination. Students who get required marks can enter the universities for tertiary level education. The student population of this level is 282,766. In 1997, new education reforms were introduced to the education system of Sri Lanka. Under the education reforms, the teaching learning process was converted from ‘teacher centred’ to ‘child centred’ one. Thus the desk-work system was converted to more activity-based system. At the primary stage, students have to study through an integrated curriculum at the beginning. Gradually, it leads towards a subject-based curriculum in the upper primary grades. At the secondary stage, grade 6 inculcates the necessary study skills for secondary education. In other words, grade six is considered as a transition grade from primary stage to the junior stage. There is a common curriculum junior secondary stage: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. First language English Mathematics Science and Technology Social studies comprising the following nine subjects in the

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6. 7. 8. 9. Life skills Religion Aesthetics Health and Physical education study is taught instead of Science & Technology


In grade six Environmental Social studies.


At the senior secondary stage (O/L), two types of subjects were introduced (as core subjects and optional subjects) to make the curriculum more flexible There are seven core subjects and students are permitted to select upto three optional subjects out of seven. EXISTING ISSUES AND METHODOLOGIES in following three heads.

These are being discussed i. ii.


of the syllabi of teaching activities which relate to the environment

Methodology Co-curricular



Before the reforms, the teaching /learning process used only chalk and talk methods. But now it has become more activity based . At the primary level, there environment related activities. Here, Six is an integrated curriculum having competencies have been identified which need to be acquired by the students. One of the competencies among them is related to the natural, social and artificial environment. At the junior secondary and senior secondary levels, students also have more chances to get exposed to the environment and obtain learning experiences. In grade six, one of the main subjects is Environmental study. One of the objectives of this subject is building up of friendly attitudes towards nature and improving

54 Greening ScienceEducation
observation skills. As an example: 1

Unit 5 - Activity

Wake up at 5.00 am. See how dawn appears and how the stars disappear. Try to identify the birds that are flying in the sky. Identify the birds around your garden. Try to identify the sounds of birds that you heard. Note down the observations in a table as follows : Time Name of the bird Number of birds Sound of the bird

‘here are 12 activities

in this unit relating





observation. Basically such activities guide the students to take up environment related simple projects. Students have to learn Science & Technology from grade 7 onwards. Three units out of eleven are related to environment in grade 7 and 8. For example: Grade 8 - Unit 7 Adaptations in organisms

Several adaptations in organisms are discussed through this unit. There are twc assignments for students in this unit. Assignment 1

Select an animal that you can easily observe. (Honey bird/ Fish/ Butterfly Gecko) Observe following things and write a report. : i. ii. .. How to protect from enemies Movement Feeding habits




Select hydrophytes/ Xerophytes or Epiphytes which can be found easily ‘repare a report to explain how the selected plant adapts to the environment You can use dry samples, illustrations, photographs, etc. For this purpose ‘repare a booklet using information you gathered.

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There are two units out of 10 which are related to environment


in grade 9

syllabus. One of these is ” Conservation of Bio diversity”. Other than the senior secondary curriculum, there is a unit in advanced level Biology syllabus named Biosphere which is related to Ecology. METHODOLOGY OF TEACHING

As mentioned earlier, teaching learning process has become a child centred one with activity based curriculum. Most of the teachers use rnethods such as group works, field trips, field studies, assignments, projects, etc. Some also use chalk and talk methods. CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES RELATED TO ENVIRONMENT the country. Field centre is a place where

There are 15 field centres throughout

students can do field studies. Each field cente is required to have a specific ecosystem close to it such as Mangroves, coral reef, forest, etc. Both, residential and non-residential workshops are conducted for students as well as teachers in field centres. Though some steps have been taken but environment needs to be strengthened. REFERENCES Department of Publication and National Institute of Education. 1999. Environmental Study. Grade 6, Second edition. Department of Publication and National Institution of Education. Technology- Grade 7, First edition. 1999. Science & education in the country

Department of Publication and National Institution of Education. 2000. Science & Technology- Grade 8, First edition. National Education commission. 1997. Reforms in General Education.



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Development Environmental

of South Asian Alliance

Madhav Karki Regional Programme Coordinator International Development Research Centre (IDRC), New Delhi

The South Asia region with more than 1.2 billion population has over half the number of world’s absolutely poor - an estimated 270 million (with per capita income of less than US$ 275) and more than 600 million poor (with per capita income of less than US $ 370). In some countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and parts of India the poverty level is not too different in form and intensity from that of sub-Saharan Africa. Endemic hunger, deprivation, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and high infant mortality rates are some of the key manifestations of poverty and impoverishment in the region. South Asian countries face an uncertain environmental future. There are shortages of land, water, forests and productive fisheries combined with pollution, diseases & increasing social, economic, environment and political problems. There is also a lack of qualified pool of professionals to address these problems in tune with the rapid changes, which are taking place in the region. Specifically, South Asia region has seen the following socio-economic and environmental problems :

More than half of the world’s absolute poor live in South Asia. There is an enormous unfulfilled human potential in the region. Rapid environment degradation, illiteracy, malnourishment and infant mortality are very high while access to health services, safe water and sanitation, and information and communication services are limited. Gender inequity and its cultural acceptance are endemic. Not only does this inequity threaten the very survival of women and girls, it also deprives South



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Asia of the talents of more than half its population. 40% of the world’s The region accounts for

maternal deaths and has the world’s worst sex ratio.


With 22% of the population living on only 3% of the world’s land, the region is facing serious environmental crisis. A large proportion of the population does not have access to safe drinking water, ground water depletion is widespread, and the contamination of groundwater has affected the health of millions of people. TRENDS


The globalisation process, which is on fast track in many South Asian countries, may be further increasing inequities in South Asia. The burdens of cuts in government spending on social services such as health care, education and basic sanitation, disproportionately impact the poor. While the governments in the region have assigned high priority to poverty alleviation and environment conservation issues, their policy-mix and programmes directed at alleviation of these acute problems have produced dismal results. A key cause of continuing underdevelopment and poor economic growth is a high rate of population growth - 2.2% per annum. The continuing disparity between the rich and poor due to uneven access to education and livelihood opportunities and failure of development policies in addressing this issue is another cause of social conflict in the region. POPULATION India’s current AND ENVIRONMENT population is estimated to be around 950 million. Population

growth is little less than 2% having declined from 2.3% per year in the 1960s. Life expectancy at birth increased from 32 years in 1951 to 61 years in 1992 not as good as China (70 years) and even Sri Lanka. Although India has Iiberalized its economy discarding its overly socialist agenda since 1991, but it needs to do much more to catch up with East Asian economies to realize the potential of it becoming the next Asian tiger. Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also on the path of economic liberaliztion. These new economic development measures will not come without any environmental cost. It is likely that the most of the South Asian countries will be facing serious environmental and difficult socio-economic problems during the next five years. Only Bhutan

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and Maldives GROWING are relatively in a manageable position. INEQUITY




As the region enters into the next Century, it is expected to face signigicant economic insecurity, environmental degradation and internal conflicts brought about by a set of complex and interrrelated factors, particularly pressures of ever increasing population, rural poverty and inequitable economic growth. Inefficient and environmentally unsound management of natural resources and irrational investment of human and ecological capital are causing serious threats to the region’s vital life support system through increasing frequency and intensity of flooding, soil erosion, deforestation and cycle of droughts. Under-utilization of human resources and inappropriateness of technologies developed are other causes of concern. The above multifaceted crises confronting the region have been creating violent and increasingly unmanageable social, environmental and sectarian conflicts in several countries, which may lead to societal collapse and environmental disaster. The governments in the region, many of which have just recently gained full democratic form of governance, are struggling to find short and long term solutions to governance, civil unrest, decentralization of power to lower echelons of government, increasing intensity of social tensions and related violence, trade imbalances and food security. All these issues are vital ,to the very survival of the countries in the region as distinct socio-political entities. There is also a need for continuing strengthening of democratic values and protection of human rights. Upliftment of poor people, especially women, children and tribals, will require innovative organiztional skills and qualitative fransformations in traditional attitudes and values. ENVIRONMENTAL INSECURITY

Based on the concept of managing the natural resources to first meet the basic needs of the people, environmental security related problems are being addressed through a number of environment protection and economic development programmes. Some of the major activities currently underway are: i) improved management of forests and other natural resources, especially the hitherto under exploited plant resources such as bamboo, rattan and medicinal


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plants; ii) building long term partnerships between forest dependent communities and industry; iii) reforming environmental policy by an extensive public consultation, NGO participation and in-depth study of the needs of the people; iv) improved management of water and soil resources in the region’s watersheds; v) creation of awareness and organizational capacity in tackling urban pollution; vi) economically and ecologically sound rehabilitation of degraded slopes of the Himalyas; and vi) capacity building of the national research programmes and institutional development. COUNTRY SPECIFIC PROBLEMS

Bangladesh : Intensive agriculture and frequent natural calamities are the oftencited causes of major environmental problems which have resulted in almost total depletion of forests, fisheries, increasing salinity of rivers/coasts, partial desertification and loss of biodiversity. The fertilizer and pesticide use has increased tremendously and its impact is also not well investigated. Heavy deforestation has decreased forest products supply and caused soil erosion, siltation, decrease in ground water level & reduction in dry season river level. Institutional capacity & coordination in environment sector is also seriously lacking. Urban pollution is on the rise and its impact on poor peoples’ health remains undocumented. Bhutan : Bhutan is one of the best environmentally managed countries in South Asia. In the past, shifting cultivation posed serious problems in the eastern part; land conversion was serious in the south and erosion - prone logging was practiced in the hills. However, the Government developed appropriate policies, enacted effective laws, created enabling mechanisms and developed institutional capacity. The end results have been, by and large effective, although their impact on a certain group of citizen has been negative. India : India is facing a multitude of environmental problems : 89% of the land has inherent soil constraints; 100 m ha area is effected by salinity/alkalinity/ erosion; more than 4 million ha has already been swallowed up by ravines and there is rapid depletion of soil fertility (fertilizer application rate 62 kg/ha). Pesticide application is also high - it is 31 kg/ha; 50% food samples are found to be contaminated (30% excessively) with pesticide residues. Another problem is of loss of forest cover. Only 10 -12% forests have adequate forest cover; 1.3 m ha

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of forests are cut every year out of which 0.15 m ha is lost to developmental projects alone. Ground water resources are fast depleting and contaminated industrial or agrochemical pollutants. with

Livestock population which adds significant pressure to the environment grew @ 1 .l% between 1951-90, sheep/goat by 30%. Loss of biodiversity is also very high during this period thereby indicating a correlation between livestock population and ecosystem degradation. Some other striking examples of biodiversity loss follow: in 1950, 50,000 varieties of rice were reported to be cultivated in India which had been reduced to only 50 in the year 2000. Similarly, .1,500 of India’s 17,270 plants, 38 of 341 mammals, 72 of 1,178 reptiles are rare & threatened. Also, 70% of all available water is polluted; only half of the population has safe drinking water & only 5% rural people have sanitation facilities. Combined with these negative environmental problems, institutional awareness is poor, capacity is low, enforcement is weak and coordination among relevant organizations is lacking. Nepal : Major environmental problems in Nepal are: a) heavy deforestation - the country lost almost half of its tropical/subtropical Tarai forest during the last 20 years; b) degradation of mountain environment with rampant siltation and erosion which have resulted into loss of forest cover, decline in soil fertility, soil erosion, water pollution, loss of biodiversity and ecological destabiliztion. Siltation rate of rivers in Tarai is reported to be as high as 15 cm/year; Tarai forest declined from 587,000 ha to about 300,000 ha in 2000. Water logging, salinity deposition in canals and chemical pollution are other major problems. Urban pollution and poor state of social infrastructure are appalling; in Kathmandu only half of the population has piped treated drinking water. It is also reported that at the consumer level, only 10% of the population has access to clean drinking water. Water and air borne diseases are rampant among the poor. Environmental human resources are inadequate; institutions ineffective and uncoordinated and enforcement rules weak and nonexistent. On the positive side, community forestry has become a succcessfrul effort to arrest the decline in forest cover in the hills and regenerate forests. Pakistan : Pakistan has harsh climate and undernourished soil. The largely arid and semi-arid landscape has a high rate of land degradation, water logging, salinity, erosion and flooding. There is also loss of vegetation due to overgrazing.

64 Greening ScienceEducation
Close to 96% of arable land suffers from poor organic matter. However, some positive environmental changes have also occurred. Forest cover has increased from 3% in 1947 to more than 5%, however, deforestation continues in the mountains. There is also high rate of desertification affecting almost 30% of the total land (27 m ha). Sedimentation in catchments is high, coastal areas are dry and mangrove forests are facing deforestation and human onslaught. Institutional capacity and coordination are poor and ineffective like in other countries of the subcontinent. Sri Lanka : In Sri Lanka, there is a high rate of deforestation & coastal degradation especially in the mangrove forests, coral reefs and estuaries. It may be noted that Sri Lankan coast contains close to half of the world’s mangrove biodiversity, which is in danger of being wiped out. The unsustainable use of coastal resources has resulted in loss of biodiversity, including agro-biodiversity as agriculture in central and southern regions is intensifying. Urbanization, along with it the urban ecosystem deterioration, is also increasing with poor sanitary, drinking water and pollution control facilities. There is also lack of environmental education resources, experts and institutional NEEDED : A REGIONAL capacity in the country. FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS


There is a need of a program of knowledge generation and capacity building in the entire South Asian region to manage its environment. Programs should broaden and enrich educational and research processes that will prepare environmental leadership in South Asia. Sustained commitment and flow of resources is required to realize this goal. The goal can be achieved by a network of professionals who can shape, guide and monitor the program. Development of a South Asian centre of excellence such as South Asian Institute of Environment in the region may be the first step which could do the following 0 tasks:

Promoting Environmental Education: Both in formal and informal system by building curricula in schools, colleges and universities and training manpower to implement the environment information generation and dissemination program; Developing multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary knowledge teaching and training tools;

0 0

Imparting holistic environmental school levels;

to masses at the grassroots and

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to policy

makers, students,


farmers, local leaders, of existing

NGOs, administrators, 0 Education institutions


and industry; Building; strengthening leadership;

being key to Capacity to prepare an indigenous


Designing, teaching, monitoring and assessing the impact of prototype short courses and training to young professionals; Introducing holistic environmental degree programs FORMATION OF in the Universities; A SOUTH ASIAN



As environmental problems are cross boundary, there is a need to develop a more proactive regional collaboration. There is also an urgent need to develop strategies for implementing international environmental conventions. We need to train national and regional environmental leaders who can reorient public thinking and reshape policies to ensure human survival through sustainable environment. I strongly believe that creative environmental leadership is key for sustainable development. The key steps suggested are as follows: Develop joint programs, Arrange region; twining institute awards and scholarships; and weaker institutions of training within and outside SA

of strong

Carry out joint evaluation Exchange of students

and degree courses;

& dynamic


Develop creative & dynamic Develop a general coherent Promote innovations

leadership; vision & comprehensive world view; in utiliztion;

in resource mobilization

& efficiency

Fund results - based Programs; Decentralize CONCLUSION The South Asian region faces common environmental problems against a common socio-economic and cultural backdrop. Experience sharing through networking could, therefore benefit all countries in the region. There must be a operations so as to make them truly regional and participatory.

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clear understanding of the scope, responsibility and operation of Networking of environmentalists participating in the proposed South Asian Environmental Alliance from the very beginning of the process of collaboration. The process should involve multidisciplinary thinking and interdisciplinary action with professional & personal ties. The objectives must remain problem-focused; e.g. Sustainable Development & Environment Conservation. Methods employed such as Training must be concrete & fruitful and yield results to benefit all partners. It should maintain, regular and two - way communication; this may be the first item to invest in. Developing Environmental Manpower and Leadership may pot reverse environmental degradation but without them the task may not begin.

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Role of Wetlands International in Promoting Environment Education in the South Asian Region
Dr. CL. Trisal Director Wetlands International-South Asia, New Delhi, India

Environmental education is critical to promoting sustainable development of natural resource management and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues. Agenda 21 of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992, highlighted linkages of public awareness and training to virtually all areas of environment and emphasised on reorienting education towards sustainable development, increasing public awareness and promoting training. Wetlands, as a part of natural resources have received little attention, primarily due to lack of awareness about their values and functions. They have been considered as areas full of danger, difficulty and disease. The role of wetlands in recharging of aquifers, water quality and maintenance of hydrological regimes were gradually realised primarily through the mechanism of Ramsar Convention which played an important role in promoting wetland conservation at international level involving national governments. The Strategic Plan 1997-2002 of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has identified education and awareness as one of the eight objectives for conservation and wise use of wetlands at the global level. The three operational objectives under general Objective No. 3 of Strategic Plan refer to international and national programmes of education and public awareness and communication activities. The actions proposed under Objective No. 3 of the Plan are designed to raise


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awareness about wetland values throughout the world and at all levels. These actions have emerged after series of workshops and discussions held since the Khushiro meeting in 1992 organised by the Education and Public Awareness Specialist Group of Wetlands International involving Waterfowl and Wetlands Trust. The present paper outlines the role of Wetlands International in promoting environment education and awareness at global level. The specific activities carried out by the South Asia Programme of Wetlands International, for the generation of awareness about the need and conservation discussed in the paper. ROLE OF WETLANDS EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL IN PROMOTING of wetlands is briefly


Wetlands International has played an important role in generating awareness about values and functions of wetlands. It has been an active partner of Ramsar Convention and works in close collaboration with national governments to find practical scientific solutions to the problems of wetland conservation. One of the major activities of Wetlands International is outreach programme of the Ramsar Convention. The specific activities under the outreach programme are:
l l

Action to promote communication, Generation of awareness services they provide, Involvement


and public awareness, of wetlands and

about the values and functions and management

l l

of people in planning

of wetlands, policy

Building support for wetland conservation and wise use amongst makers, private sectors and other target groups.

The overall approach in the outreach programme is to guide activities undertaken by interested stakeholder groups and organisations for management of wetlands. The local people are the key actors in this process as they depend upon these resources for their sustenance. The action plan formulated for management should aim at assisting the local people to fully appreciate the values of wetlands and understanding the importance of wetland resources among others, particularly those involved in the management process.

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Another element of the Outreach Programme framework is the sharing of resource materials relating to education and training. There exists a very large library of such resource materials, but at present it is spread around the world with few mechanisms in place for sharing and exchange of the information base. These resources include curriculum materials for the education of children and adults, less formal teaching tools, awareness raising materials and the latest research findings. Some of the projects which have had significant impact in generating awareness at global level are: WATER PLANET PROGRAMME Using state of art technology to attract and motivate audliences the Water Planet Programme is expected to reach to millions of people in developing and developed countries offering a unique programme of wonder, knowledge and intellectual challenge for water management. This is being developed by the Stockholm Institute in association with Water Environment Federation and World Water Vision. PROJECT WET

Project WET is an international, interdisciplinary, water science and education programme for formal and non-formal educators of kindergarten through grade twelve students. Since the inception of project WET in 1984, the programme has attracted global interest through its provision of information and materials, professional development courses, networking assistanc:e, and its effectiveness as a resource for organisations that have questions about water education. Project WET is part of a larger water resources education programme called The Watercourse which has fifteen water education project divisions covering a range of priority water management topics such as wetlands, watersheds, groundwater, water quality and public health, conservation, drsought, flooding, and environmental protection. Core programme materials such as the ‘Wonders of Wetlands Reference and Activity Guide’ or the highly acclaimed ‘Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide’ contain a wealth of information on water that is scientifically sound and educationally appropriate for teaching young people. Introductory and advanced water education workshops are available to sponsoring organisations.

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WETLAND Under the international LINK Ramsar Convention’s initiative is identified Outreach Programme the wetland link as a cornerstone of international, regional,

national and local actions for wetlands Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA). The Wetland Link was created in 1990 by Wildlife and Wetlands Trust, a UK-based NGO which works in close collaboration with Wetlands International. The main objective is to increase and further develop contact among the wetland education and conservation centres around the world. The areas covered under this programme include training courses and design for new wetland centres. The programme has grown to over 900 individuals, groups and organisations from over 100 countries that are logged onto the Wetlands International database. TASEK BERA WETLAND EDUCATION KIT

Wetlands International has developed a Tasek Bera wetland education kit. Tasek Bera, a freshwater wetland system in Malaysia, was designated as a Ramsar site on November 10, 1994, and has been the focus of a three-year project to develop and implement an integrated management plan with the active involvement of the local community. The kit is one of the main outputs of the project. It is a teaching tool for use both, in the classroom and on-site, aimed at instilling awareness about the importance of the site and its natural resources. The District Education Office, a Teacher’s Training Institute and teachers from 25 schools in the district were involved in its development. The kit is targeted for use by primary school students (ages 7-12) and contains:
l l l l l

Set of activity modules

& a teacher’s


Getting to know the Wetland’s

board game

Video on the flora and fauna of Tasek Bera Audio cassette Story book

The modules have been designed to illustrate the range of values, functions and benefits of the site, in five main categories - Wetland functions, Fish and fishing methods, Recreation and tourism, Biodiversity and Sources of natural products.

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Such a kit can be gainfully used all over the region to promote environment education programmes. However, major impediments to applying the educational resources developed for other countries can be those of language and context. Ramsar Administrative Authorities, the Ramsar Bureau, NGOs and other interested organisations are urged to seek resources and ways to have relevant resource materials translated into local languages and adapted to suit local situations. INITIATIVES OF WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL - SOUTH ASIA PROGRAMME

The South Asian region is bestowed with several important wetlands upon which the livelihood- of a large number of people depends. Since the region faces common socio-economic and environmental degradation problems, these wetlands are also subjected to similar pressures and can hence, benefit from common solutions/actions. Wetlands International - South Asia plays a major role in generating environmental awareness and demonstrating wise use of wetlands. Some of the major initiatives of Wetlands International - South Asia in promoting environmental awareness and education in the region are: Implementation of Education and Public Awareness (EPA) Program on Chilika with Chilika Development Authority.

Lake in collaboration

A Wetland Centre has been designed at Satpada after visiting several wetland Centres in Japan. The Centre has several facilities, including auditorium, aquarium, museum, observatory and a research lab. A visitors interpretation centre is being equipped with multimedia presentation facilities and organising regular training courses for various target groups. Development of national programmes of EPA on wetlands, targeted at a wide range of categories, including key decision-makers, communities living in and around wetlands and the public at large. Improving the communication activities of Ramsar Convention awareness of wetland values and functions. and raising

School teachers and local representatives from 20 villages developed a curriculum for environmental education and awareness of Chilika Lake through innovative methods. Chilika Development Authority, Wetlands International and Ramsar Centre - Japan provided critical inputs for assessment of the problems of the lagoon and development of methodology for identification of flora and fauna. The teachers along with the students


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collected samples of flora and fauna of the lake and prepared a report on

the existing biodiversity and pressures on the lake. The specific issues discussed included root cause of degradation of Chilika lagoon, current status, prevention of degradation of Chilika and responses of stakeholders for protection of the lagoon. Education and learning materials like leaflets, booklets and posters were developed jointly be Wetlands International South Asia and Chilika Development Authority and disseminated widely. A Project on Sustainable Development and Water Resources Management of Loktak Lake is under implementation by Wetlands International - South Asia and Loktak Development Authority which involves community participation and development as an important component. Sustainable development of fisheries, water management and wildlife conservation are the other components of the project. Several training courses were held to impart education to various target groups including stakeholder departments, government officials and NGOs about the conservation of wetlands through participatory approaches. Keibul Lamjao National Park was surveyed involving students of the neighbouring schools, uneducated youth, government officials and NGOs. This was a unique opportunity to understand the ecosystem processes through fieldwork and learning by doing. Wetlands International - South Asia has been working with University of Delhi, lndraprastha University and Barkatullah University, Bhopal to undertake studies on selected wetlands in different regions. Recently, the students of Barkatullah University spent two months with the communities around Harike wetland to understand the perception of local communities about conservation issues and generate environmental awareness about ecological and economic importance of the Harike wetland. Wetlands International - South Asia organises special lectures for students of various colleges in Delhi to raise awareness about integrating conservation and wise use of wetlands within river basin management of River Yamuna in Delhi stretch. Waterfowl conservation is one of the important focal areas of Wetlands International. Several training programmes are being organised to generate awareness about the importance of wetlands as habitat for waterfowl, particularly migratory species.

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Wetlands International - South Asia Programme publishes Newsletters CHILIKA and LOKTAK periodically which, besides providing an overview of conservation activities in the two wetland systems also highlights activities carried out at the national and international level. World Wetland awareness about to larger groups. organisations in poster sessions, Day is celebrated throughout the world, to generate conservation and wise use of wetlands and to reach out Wetlands International provides assistance to various hosting a range of activities, like seminars, discussions, activities for children, etc. on this occasion.


FUTURE PLANNING Action for generating awareness about conservation and wise use of wetlands must clearly be taken at all levels - local, regional and international. At local level there is a need to involve and inform local communities to ensure that they are aware of values and functions of wetlands in their immediate area and that they are fully concerned in the management and wise use of wetlands. Action to implement two major obligations under the Ramsar Convention, i.e. designation of internationally important sites and Wise Use of wetlands should be generated at all levels through awareness campaigns and educating the people about the importance of these sites as a network of internationally important sites for migratory species. People should also be made aware of the need for conservation of these internationally sensitive areas. The role of Wetlands in controlling pollution, recharging aquifers and maintenance of biodiversity should be highlighted to ensure the participation of local communities for conservation of these ecologically sensitive areas. Generating awareness about the linkages of the river systems with floodplain

systems, as well as their interconnectedness from the upper catchments to the coastal area is extremely important for a long-term holistic management of wetland ecosystems. The causative factors and their impacts have to be critically evaluated for formulation of effective strategies for the management of wetlands. International cooperation at regional level will be critical to ensure management of trans-boundary wetlands, as well as international river systems. At site specific level, all the concerned organisations should be involved to adopt multi-sectoral approach which can help in resolving cross-sectoral conflicts. This

74 Greening ScienceEducation
requires total orientation of participating organisations and educating the short-term and long-term approaches for realising the benefits on a sustainable basis. The traditional methods for management resources should be promoted through awareness programmes for development. them about of wetlands of wetland sustainable

Environmental education, whether formal or informal, has mostly relied on resource materials developed for classroom lectures. The linkages with the stakeholder groups in the process have been given little consideration resulting in lack in clarity in generating the true values of wetlands. Emphasis is often laid on flagship species mostly through audiovisuals and other resource materials, which do not reflect the complete ecological, social and economic importance of wetlands in context of the developing countries. Local stewardship based on understanding and dependence is crucial to wetland conservation.

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Towards Incorporating Major Environmental Concepts into Science Education in South Asia
Shivani Jain, & Meena Raghunathan Programe Officer Programme Coordinator Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad India.

The 20th century is said to have been an extraordinarily eventful century. The world during this period has seen spectacular political, social, cultural, economic, scientific and technological progress. One of the challenges of this period has been the growing need to find ways of improving the prosperity and well being of people without compromising the environment.

This challenge is as serious in the South Asian region, may be even more, than in other parts of the world. The South Asian region covers almost one twentieth of the earth’s surface, has about 3.4 percent of the total land area, 16 percent of agricultural land, and 3.2 per cent of forested areas, which amounts to about 131 .184 million hectares. Over 30 per cent of humankind inhabit South Asia. The economies of this region have witnessed improved growth rates in the recent years. Despite this, poverty persists. The countries of the region are among the richest in terms of biodiversity and in terms of traditions and practices that have a strong basis of conservation and wise resource use. Yet, the region is today faced with acute and serious environmental problems. Industrial growth in the region has taken place at the cost of environment and the challenges to sustainable development are staggering in number, scale and complexity. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT : THE ROLE OF EDUCATION

Sustainable Development (SD) is a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, direction of investment, orientation of technical development and


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institutional change are made consistent with future as well as present social and economic needs. The goal of SD is so enormous, complex and complicated that it requires strategy interventions at various levels and in various sectors of society. An effective strategy for achieving sustainable development would need to have several components - political will; comprehensive legislation; public barticipation; access to technology, finances, and education; and research processes and experimentation. Education is one of these many tools and has been recognised as an indispensable part of SD strategies. “ The challenge for South Asia region today is to travel the vast distance between its performance and its promise. On the one hand it has emerged as the poorest, the most illiterate.... region in the world. On the other, it has all the potential to become the most dynamic region in the twenty first century if there is massive investment in Human Development”. Human Development in South Asia, 1998

One of the implicit implications of the above statement is that the region would have to make a good amount of investment in the education sector. Human Development in South Asia, 1998 further mentions that if the above goal is to be achieved then one of the important components in the proposed investment plan would need to be basic education for all. This opens a great opportunity for imparting environmental education through school system. Chapter 36 of Agenda 21 reaffirms this. It states that : “ Education, including formal education, public awareness and training should be recognized as a process by which human beings and societies can reach their fullest potential. ” Thus it has been recognized the world over by a number of countries and communities, that education has an important role to play in the conservation of environment and realisation of sustainable development. While education is described as a process of bringing about a desirable change in attitude and behaviour, Environmental Education (EE) is recognised as the process that would help individuals acquire essential knowledge and skills to take positive action

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towards a better environment. education from the conventional Thus ‘Action’ distinguishes concept of education. environmental


Environmental Education is a process aimed at developing that is aware of and concerned about the total environment *

a world population 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 prevention of new ones. This need for environmental education has been explicitly recognized by government policies of the countries of the South Asian region and in many cases, policy directives exist for the incorporation of EE into mainstream education. Many countries in the region have already, initiated the process of reorienting formal education to meet the needs of a sustainable future. The objectives of EE established at the Tbilisi Conference the following qualities in individuals and social groups: An AWARENESS of the environment (1977) is to develop

and its problems; of the environment and its inter

Basic KNOWLEDGE and relationship with man; Social VALUES quality;


and ATTITUDES which are in harmony with environmental problems; so as to ensure

SKILLS to solve environmental

A sense of responsibility and urgency towards environment appropriate ACTIONS to solve environmental problems. If environmental
l l


is to achieve the above objectives, in its totality;

it should:



Be a continuous

life long process; on the specific contents of and into

0 0

Have an interdisciplinary approach - drawing each discipline - with a holistic perspective;

Examine major environmental issues from local, national, regional international points of view, so that students receive an insight environmental conditions in other geographical areas;

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Enable learners to have a role in planning their teaming experiences and provide an opportunity for making decisions and accepting their consequences; Utilize diverse learning environments and a broad array of educational approaches to teaching/ learning about and from the environment; Begin early - beginning at the pre-school formal and non-formal stages. level and continuing through all

Based on the above understanding of EE, the following section looks at major opportunities and some limitations towards incorporating environmental concepts into science education. INCORPORATING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONCEPTS INTO SCIENCE



Science underlies the process of understanding nature and natural phenomenon and offers a great opportunity of incorporating and dealing with such concepts. Both, science and environment, demand active teaching - learning methodologies. Some of the commonly used terms - learning by doing, outdoor teaching, experimental learning, data analysis, etc. are very closely associated with the two subjects. Similarly, both the disciplines help students develop skills of observation, enquiry, analyzing, experimenting and collecting and interpreting data, etc. Thus there emerge several synergies that call for a special effort to infuse and integrate environmental concepts in science education. However, it must be recognized that both, environment , as well as, sustainable development go beyond the scope of the discipline of science. Thus when we say incorporating major environmental concepts into science education, we refer only to a part of environmental education and that the ultimate aim of environmental education would be achieved only when relevant linkages to other sections and disciplines - political, economic, social, geographical, etc. are appropriately highlighted and emphasized. Though this is not a limitation to integration and intrusion of environmental concepts into science stream, but is only a point that an educator must bear in mind.

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Some of the possible constrains to this infusion effort could be that while in lower levels, this approach would work more or less satisfactorily, but in upper grades there exists a lot of pressure in terms of overloaded curriculum, score based evaluation systems, etc. and thus, successful infusion could be hindered. At higher secondary level, the reach of such a programme could come down because the number of students in the science stream in generally low. The general perception of science education and environmental education being resource demanding could also be a barrier. INCORPORATING ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: SOME LEARNINGS At formal level, all countries in concepts into school curriculum, and environmental studies and primary or middle school levels. CONCEPTS INTO SCIENCE

the region have incorporated environmental generally as an area of study at the lower levels through the infusion approach at the upper It is the latter level, which is of relevance to our some of CEE’s projects that

discussion. The following section briefly discusses are aimed at a similar outcome.

The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), a national institution, was established in the year 1984 as a Centre of Excellence in EE supported by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. CEE’s primary objective is to improve public awareness and understanding of environmental issues with a view to promote the conservation and wise use of nature and natural resources. To this end, CEE not only creates expertise in the field of environmental education but also develops innovative programmes and educational material, testing them for validity and effectiveness. Recognizing that environmental education has to begin early, CEE develops, coordinates and conducts a number of educational programmes for school children. All such initiatives of the Centre are integrated into an umbrella programme called the National Environmental Education Progamme for Schools. CEE’s thinking with regard to EE in schools can be briefly summarized as under:l

The school is an institutional framework within which continuous interaction takes place between teachers, students and the curriculum. For meaningful learning to take place, this interaction needs to be optimized.


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A four -pronged strategy would be required to strengthen EE in the school system. The four components of the strategy are: stregthening of infusion of environmental concepts into the school curricula, introduction of environment as a separate subject, teachers training and the use of nonformal methods in EE. Efforts towards all four need to complement each other. It would be required to use a variety of teaching methodologies, with special emphasis on active approaches, to effectively bring in the environmental dimension into the existing subjects. Teacher is the key to reach out to children. The teacher faces a continual challenge - s/he is very busy, has to meet deadlines, and quite frequently, attend to several non- teaching duties. It is thus necessary that EE does not add to teacher’s burden. It should instead support and promote teacher’s creativity by providing appropriate training, an enabling environment and reference educational material and ideas.




Based on the above thinking and considerations, most school - based programmes and materials developed by CEE ensure that they are designed flexibly to permit suitable adaptation for use across the country and abroad. Given the diversity - ecological, cultural, economic - of the country and the region, any programme aimed at developing uniform educational programmes and materials is bound to run into difficulties. Thus, the possibility for teachers to be able to adapt an EE programme or material to local situation is critical to its success. This does not mean that education is to be made parochial, but the logic behind this is that environment is best understood through experience in the immediate environment. Thus, such references and examples should be made to which a child relates, which the child has observed and which is a pan of student’s life. Similarly, the resource requirements for a programme should be such that the teacher has access to it. As it is, science education in general, is perceived to be a resource demanding one. This is true for many scientific concepts. But this perception has become so strong that sometimes very obvious and easily available options to complex equipments and aids do not get recognized and used. We must not forget that while accuracy is one of the components of

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science education, when it comes to teaching environment through science, the primary aim shifts to teaching practical skills, problem solving ability and developing a sense of appreciation and responsibility to the environment. The question of lising immediate environment as a teaching medium also brings

us to the point of relating environmental concepts to real life situations. Both the subjects, environment and science, have several applications in real life. Thus even while being taught within the four walls of a laboratory or a classroom, it is important that necessary linkages of these concepts to real life situations are drawn upon. This can be done by citing examples, having case discussions, field exercises ,etc. Finally, environmental education is not about teaching students whether a decision is right or wrong. Rather it is about informing them that any decision or action has a complex cause and effect relationship with numerous other factors. It is about developing among students ability to think analytically, examine a particular fact from different view-points, understand a phenomenon in a holistic manner and only then make an independent and informed decision. For instance, it will be incomplete education to say that dams are bad. An environmental educator should rather discuss this on a case-to-case basis, both the economic, as well as, environmental costs of a dam, alternatives available, etc. SOME EXAMPLES WATER QUALITY MONITORING

Appropriate application of scientific knowledge and experimental techniques learnt in schools and colleges to real life situations would lead to greater awareness and understanding of environmental problems and a more scientific search for solutions. One such possible application is the monitoring of environmental quality. In 1987 the Ganga Project Directorate asked CEE to develop a programme that would involve science students of secondary and higher secondary schools along the Ganga in monitoring river water quality. The aim was to get a group from outside the government system to do work whose public awareness about the Ganga Action Plan. results would enhance


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CEE saw this as an opportunity to promote ‘learning by doing’, bringing students to apply to a real-life situation in their immediate environment the science learnt in the class room, and to interpret the environmental implications of their findings. Towards this, CEE developed easy-to-use kits for water quality monitoring and teacher’s manual on how to use the kit. CEE implemented the project in 100 schools in three states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal on banks of the river Ganga. The programme was carried out in field conditions by students working under the supervision of teachers, with support from school administration. Later a number of voluntary agencies from different parts of the country expressed interest in taking up water quality monitoring programmes in their areas on the lines of Ganga Pollution Awareness Programme developed by CEE. CEE selectively supported such agencies. OF ENVIRONMENT INVOLVING


The main objective of this programme was to create awareness among college teachers and students about environmental concepts, the status of natural resources and its impact on the quality of life. This was achieved through field studies and planning and management of natural resources at micro-level. Under the programme, students with the help of teachers, monitored several environmental parameters through simple scientific techniques and the information thus collected was used in resource planning and management. Methodology manuals were prepared to guide monitoring groups. Based on the needs of the programme 60 teachers were trained in two batches. The training module concentrated on land use, soils and biomass monitoring techniques. After the teachers training programme, the actual monitoring phase was undertaken for agro ecosystems and natural ecosystems. Students, under the supervison of trained teachers, generated relevant date on the socio - economic situation, biomass production and utilization, soil conditions and biodiversity in selected areas through field - work. The action programmes were monitored regularly. Some of the achievements education of

this project so far are that environmental

has been initiated at the

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tertiary level and field manuals on monitoring


land-use, soils and biomass have

been developed. Status report from 16 ecosystems has been prepared, information analysis through GIS has been attempted and alternative energy technologies have been introduced in 2 agro-ecosystems. MATERIAL DEVELOPMENT

CEE, as center of excellence in EE, implements a number of innovative EE progammes in the country. Recognizing the fact that lack of availability of good quality resource material is one of the major barriers to effective EE, most programmes at the Centre go hand in hand with development of appropriate resource material. Several of CEE’s educational materials are aimed at helping educators incorporate environmental concepts into the teaching of their subjects, especially science. Some of these are: . THE GREEN READER: AN INTRODUCTION CONCERNS AND ISSUES TO ENVIRONMENTAL

This publication puts together major environment- development concerns to help higher secondary and undergraduate educators reflect them into their subject teaching. Topics covered include Ecology, Biodiversity, Climate Change, etc. 0 NATURE SCOPE: SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIES

This series of Publications is meant for teachers to provide them with adequate information on various ecological and conservation aspects of particular species which can be integrated in science education, especially biology. The first publication in the series focuses on Elements.

OZONE 11 PACKAGE This package has a book for teachers and a poster for children. The package gives basic scientific atmosphere. information and the current status of ozone in the


ENVIROSCOPE Enviroscope is a series of single-topic modules designed to assist an educator to introduce environmental concepts, issues and perspective to under - graduate students. The modules include Biodiversity, Energy, Sustainable Urban Environment.

84 Greening ScienceEducation


A SCHOOL manual

ENERGY EDUCATION focuses on energy

GUIDE science of energy,


and environmental

concerns. It is meant for school- teachers to communicate energy use and its consequences for the environment. LEARNINGS

The above projects and publications are model prototype projects to show and establish as to how can environmental considerations be incorporated into the teaching of science subjects. However, such efforts, if done on ad-hoc basis, would not receive the weightage they deserve. Thus it is essential to formalize such efforts. While most countries in the region have already infused environmental concepts into school curriculum, there is, however, a need to strengthen these initiatives to realize the goal of EE. Some of the Iearnings that CEE has gained through experiments like the above and others include:



The school system especially at the higher secondary level, is oriented almost entirely to examinations and results and has very less space for those activities and projects, which do not match this orientation. It is important to involve the school administration and keep them informed about the aims and purpose of the project. This helps reduce the administrative problems likely to be faced by such projects. It would be effective to incorporate only those concepts which are being already dealt at that particular grade or level.

TEXT BOOK ANALYSIS The way environmental concepts are treated in textbooks plays a pivotal role in enabling the teacher to effectively communicate environmental concepts to students. If done in a compartmentalized manner then they would mar the very nature and essence of the subject. It is thus important to understand and identify what is being said through the text-book, how correctly is it said and with what possibility.





On behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, CEE is coordinating a World Bank supported national level project under

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which school text-books of various grades are being analyzed to find out what environmental concepts have been covered, how have these been interpreted, are there any gaps, etc.

EVALUATION The conventional examination system is designed to test transfer of information. However, neither science nor environmlent as disciplines, are about transfer of information only. As a result, many teachers, students and parents do not perceive it as a curriculum priority. This, perhaps, is one of the biggest obstacles to EE. It is important to invent: mechanisms in which abilities like decision-making , analytical thinking, etc. can be evaluated. The website <> gives information on several such evaluation methodologies, their findings and Iearnings.




The key to any change in the formal education system is the teacher. It is therefore important that teachers are oriented to the philosophy with which environmental concepts are infused in the science curriculum and are trained to use appropriate methodologies towards communicating these concepts effectively. Conventionally, our systems do not see any difference between the teaching approaches to social science and science because traditionally school curriculum has emphasized the recall of content as learners’ performance indicator. Also many a times, new innovative ways of teaching sciences and environment might require the teacher to go out of the classroom boundaries for which s/he may not find the school system very conducive


RESOURCES Availability of good resource material, teaching opportunities and sufficient time are some of the factors that can affect the delivery of EE. Good quality teaching material to which the teacher has easy accless and is easy to use, are some of the important prerequisites for effectivle EE to take place. What makes a resource material effective is a question that needs to be answered by keeping the general school scenario in mind. For example, in the water quality monitoring projects, complicated tests like Biological Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand, etc. were avoided Similarly, while

86 Greening Science Education
writing an activity to teach a concept, it must be borne in mind that sometimes enrolment in a class goes to as high as 50-60. In such a situation it is obvious that the teacher would not use a methodology, which would involve 10 students only. Thus it is important to create resources that are adapted to our situation and concerns. The other big question is the question of numbers. In several countries of the region the number or schools run into several thousands, and thus 200-5000 copies may not be sufficient. Also cost of an educational material has to be nominal, otherwise most schools will not be able to afford it. INCORPORATING MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONCEPTS EDUCATION : ROLE OF REGIONAL COOPERATION THE SOUTH ASIAN APPROACH TO ENVIRONMENTAL INTO SCIENCE


In South Asia, three main approaches have been used for the introduction of environmental education into the existing school curricula. These are the infusion, integration and separate subject approach. The infusion approach is more of an ad-hoc arrangement which involves enriching existing units by substituting examples into already existing course materials. This approach is currently finding the most widespread application at all levels of formal education in the region. The integration approach involves a systematic incorporation of relevant environmental concepts into the syllabi. The curriculum of selected subjects is renovated to allow for the incorporation of new ideas. In the third approach, environmental education is taught as a separate subject. PRESENTSTATUS The countries of the region have a lot in common, in terms of history, culture, as well as environment and development programmes and problems. Several regional networks and joint progammes address these issues. Agenda 21 recognizes own. It states that : that no one nation can achieve sustainable living on its

“Countries should cooperate with each other to reproduce educational tools that
address regional environmental and development issues and initiatives, using learning materials and resources suited to their own requirements.” - Agenda 21

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With particular reference to education and educational systems, many more common concerns and problems exist in the region today. Enabling all children to obtain a complete primary education of high quality is the key challenge faced by governments of South Asia. Unfortunately this challenge has been met only partially in the region. ‘South Asia faces three interrelated and low achievement. ” challenges : low enrolment; low completion;

- Human Development

in South Asia, 1998

The school scenario is more or less the same almost all over South Asia. Schools in the region have been unable to provide all school-age children, particularly girls, with the opportunity to attend schools. Secondly, where ever students are enrolled, the situation more or less is the same - classrooms are over crowded, enrolment going up to as high as 50-60 in a class, teachers are over worked, accessibility to educational aids and resources is limited. Thus we are discussing bringing about a change in a system that would require modifications in not just the school system, but also in national and regional policies. A change that would demand huge investments - financial, time implications, and capacity building. The National Education system of all countries of the region have considered that it is essential to include important elements of environmental education in their school curricula. Many efforts and experimentations have already have been tried and tested in countries of the region (refer table.) However, it is the sharing of such experiences that needs to be strengthened to enable this initiative gain a momentum. Country Bangladesh Some Significant Efforts

Grades l-2: Environmental Studies offered. Grades 3-5: Environmental Studies ( Society) and Environmental Studies ( Science ) offered. Grades 6-10: Infused into General Science and Social Science.


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The Education Division has incorporated environmental studies into the National School Programme. A New Approach to Primary Education has been developed using a national curriculum oriented towards observation of nature, conservation and sustainable use of renewable natural resources. The infusion approach has been underway for several years. The University Grants Commission has made it mandatory for all states in the country to incorporate environmental education and training into the curricuia of exisiting diploma courses as well as the new courses at the polytechnic level.




EE is stressed in the teacher education curriculum . It is a compulsory unit for primary teachers. Public support for environmental improvement and increasing public awareness about the importance of improving the environment help efforts to strengthen EE in formal education.


A separate course titled, ‘Health, Population and Environmental Education’ for grades 9-10 has been included in the national curriculum. The Faculty of Education in collaboration with IUCNI Nepal has developed courses on environmental education.

Sri Lanka

EE has been recognized in national policy documents including the National Conservation Strategy ( 1988). EE has been formaily introduced as an integral element at primary and secondary levels of school education, while at tertiary level, environmental studies is offered as a course in most universities.

There are many regional progammes which discuss conservation of mangroves, water bodies, mountain systems, etc but there are hardly any regional programmes looking at school education. If initiated, such a regional level

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progamme will help us share our experiences and Iearnings


with each other,

avoid duplication CONCLUSION

of efforts and save a lot of time and resources.

Even though environmental concepts are being incorporated into primary, secondary and tertiary education, the approach needs to be more holistic and integrated. While the scope of infusing and integrating environmental concepts into science curriculum in the region is immense, there do exist few grey areas too. The biggest one of all is that there is not adequate documentation of such experiences (specific to science curriculum) in the region to support any call for a major policy level change. It is therefore suggested to put together the various efforts already made so far, study their implications and impacts and then suggest a larger regional level progamme, because, while greening science education can ensure ecological sustenance, the other two pillars of sustainable development - economic soundness and social justice - can only be achieved by an integrated REFERENCES CEE India. 1977. The Green Teacher: Ideas, Experiences and Learnings in Educating for the Environment . CEE, Ahmedabad, India. IGES. 2000. Partnership for Environmental Education. IGES Environmental Education Project. Raghunathan, Meena. 2000. Towards a South Asian Action for Environmental Education and Training, 2000-2005: A report of South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme. CEE, Ahmedabd, India. Raghunathan, Meena & Jain, Shivani. 2000. Principles of Adult - Learning: Putting them into Practice. CEE India. Sarabhai, Kartikeya V., Raghunathan, Meena, Kandula, Kalyan. 1998. Greening formal Education : Concerns, Effects and future Directions. CEE, Ahamdabad, India. effort of greening formal education on the whole.

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Resource Material and Methodologies for Capacity Building for Science Education to Foster Sustainable Development in the SAARC Region
Ram Boojh
Scientist -in-charge Centre for Environment Education, Northern Regional Cell, Lucknow, India

Sustainable development and sustainability are becoming debates related to development across the world. The awareness has been recognized as of great value in development. This role has been recognized in Agenda United Nations Conference Janeiro which states: on Environment

the keywords in all the role of education and promoting sustainable 21 (Chapter 36) of the held at Rio de

and Development,

“Education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues.... It is critical for achieving environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour consistent with sustainable development and for effective public participation in decision making.” Sustainable development has been viewed as development that meets the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future to meet their own needs (Our Common Future, 1987). Science and technology education, as well as, environment education can play a very important role in leading the society towards a sustainable path of development. It is also being recognized that teaching and learning science particularly at the school level will contribute to achieve sustainable development in a significant manner. This is more important in the context of the SMRC region where in order to achieve a

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fast growth rate, the traditional technologies


are being replaced by new science

based technologies. Under such a situation, it is important to make the citizens in the SAARC and other developing countries ‘science and environmentally literate.’ INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENT IN EDUCATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES

The incorporation of environment and sustainable development issues into the education curricula is vital. Environment Education (EE) which is holistic and interdisciplinary focuses on the interactions between human beings, nature and universe. EE’s guiding principles require it to treat critical global issues, their causes and interrelationships in a systematic approach and within their social and historical contexts, EE should simultaneously attempt to create awareness, transmit information, teach knowledge, develop habits and skills, promote values, provide criteria and standards and present guidelines to problem solving and decision making (UNESCO, 1987). All sections of society are involved, directly or indirectly, in making decisions related to environment and sustainable development. Thus people of all ages, and all sections of society should be targeted for EE at all levels. Any strategy for EE should be multipronged - reaching out simultaneously to different target groups through different methods, approaches and media. It should have to be integrative, problem solving, practical, continuous and diversified. The integration of science and EE is more apparent as EE is a way of looking at things and encourages learning by doing, exploring and researching. CAPACITY BUILDING IN SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION

The rationale behind the slogan ‘science and technology literacy for all’ is rooted in the belief that the literate citizen of tomorrow must have a sound understanding of the basic principles of science and technology and their interactions with the society in order to build their capacity to make sound decisions (for sustainable development). While decision making in the societal arena will involve the participation of scientifically and technologically literate citizens, such decision making depends on knowledge across a wide range of disciplines. It also depends on the production of a scientifically literate population capable of using

92 their

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knowledge to improve the quality of life and to support sustainable

development. For development to be sustainable, it must take into account social and ecological factors, as well as economic ones, of the living and nonliving resource base and of the long term as well as short term actions (World Conservation Strategy, 1980). Therefore, capacity building in science and technology should go hand in hand with capacity building in the area of environment education. Both Science and Environment Education (SEE) are integrative and provide a

basis for developing skills of observation, exploration, interpretation which ultimately empowers one for sound decision making. It is also accepted that SEE is a lifelong process beginning at the pre - school level and continuing throught all formal and nonformal stages. The process should start during early childhood as right kind of values and attitudes can be ingrained at this stage. Thus, children become the first and most important target group, and a strategy of SEE which addresses itself to this group becomes imperative in the overall scheme of things. Further, all students are not going to become future environmentalists or scientist, therefore SEE must redefine the audience for science knowledge. The current reforms in science education particularly attempt to expand the definition of science ‘content’ (de emphasize learning facts, focus more on understanding concepts) and the way in which knowledge becomes science knowledge (Ware, 1999). It also addresses the issue of introduction of new teaching methods based on cognitive research into how students learn science (move away from ‘teachers teaching’ towards ‘student’s learning’). The new challenge in science education is to open up the’ World of Science’ to all students, not only to those students who are going to become scientists (Black and Atkin, 1996). How can we make science knowledge more accessible to more students without lowering standards in courses for those who will become the scientists of tomorrow? The emphasis in the current science curriculum is on the utility of science to the individual and to the society at large. What is important is not merely the topics that are taught but the context in which they are taught and the context is ‘science for citizenship’. There are a number of sub contexts that elaborate upon this broad statement. ‘Science for sustainable development’, ‘science to improve the quality of life’, ‘science for future scientist’ is not currently a rallying cry, and teaching ‘sciences for its own sake’ appears to be relegated

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to the category of luxury, which only the privileged few can afford. Therefore, science is being used as a tool to teach much more than just science. Science is being used to teach personal and social responsibility (Ware, 1996). In order to facilitate the instructional process in the classroom, the teacher needs to be equipped with effective instructional material and the requisite skills to use the materials. For this, capacity building of teachers is very important. This has to be done at the teacher training colleges (pre service teacher education) and during service on a regular basis. The teacher educators and administrators also need regular training. A closer interaction of schools with industries, science laboratories, research institutions and scientists shoulcl be facilitated. Linkages should be established between the schools, NGOs, research and scientific institutions and the state education departments. NEED FOR INSTRUCTIONAL Within place talked of the RESOURCE MATERIAL

the institutional framework of the school, a continuous interaction takes between students, teachers and instructional material. Much has been about the inadequacy and poor quality of the instructional material. Instead present teacher centered, content oriented learning materials, we should

have competency based, process oriented materials to facilitate joyful self learning and self-directed learning experiences in both the formal and the alternative education modes (NCERT, 2000). The institutional material should have the flexibility for innovations and adaptation to local conditions. The vast educational opportunities provided by the environment in learner’s own vicinity is a major resource material. The rural environment with its farms, ponds, rivers, trees, forests, birds, animals and associated socio-cultural environment can become a great teaching - learning resource for rural children. The resource materials should encourage students’ spirit of enquiry, curiosity and learning. These should not be in the form of an additional subject or textbook to futher increase the burden of students but be user friendly enriching their experiences. Both in science and environment education, learning by doing is quite valuable, however, ‘hands on’ science activities with low- cost equipments which can be locally procured should be encouraged. CEE has undertaken several initiatives towards promoting science and

94 Greening Science Education
environment education and conducts a number of programmes which involve capacity building of teachers and development of materials. CEE’s National Environment Education Programme for Schools (NEEPS) is an umbrella programme to facilitate a nationwide network of school EE activities. Some of the initiatives in this area are : NGO - SCHOOL CLUSTER PROGRAMME

CEE plans and coordinates countrywide teacher training programmes as part of the National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India. CEE trains resource persons, who, in collaboration with local NGOs and State Department of Education (SDE), take up the responsibility of training teachers in their region. The NGOs service a cluster of 20 schools and one of the schools in the cluster is developed as an Environment Education Resource Centre (EERC) as a focal point for common programmes and activities that can bring all the schools of the cluster together and enrich interactions. ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME ORIENTATION TO SCHOOL EDUCATION (EOSE)

CEE is the nodal agency for implementing the EOSE - a scheme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The scheme focuses on the development of locale specific programmes and materials. The programme facilitates translation/adaptation of materials into local languages (CEE, 2000). PANI PARIKSHAN Pani Parikshan is an innovative water quality monitoring programme conducted by CEE with the involvement of school children for Gomti river in Lucknow (Boojh, 1999). The programme was aimed at helping students learn the skills of observation, measurement, data collection, clarification and interpretation of results. A simple low cost Pani Parikshan (water quality testing) Kit and a teachers manual was developed. Teachers were trained to conduct the programme in their schools. The programme has recieved very good response from the schools. The programme did not restrict itself to just monitoring scientific parameters but many fun filled activities were also included in it. The participating schools frequently interacted with each other through frequent slide/film shows,

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guest lectures and visits to research laboratories. GLOBE


The GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a hands - on - science education programme that connects students, teachers and scientists from around the world in study and research about the dynamics of the earth’s environment. The students collect data about their local environment and share it with other schools and scientists through internet. The activities are designed to fit into or supplement the existing science, maths and social science curricula. In India the programme is being implemented in 50 schools to start with. CEE coordinates this programme through its contrywide network of schools (CEE, 2000b). REFERENCES Black, P. and Atkin J.M. 1996. Changing the subject. London: Routledge with OECD. Boojh, R. 1999. Pani Parikshan. EOSE. CEE, Ahmedabad, p: 49-63. CEE. 2000a. Annual Report. CEE. 2000b. India joins the Globe Programme. Environews. 4, 2000. p:2. IUCN, UNEP & WWF. 1980. World conservation strategy conservation for sustainable living. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. : Living resources

NCERT. 2000. National Curriculum framework for School Education - A discussion document NCERT, New Delhi. p : 126. WCED. 1987.0ur Common Development (the Brundtland Future. World Commission on Environment Report) . Oxford University Press. and

UNESCO. 1987. UNESCO-UNEP conference on EE and Training. UNESCO. Paris. Ware, S.A. 1999. Science and Environment Education-Views countries. The World Bank. Washington, D.C. p : 251. from developing


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Major Environmental and Socio-Cultural Issues of India-Need for Integration with Existing Science Curricula
Harjit Singh
Senior Adviser Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, India

Concern for the environment and its preservation has been an integral part of the Indian civilisation. In fact, the Constitution of India ( Chapter IVA, Article 51A), makes it a Fundamental Duty of all citizen and enjoins upon them ‘to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wild life and to have compassion for living creatures”. It is also rooted in our socio-cultural context. The concept of the ‘sacred grove’, extensively maintained by tradional societies in many parts of India, is suggestive of the traditional value attached to biodiversity. Similarly the Bishnoi sect follows 29 principles of good behaviour. Two of these are, not to kill any animal and not to cut any green tree. They have gone to the extent of sacrificing their lives to protect trees and wild animals. The Bishnois are today among the most prosperous farmers in the country. However, in recent years there has been continous degradation of our environment due to industrialisation, urbanisation, deforestation, population growth and over-exploitation of natural resources. These factors need very serious attention today. If not solved they may lead us towards various unending questions. Will man senselessly destroy the ecosystems that support life on this planet? Will he be able to maintain a sustainable earth and eventually build a new humanity? Keeping in view the importance of environmental conservation and sustainable development, the National Policy on Education (1986) has laid great emphasis on integration of environmental consciousness in the entire educational process. It recognises the fact that young minds are important


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instruments of change and states that protection of environment is a value which, along with certain other values, must form an integral part of curriculum at all stages of education to maintain it as a life long value among the children. Environment education has been defined in various ways. However, the common theme is ‘the educational process dealing with man’s relationship with his natural and man -made surroundings’. To be effective, environment education should deal with the dynamics of the physical, biological, socio- economic, political and technological dimensions. In operational terms it would require that children, when they are at school might have to be made aware of the threat to their fife and that of other species because of the environmental degradation. Environmental education can be seen from two different perspectives, one which treats it as a separate new discipline and the other which treats it as a new dimension to existing curricula cutting across different disciplines. The later approach is generally favoured as it enables the children to understand their curricula in relation to their environment/immediate surroundings and also the inter-relationship amongst them. Introduction of a separate school subject of environmental studies is not recommended. Learning of topics such as natural world, effects of human activities on environment and trends, population growth, etc. should not be allowed to get reduced to mere bookish knowledge for passing tests. Instead, through understanding, children may be helped in internalising the concern for adoption of a sustainable life style. The aim of environmental education programmes should be, thus, to increase awareness of the environment and its problems; basic knowledge and understanding of the environment and its inter-relationship with man; social values and attitudes which are in harmony with environmental quality; skills to solve environmental problems; and appropriate actions to solve environmental problems to create a sustainable environment. Environmental education needs to be given in local context. India is a land of physical, ecological, social and cultural diversity. Bounded by the Himalayan mountain ranges in the North and the Indian Ocean in the South, it has a multitude of climates, soil types and geographical areas and consequently of habitats and wildlife, and accordingly, the content of the environment education should be aligned. Students should be taught about the environment that is visible in their areas. Also parallel science lessons could be taught at each

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10 1

location, covering issues such as, the shared sun, wind, ocean, global climate, flora and fauna, conservation, energy, etc. Science education in India generally, has emphasised a reductionist and mechanistic approach to knowledge. Teaching, by and large, remains bookish with little sensitivity to the world around us.

Moreover, the formal format of school education has only a limited scope for organisation of open ended and imaginative activities.There is a need to make science education more connected to real life in, both, the rural and urban areas. The NCERT study on Environment in School Curriculum has shown that environmental concerns have been introduced sequentially from local to global issues in its textbooks of the primary and upper-primary stages, but teaching does not have action oriented concerns. A detailed scrutiny of these textbooks has brought out that treatment of concepts can be improved by contextualising the learning materials, using common vocabulary instead of unfamiliar scientific and technical jargons and by improving illustrations. This would also require reorientation of teacher’s education to help them to relate instructions in the class to local ecological and environmental issues. Urgency of reorientation of teacher education for sustainable development is required as ultimately it is they who would mould the thinking and personality of the future generation. Also, teachers have to assume through thinking. oriented and field be taken for field their changed role of facilitators and promoters of learning Innovative techniques have to be evolved to introduce action based studies. As part of science education, students should visits and exercises should be given to them to collect actual

data from the nearby surroundings to imbibe environmental issues. Children should get opportunities so as to recognise and perceive the relationship between different elements of nature and between environment and culture. They can observe the streams, sky, soil, trees, sun, moon and the clouds. They can be initiated and engaged in tree planting, maintaining small home gardens, soil conservation, prevention of water pollution, repair of small irrigation systems, etc. Structured fancy stories, legends, small dramas and other activities can also be used. The programme may differ from one region to another due to ecological variations. It also involves development of locale-specific teaching material including books, brochures, maps, charts, audio and video cassettes. Further, use of modern Information and Communication technologies should be made an


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integral part of science education as it opens up new vistas for acquiring knowledge including that about the environment. The students may take up projects for developing software for self-learning of environment concepts. Also, software needs to be prepared and made available in regional languages. Science education should also be remodelled to focus on pollution of air and water, decline of agricultural resources, depletion of conventional sources of energy, degradation of land along with its consequences, interlinkages between different spheres of human activities, etc. and the need to evolve sustainable industrial development, agricultural practices and usage of renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind energy. Eventually, the students have to be made aware of the fact that plants and animals provide the food that sustains human life, and the earth and its resources supply all the raw materials for human activities. Through economic activities these natural resources are converted into products and services which have a direct and immediate utilitarian value, but their fall out is an ecological backlash. Therefore, the aim of environmental education should be to educate children about the appropriate usage of resources of our planet in order to provide better quality of life for each person for a long time to come. With these concerns and issues in mind, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has already taken measures for promoting environmental consciousness among school children, some of which are described below. INITIATIVES TAKEN UP BY THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS

Though formal education is the mandate of Ministry of Human resources Development, the MoEF has been interacting with MHRD, NCERT and others for integrating environmental components in the formal education system. In fact, based on wide ranging consultations with officials of MHRD, NCERT, CEE and eminent educationists, a strategy paper was prepared and presented at State Education Minister’s Conference in October, 1998. The salient features of this strategy are as follows: A) STRENGTHENING INFUSION SCHOOL CURRICULUM This involves introduction OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCEPTS IN

of new concepts

on environment

and sustainable

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development in a manner which gives holistic, complete and locale specific understanding of environment. This calls for a review of the way the concepts are being taught. B) TEACHER TRAINING FOR EFFECTIVE ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION (EE)

The key to successful EE is the teacher. EE requires a multi-disciplinary perspective and a practical, problem solving approach to both, teaching and learning. This requires strengthening and expanding of the EE component in in-service training courses for teachers and should be made an integral part of B.Ed. courses. C) INTRODUCTION OF ADDITIONAL SUBJECT MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL LEVELS ON ENVIRONMENT AT THE

In order to ensure that scientific basis of environment and sustainable development are adequately dealt with, it is important to have a special concentration on environment as a discipline, specially at the middle and higher levels (However, this component has subsequently been revised based on recommendations of National Consultation on Environment Education ). D) USE OF NON-FORMAL METHODS IN ENVIRONMENT THROUGH INVOLVEMENT OF NGOS Non-formal education can complement the formal education the initiatives of the Ministry, in this direction are programmes EDUCATION

process. Some of like Environmental

Orientation to School Education (EOSE), Eco Clubs, etc. MoEF has also set up two Centres of Excellence viz. Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad and CPR Environment Education Centre, Chennai which have developed a variety of programmes and resource materials for imparting EE in schools, the most prominent being the National Environment Education Programme in Schools (NEEPS) being implemented by CEE, Ahmedabad since 1990-91. As part of this programme, CEE in association with State Departments of Education, has developed “NGO- school clusters in which one NGO is in touch with 20-25 schools in a geographically contiguous area to facilitate year- long EE activities in the schools. The training and resource materials are provided by CEE. Similar clusters may be set up in each district in the country.

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Besides this, the Ministry has also included “ Environment Education in School Systems” as a sub-component of the World Bank assisted Environmental Management Capacity Building (EMCB) project. Under this, a National Consultation on Environment Education was organised at CEE, Ahmedabad during January 2000, which was attended by more than 500 officials from MHRD, NCERT, NCTE, SCERTs, SDEs and NGOs from all over the country. It considered the strategy paper mentioned above and was in agreement with all its provisions, except regarding introduction of environmental education as a separate subject, in which, it was felt that within the existing curriculum a separate space could be created emphasising environmental concepts. The strategy is accordingly modified. It may be noted that NCERT books have already adopted infusion approach at the upper primary and secondary levels and many states are following this curricula (at the primary level, the environmental concepts are taught as a separate subject ‘Environmental Studies’ ), while SCERTs in other states have taken measures to incorporate environmental concepts in school education. However, a recent survey of Environmental Education in the school curriculum carried out by the CPR Environmental Education Centre, Chennai in seven southern States and Union territories (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands ) has pointed out that while all the syllabi have been uniformly excellent in increasing the knowledge base of children, yet at the end of schooling the child develops no concern for the environment or its conservation. Major lacunae that have been highlighted are lack of knowledge about the inter-dependence of the plant and the animal world with their environment and consequences of extinction, no information about prevention of pollution; no knowledge of the tradional conservation methods, harvesting of rain water, prevention of soil erosion, conservation of trees, etc; no relationship of the information presented to local conditions; lack of illustration in text books and their monotonous presentation style; lack of emphasis on field visits, nature study, trips, practical activities like raising plants, identification of birds and animals around us and so on. The redeeming features of the survey, however, are findings such as, organisation of eco-clubs, emphasis on teacher training, publication of resource books on environmental education for teachers, production of audio/video cassettes on

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environment, etc. in some of the states. It may also be noted that all the States and UTs studied, have introduced environmental education right from Standard 1. In primary school, it is generally taught as a separate subject, while for higher classes, environmental education is generally taught as part of science curriculum and also some part is introduced in social sciences. Thus, it is seen that in the context of science education in schools in India, within the broad strategy outlined above, there is a need to realign the contents and teaching methodology to adequately address some of the pedagogical issues mentioned earlier, such as, need for locale specific material, emphasis on field work, usage of easy to understand terms and use of modern means of learning, communication and information technologies, etc. Needless to say this would require further deliberations, particularly focussing on details, with representatives from Central and State departments, fora, NGOs, etc. educationists, environmentalists, teacher’s


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S & T Inputs For Promoting Environment Education in Schools
Anuj Sinha and Ujjwala Tirkey
Scientist C Communication New Delhi, India Head (Scientist G) Department

National Council for Science & Technology of Science and Technology,

UNESCO, New Delhi, in collaboration with International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE) has initiated and operated the project “2000+; Scientific and Technological Literacy for all”. This was a recommendation of the ‘World Conference on Education for All’ held at Jomtien in 1990 which declared that “ . . . . . . . . . . . every person . . . . . shall be able to benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet basic learning needs. These needs comprise both, essential tools (such as literacy), and the basic learning content (knowledge, skills, values and attitudes) required by human beings to be able to participate fully to improve quality of their lives to make informed decisions and to continue learning. ” In many countries, science education in schools has very little that will help students achieve adequate literacy and give them the confidence for applying their knowledge in dealing with societal issues such as population, health, nutrition, environment and sustainable development, The sub-regional workshop on “Integrating Environmental Issues in Science Education” is, therefore, a timely initiative of the State S&T Council of Punjab and UNESCO. In this paper, the authors have touched upon the school science education in India at the turn of the century, and in the later part, discussed innovative programmes for competence building in particular. They conclude that nonformal approaches would prove more effective in achieving the objectives.

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Science is not just a collection of facts. While facts are a part of science definitely much more. It includes:
l l l

it is

Observing Predicting Testing and

what’s happening; what might happen; under controlled conditions to see if they are correct;



Trying to make sense of our observations.

Science involves trial and error - trying, failing, and trying again. Science does not provide all the answers. It requires us to be sceptical so that our scientific “conclusions” can be modified or changed altogether as we make new discoveries. Being “Scientific” involves being curious, observing, asking how things happen and learning how to find the answers. Curiosity is natural to children, but the formal system of education continues to stifle this. In this century, this country will need citizens with more training in science and technology than most of us had in school. Even children who don’t want to be scientists, engineers, or computer programmers will need science to cope with their rapidly changing environment. Science education is effective and meaningful when it stems from societal concerns. The usual tools of science or the methods of science - experimentation, observation, analysis and drawing of inferences - have to be developed. Important objectives behind preparing desirable teaching/learning materials are : (a) social values (decision making with justification), (b) scientific method (science skills), (c) personal skills (especially communication and co-operative skills) and (d) science concepts (science knowledge with respect to comprehension, application and the range of higher order cognitive skills i.e., analysis, evaluation, problem solving). Students should be able to make use of science in arriving at real-life decisions on issues at the science-society interface. The focus should be on societal and environmental issues and conerns and the way in which science relates to them. Students will appreciate the importance of science better when Hence,

science emerges from a real problem of relevance to them. is the recommended teaching approach. Learning by


by doing’


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memorising is to be discouraged, as this will not promote the right attitudes or positive actions. It is important to develop and examine attitudes and behavioural changes. Most of the activities should be student-driven, with children always being active participants. The teacher’s role should be that of a catalyst, facilitator and organiser of various activities. One of the techniques recommended for the whole class is brainstorming. The teacher seeds the discussion by raising a question or putting forward a keyword to which students react. All student responses are written on the board and naturally feed into the discussion that follows. Student activities will include discussion in groups and in the whole class, working co-operatively in small groups, engaging in design and decision making, estimation, calculation, measurement, experimentation, recording of results, drawing inferences and sharing these with others. Arrangements should be made for the display/exhibition of student’s work both, inside the class and in the community. The teacher should point out various sources of information. Help in the form of making facilities available for the activities and guiding the students in drawing inferences and conclusions should be forthcoming, as should help in creating tests, collecting information and writing reports.

PRESENT SCENARIO By and large, the current scenario of science education in most states can best be described as ill-equipped teachers and resource challenged schools that are burdened with heavy curriculum. While the teaching of languages and humanities continues to be memory based, change in teaching of science and mathematics to development of cognitive skills is a big challenge. How can S & T provide practical steps for introducing meaningful ‘environmental education’ under such circumstances ? Problem solving is not automatic. It requires observing phenomena, recording data and analysing and drawing inferences. The method emphasizes thinking and creativity. The teacher’s role is rather complex. If everything is left to the students, they would learn nothing and chaos would prevail in the classroom, laboratory or the field. On the other hand, if the teacher helps students to discover the problem, motivates them to seek solutions, guides them on this

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voyage of discovery, it would be very fulfilling for them. Often teachers are hesitant in promoting this approach since they find themselves inadequate for solving that particular problem. This could be personally embarrassing. Rich experiences of Bangalore Association for Science Education, Homi Bhaba Centre for Science Education, Mumbai, Hoshangabad Science Teaching Project are important learning tools. The experiments begun at Hoshangabad have transformed science, maths and even social science teaching in several districts of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring states with Eklavya, Bhopal providing vital technical support. These offer many insights for introducing ‘environmental education’ in schools. There are two major advantages of adopting the problem solving methodology for science and environment learning : (i) students learn to use the method of science, and (ii) they learn to generalize this skill in solving everyday problems. The limitations of this approach are:

It is slow and time consuming a different syllabus;

and to be successful

requires construction



Stress on practical work may give students a wrong conception philosophy of science; and Practical work may become dull and routine.

about the


Innovative strategies will have to be adopted to be able to overcome these limitations while stressing on the advantages of such approaches for environment education. S & T INPUTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL Environmental

EDUCATION as follows :


can be categorized

(a) Where reasons/ sources of the problems have been identified but more research in the area is required for finding out proper solutions, (e.g. global warming); (b) Areas where solutions are available but mere sociological awareness is insufficient. Specific groups need proper education, awareness and training and some more of research and studies are required to find suitable alternatives (e.g. pollution due to pesticides - training and education of



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farmers and research for alternative fertilisers and pesticides, and is desirable);


(c) Environmental problems where technical answers to solve the problems are available but sociological awareness or ‘public will’ is still not sufficient to mitigate them (e.g. sanitation, garbage management, vehicular pollution, etc.).

Efforts in schools encourage awareness on issues in category (a) and (b) while there is need for increased focus on issues of category (c). Science curriculum of senior classes includes fairly updated information relating to all three types of issues. There is a need to make the discussion more contextual. Regular sensitization of teachers through well-designed training would contribute to significant improvement. Exciting possibilities are obvious in raising issues of awareness along with actionoriented activities on the third category of environmental issues in tandem with science and technology popularization. The limitations of introducing new material in the formal science course have been alluded to earlier. Out-of-school approaches to meet the objectives are, therefore, proposed. In our country, the science club movement originated in 1957-58 under the auspices of the Directorate of Extension, Primary and Secondary Education. There were several factors why these did not become very active although they had the potential to link science teaching in the classroom and laboratory with the community. A number of clubs, which have been seeded in the recent past, broadly adopted the following aims and objectives :

To develop among students a general awareness of science and the role of science in social affairs. of science methods through projects. Stress will be on skills : manipulative, To train students in the use of practice investigative questions, problems and environmental studies. To develop among students communicative and concrete. certain




l l

To expose, and thereby, to expect certain standards of work from students. To develop among students scientific interests in various branches of science.

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To prepare students for effective participation at different levels. To catalyze discovery oriented

in science fairs and exhibitions to local problems.


project approach

The clubs are voluntary with one of the school science teacher serving as an organiser. It is always better to support in a small way and then to expand activities. Some of these can be: Arranging lectures, seminars, debates and symposia,

Paper reading for the club members on various topics of scientific interests. This will also include project reporting, Activities Organising relating to the survey of community science exhibitions and participation resources (field trips),

in science fairs, and night sky watching,

Science popularization activities HAM radio training, etc. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

like, aero-modelling,



School students form an important segment of the society for programmes of science & technology popularization catalyzed and supported by National Council for Science & Technology Communication, New Dehli. Environmental issues are interwoven in these programmes by design. Training modules prepare science teachers to initiate and guide activities either through a science club mechanism or as an out-of-school activity. These have been organized in several states and often more than once. Some of the activities developed and their significant characteristics are described below: VERMCCOMPOSTING Importance of wealth from waste, segregation of waste at source, life cycle of earthworms, effectiveness of different micro organisms for composting, experiments with fertilizers and composts on different plants, etc., are some of the activities which are encouraged here. Dharamitra, Wardha and Institute of Research in Soil Biology and Biotechnology, Chennai have been active partners in this exercise.


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WATER TESTING Sample collection, qualitative and quantitative tests for physical and chemical impurities, identifying sources of pollutants, treatment for removal of pollutants, community awareness through interaction, etc., are significant elements in this module. Development Alternatives, New Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore have contributed to developing this kit and module. NATURE ACTIVITY CAMP

These help in developing skills of observation, sample collection, classification and observation of different life forms in order to have a holistic understanding about the importance of biodiversity, food web, interdependence of life forms, etc., over an extended camp in or around a natural water body. Srujanika, Bhubaneswar initiated such camps and have improved them with our support. ROOT & SHOOT PROJECT Developed specially for groups of school science clubs in a locality, this involves selecting the right species of saplings, planting them on common land, nurturing over a period of 12-15 months, making detailed observation of growth and development, studying the relationships between squirrels, birds, butterflies, ants and other life forms, involving the community in nurturing the saplings, etc., thus making a visible difference in the local environment within a short period. Many school science clubs are involved in this action research project over the past two years. More modules to transfer skills and knowledge are being evolved in consultation with master resource persons, several of whom are school science teachers or science club coordinators. The activities associated with the Children’s Science Congress over the past eight years are fairly well documented. Initiated by a group of organisations under an umbrella body NCSTC-Network, New Delhi, the congress has now spread into schools of over 450 districts. Activity guides developed by resource persons are circulated amongst guide teachers suggesting a number of activities around the theme selected for the year. Groups of children are encouraged to

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select a problem from around their locality within the scope of the theme. These young scientists define the problem, develop a hypothesis, set up the experiment, collect data through experimentation or survey, analyze the data and look for a pattern, test their hypothesis and reach their own conclusions. Besides internalizing ‘the method of science’ they develop two skills: (a) working in a group and (b) communicating with their peers. The communication skills get honed as projects are short-listed for district, state and national level conventions progressively. The discovery oriented project approach gets credit for the children under ‘work experience’ in several states/boards, which enthuses the young researchers and the guide teachers. There are two developments observed which are viewed as progressive by some and undesirable by others. The researchers sometime take on the mantle of social activits. The same or fresh groups of children in the school continue some projects/activities after the presentation at the state/ national congress. Some other efforts / initiatives the following: ‘Lecture-demonstrations’ ‘Contact programes’ spend unstructured environmentalist by experts in selected schools, under which brilliant students from different schools time of up to seven days with an eminent at raising environmental consciousness include

or scientist,

Planned and organized visits to institutions and organizations where science and technology is at work for students selected from different schools, A website - ‘’ Thematic exchange and science teachers to present projects and

forums for school experiences.

OTHER ISSUES Academic and motivational limitations of teachers, scarcity of resources, curriculum load on the students are harsh realities of our system and the inadequacies of our school science education programmes cannot be ignored. Yet, planners need to realize that there is a lot of science outside the classroom. The non-formal approach through out-of-school or science club programmes has shown promise. This should serve as a source of ideas for environmental education.

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The NCSTC, New Delhi being an apex body for science and technology popularization will be willing to catalyse and support experimental approaches of introducing environmental education in schools through technological, as well as, financial inputs. REFERENCES :

DST. 2001. Annual Report : 2000 - 2001. Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi. Halbrook, Jack, Mukherjee, Amitabha & Varma, Vijaya. 2000. Scientific and Technological Literacy for all : UNESCO-ICASE-CSEC Delhi Workshops, Delhi. National Centre for Improving Science Education. Getting Started in Science - A Report. NCSTC, 2001. (unpublished). NCSTC Saga. Deptt of Science & Technology, New Delhi

Vaidya, Narendra. 1996. Science Education for the 21 st Century. New Delhi.

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An Analysis of Existing Issues in Formal Science Education in India with respect to Major Local Environmental concerns and Socio-cultural Inputs
Erach Bharucha and Shamita Kumar Director Lecturer Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research, Pune, India.

The Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER), Pune is conducting a Nationwide study of infusion of environmental concepts in school curricula in Science, Social Studies and Languages. School textbooks play an important role in enhancing awareness as it requires a critical mass of individuals to develop a consciousness of environmental issues before changes in attitudes becomes a part of societal behavior. This critical mass can only be generated if the effort to create environmental consciousness occurs through the school curricula itself, as this includes a large number of students and forms a major proportion METHODOLOGY Content Analysis of textbooks using a standardized matrix has been developed at the Institute. This has been used to assess both, the quantitative and qualitative aspects of environment infusion into each lesson in the textbooks. Each environmental code has a list of issues or topics. This is organised into five major sections, which includes Natural systems and use of Natural Resources-N, Biodiversity-B, Pollution-P, Energy-E, People and Environment-PE, Others-O. These are broken down further into 98 environmental concept codes. The matrix is an effective tool for Content Analysis for each lesson, which is compiled into an analysis of the Textbook. This assesses the Text content, Case of human population.


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Studies and Examples, Visuals, Activities and Questions for each lesson and is able to grade and measure the quality of Accuracy, Relevance to the text, Appropriateness to age group, Comprehensiveness, Consistency, Bias and Action links. The presence or absence of action links is recorded as this is considered a key to a successfully planned and delivered environment education initiative. A statistically appropriate method to grade the level and quality of environmental education in each of these parameters has been developed. The levels of accuracy are graded into fully accurate, partially accurate and inaccurate and are given an appropriate numerical score. Similarly, this is applied to relevance and appropriateness to be able to assess the quality in each of these parameters. Some of the aspects of EE can only be dealt with through qualitative statements. These, however, need to be systematized for bringing in parity across content analysers as well as across Textbooks and States. A set of ‘cues’ for the content analysers in terms of ‘End Analysis Tools’ has been developed. These include an assessment of language into - simple or complex, unclear passages, serious inaccuracies or incorrect concepts, gaps in information, currentness and the right environment issues being wrongly treated. There has also been a need to include footnotes on biases, disputable statements and the possibility of the student acquiring a new set of values that could change their behaviour to a more pro-environmental approach. The levels of accuracy and action links have been considered important aspects for Environment Education and have thus been given higher total scores. Codes have been used for States, medium of instruction and subjects to facilitate backsourcing of the analysed material from the matrix back to the relevant passage in the textbook. The lesson matrices include all the parameters that are incorporated into a single text matrix. The data which is entered in the lesson matrices is analysed through a Java based specially developed computer program. This carries the information from the initial matrices to the outputs in the form of several spreadsheets which show subject based and standard based analysis and further breakups. This can help textbook writers to assess textbooks, identify gaps and inaccuracies and suggest aspects that need review.

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The methodology uses colour coded spreadsheets which permits observations on the standard, the subject, and the environment concept codes that are present in the textual material through the 12 year curriculum. Spreadsheets provide at a glance the ability to assess when a concept first appears, in which class it reappears and how it is dealt with progressively through the 12 year course. The spreadsheets also bring out the correlation of concepts appearing across subjects. A master spreadsheet of concepts FINDINGS: throughout PRESENT has been evolved to be able to express the distribution all the 12 years in the relevant subjects. STATUS

The present status of infusion of environmental concepts into the Science subject has been studied for the States of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Kerala, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Pondicherry, Chandigarh, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshwadeep. This has been done for standards I to X or XII wherever relevant. Several interesting observations have been made during the course of the study. While there are several disparities when viewed from State to State there are some common features. This is mainly due to the ‘gaps’ in environment information that a school student must understand.


The analyses of each state’s curriculum and textbooks for their content has shown that while there is a fair amount of variability in content, the relative level of problems observed deal with action links and to some extent, the accuracy with which certain environment concepts are dealt with. These mainly deal with the lack of information on the State’s biological diversity, its biogeographic regions, its common and endangered species, the utilization of locale specific resources from its specific ecosystems, how ecosystems can be sustainably used and how degraded systems can be restored. The states environmental problems as being a direct result of either population growth or unsustainable development practices have not been highlighted. Further, the need to limit resource consumption, wastage of water, energy,


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etc. have not been highlighted. The local environmental issues such as the development of dams, the reasons for forest loss, river, lake, wetland and marine pollution are discussed very briefly, if at all, in most State textbooks. Another feature is the absence of information on the need for a greater equity of resource use and a description of who uses the largest amount of natural resources.

b) Where aspects

of biogeography, natural resources and environment problems of a State have been dealt with, there is a lack of indepth information on these aspects in the textbooks. This leaves a great deal to the teacher’s own capacity and frequently, imagination or extra reading. Handbooks are frequently inadequate or if developed are not available, or do not reach the teacher. Several simple environmental topics such as the variety of plant and animal species in the world, in India and those of each State, do not have an appropriate representation in the curriculum. Food chains such as frog, snake and eagle appear repeatedly without being diversified into other food chains which are equally obvious, easy to appreciate and of great importance in appreciating the next level of understanding ‘food webs’ and finally the ‘food pyramids’. Further, these concepts are introduced very late in the curriculum. Species selected for behavioral patterns are repeated several times. Besides, the species selected are related to the needs of pure Zoology and include Hydra, amoeba, hare, cow, fish, etc. Lack of locale specificty is a major lacuna. Several such ‘gaps’ have been identified which need to be brought into Science. Further, some concepts appear as scattered, disconnected statements through the twelve year curriculum.


d) The environmental

concepts are more scientific than ‘environmental’. Information on ‘biodiversity’ mostly deals with physiological characters of plants along with a general and extremely brief description of various generalized examples of plants and animals. Most often there is no conservation or natural history orientation. Even though behavioral patterns of animals and plants have a fair representation there is no increase in information base across standards. drop in the number of environmental concepts in X and XII.

e) There is a significant

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Table 1. Number of Environmental concepts in natural rating given for content of natural resources I 0 1 II 12 2 Ill 34 5 IV 74 7 v 60 4 VI 98 5 VII 77 4 VIII 71 17 resources


and t h e

No. of Concepts Rating

IX 40 11

x 41 8

XI 136 21 and

XII 43 16

Fig. 1. Number of Environmental Concepts in Natural Resources the rating given for the content of Natural Resources
25 1




5 -.


o +

Rating for the content in Fjatural Resources Number of envimnmental concepts for each subjects


Very often currentness in information is missing. DDT in most books is mentioned as being used as a common pesticide, even though commercial production and usage of DDT is banned in India. The Sikkim State Science textbooks for standard III, IV and V, however, in the note for the teacher state the importance of currentness in information and recommend that they update information so as to make it more relevant to the students. This has occurred through a UNESCO initiative at the local level.


The concept

of National Parks and Sanctuaries

has been explained


in most textbooks. However, it is not State specific and does not bring home the linkage between Protected Areas and biodiversity conservation. h) i) The NCERT Science textbook has good chapters potential to introduce students to this activity. on birdwatching with a

The activities in most textbooks focus on collection of plants, pictures or information. While the former is not advisable, unless information collected

120 Greening Science Education
is discussed j) it serves no purpose.

In several states the topics do not increase in complexity over the twelve years. Concepts appear and disappear or reappear with simpler rather than increasing levels of information. This is a result of inadequate textbook planning and can be easily addressed. While air and water pollution are frequently addressed, the other forms which include noise, oil, thermal, radiation pollution are discussed cursorily. A major ‘gap’ occurs in most states in Energy issues. While solar energy is frequently focussed on, other sources of non-conventional energy is not dealt with inadequately.


As environment is multidisciplinary in nature, the introduction of infused oncepts needs to be co-ordinated across subjects as well as classes. If a topic is treated in a simple fashion in standard V in Geography and it reappears in standard VI in Science, the latter must be upgraded in content. This is frequently not the case. The number of times a concept appears through curricula is one indication of the level of infusion. However when the concept is graded in terms of its quality these two do not correspond at several instances. SOLVING SCIENCE TEXTBOOK CONCERNS FOR THE FUTURE

For grading an environment concept a method has been evolved to see if the concept evokes a set of responses to clearly defined questions. One of the most frequently recurring issues is on several of our ‘natural resources’. Our method to grade the level of competence it is expected to achieve is answered through a set of four questions.
l l l

What is the resource ? Who uses it - what is it used for ? How is it lost, overused How can it be conserved or misused ? or protected ?


The four questions
l l

lead to different sets of human responses. . ..... .. is based on information. of

What is the resource?

Who uses it - what is it used for ?...... elicits a greater level of awareness

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the issues that deal with people’s

12 1

lives (an individual’s

life). concern for

How is it lost, overused or misused?..... degradation of the resource.

creates an increasing


How can it be conserved or protected ?......creates milieu for proenvironmental action which is the ultimate result that environment education is expected to achieve. of thought

In most cases the Science textbooks do not achieve a progression processes that take a learner through this process of: Information + awareness addressed. + concern + action.

This needs to be consciously ADDRESSING TEXT CONTENT GAPS

The gaps that are most obvious and topics inadequately dealt with which need to be addressed include concepts such as ecosystems, its types, food chains, foodwebs, energy pyramid, ecosystem degradation, sustainable development and extinction in the Science curriculum. Science must consciously address structural and functional aspects of ecosystems. Both should appear simultaneously during the course for a more integrated approach to learning. Science textbooks must include information on the brief description of ecosystems, biogeographic regions, forest types, endangered species, if any, the occupations of its ‘ecosystem people’ who live close to nature and the development aspects that have led to serious impacts on a State’s environment. The specific natural resources and ecosystem goods and services need to be highlighted. There is an urgent need to enhance information of the local Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in the textbooks. VISUALS The visuals should be attractive, accurate & realistic as they are crucial for enhancing the quality and readability of the textbook. These could be in the form of line drawings. They are very often in half caricature, half realistic styles.


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ACTIVITIES Science textbooks and interpretation. have the potential of enhancing skills of observation, analysis These potentials need to be explored. The activities could

focus on enhancing observational skills in the lower classes and then go on to collecting data, analyzing it, interpreting results, using them for community projects, etc. An exposure to nature in the early years can facilitate the development of a pro-conservation attitude. THE QUESTION OF LEARNING FROM NATURE

Field experiences especially in early childhood are considered to be the most effective learning tool for environmental concerns. This moves out of the scope of the textbook into the field where the teacher acts as a catalyst to interpret what the student sees in his/her own environs. This must address both, Nature’s assets as well as problems. It also must address the ‘beauty of nature’ and the aesthetic losses due to its misuse. That field science is fun, is perhaps the greatest trigger to create pro-conservation behaviour. The intricacies of Nature’s ‘web of life’ and the astounding biodiversity of our natural world brings about support and a ‘care for Nature’ that is far more effective than a didactic teaching of Science. Both are equally essential and are synergists in the learning process. The problem here is the need for training teachers in the art/science of Nature watching and its ‘interpretation’. This is specialized and requires a wide knowledge base, a fairly consistent exposure to field situations and most importantly, a deep interest in Nature itself. Motivated teachers generate motivated students who will constitute a mass conservation movement in society. CONCLUSIONS Textbooks cannot end at providing staccato information on environmental issues. The broader implications such as the information leading to an enhanced awareness, a deeper concern for the environment and finally a willingness and a capacity to act in a pro-environmental way, is the key to the success of a textbook that is intended to bring about the appropriate level of environmental infusion.

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Prativesh. Education, NCERT. Document. 1999. Patna. 2000. National National Curriculum Council Framework for School Research Education: The Green Curriculum: Prativesh, East Report and on the West School Curriculum






for Environmental

A Discussion New Delhi.

of Educational

and Training,


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Perspectives of Ministry of Environment & Forests - Goverment of India in Promoting Environmental Issues Through School Based Science Education
K.K. Garg Joint Director Regional Office, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Chandigarh, India.

UNESCO, on the basis of the concerns expressed at UN Conference on Human Environment ( Stockholm,l972) launched the first phase of the International Environment Education Programme (IEEP) in 1975 in cooperation with UNEP. The Programme included the survey of environment education needs and priorities and series of meetings / workshops to lay down a general framework of ideas and guidelines. In this context, the first Inter - Government Conference on Environment Education was held at Tbilisi, USSR (UNESCO, 1977). This conference provided the broad essential guidelines for incorporating environmental education into educational systems. The definition of environment education and broad guiding principles identified by Tbilisi Conference were as follows : Definition : “Environmental education is an integral part of the education process. It should be centred on practical problems and be of an interdisciplinary character. It should aim at building up a sense of values, contribute to public well being and

concern itself with the survival of the human species. Its force should reside
mainly in the initiative of the learners and their involvement in action and it should be guided by both, immediate and future subjects of concern. V

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GUIDING PRINCIPLES Principles of EE are :


The Guiding

Consider the environment in its totality - natural and built, technological social ( economic, political, cultural, historical, moral, aesthetic, etc.) Examine environmental points of view.



issues from local, national, regional and international environmental situations. co-operation for the and

l l

Focus on current and potential

Promote the value of local, national solution of environmental problems. Explicitly growth. consider environmental

and international



in plans for development their learning problem experiences. - solving

l l

Enable learners to have role in planning Relate environmental sensitivity, value clarification to every age. Help learners problems. discover


skills and


the symptoms

and real causes

of environmental


Emphasise the complexity of environmental problems and thus the need to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Utlize diverse learning environment learning. and a broad array of educational approaches to teaching/


Afterwards, the UNESCO-UNEP Congress on Environmental Education and Training in 1987 further refined the approach of Environmental Education as follows :-

“ Environmental education should simultaneously attempt to create awareness, transmit information, teach knowledge, develop habit and skills, promote values, provide standards and present guidelines for problem solving and decision making. It, therefore, aims at both cognitive and affective behaviour modifications. The latter necessitates both, classroom and field activities. This is an actionoriented, project centred and participatory process leading to self confidence, positive attitudes and personal commitment to environmental protection. Furthermore, the process should be implemented through an interdisciplinary approach.”



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In India, at central level, both Ministry of Environment & Forests and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) have been working towards supporting environmental education in schools. Since the adoption of the National Policy on Education, 1986, Environmental Education has received a sharper focus in the school curriculum framework . At present, environmental components are being taught as a separate subject titled “ Environmental Studies” at the Primary School Level whereas the infusion approach has been adopted at the upper primary and secondary levels wherein environmental concepts have been included in the existing subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry and geography, etc. Although initiatives have been taken to include environmental issues in school curriculum, yet it has been realized by a number of institutions and education centres that the present level of environment education in and it needs to be further expanded and strengthened. the Ministry of Environment & Forests took bold steps to strategy to strengthen environmental education content schools is not adequate It is in this context, that develop a four-pronged in school system. This

strategy was discussed by Hon’ble Minister of Environment & Forests in the State Education Ministers Conference in October,1988 and the same was adopted in toto, except for introduction of separate / additional subject on environment, as follows :l l



of environmental


in school curriculum. (this needs

Introduction of separate/additional to be further discussed ). Teachers of NGOs. Training


on environment education.

l l

for effective environment

Use of non-formal methods in environment

education through the involvement

The issue of introduction of a separate / additional subject on environment was further deliberated upon in the National Consultation on Environment, Ahmedabad in January, 2000. It emerged out that introduction of environmental education as a separate / additional subject is not necessary and it would be more effective if environmental concepts infused in various subjects could be focused upon and discussed. Based on the recommendations of the Conference, the strategy on Environmental Education is being revised. In addition, a World

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Bank assisted project environmental concepts FUTUREPLANS is underway to assess the extent in the existing school curriculum. of infusion

127 of

In order to ensure that knowledge on environmental issues /concepts is adequately imparted to students in all the schools across the country, the implementation of the four-pronged strategy outlined above is essential. This would require involvement of the concerned State Governments. While under the World Bank assisted project, implementation of this strategy would be tested in one State at the upper primary level, its implementation across the country would have to be facilitated by the Ministry in close collaboration with MHRD on the basis of findings of the pilot implementation. REFERENCES UNESCO. 1977. Inter Governmental Conference on Environmental Education. Tbilisi (USSR) - Final Report. Unesco. Paris.


128 Greening ScienceEducation


for Environmental Ethics and Ecological Conscience
Neelima Jerath 81 S.K. Saxena
SSO (Environment) Chandigarh, India Director PSO (Environment)

N.S. Tiwana,

Punjab State Council for Science & Technology,

Environmental education in the last two and half decades has become a world -wide movement. It may be largely due to the fast changing environmental scenario, peoples’ growing concern and urgency of educating the people about their environment and its problems, thereby, enabling them to contribute to environmental protection and improvement. In turn, these factors have necessitated the strengthening of environmental education. These concerns have emerged from the pressures of environmental degradation and need for environmental protection and the educational experiences world-over. The efforts at the national level and major interaction through international conferences at Stockholm (1972), Tbilisi (1977) and Rio (1992) has put Environmental Education on a firm footing. lnfact EE has become an ongoing formal and non-formal education. pursuit with educators in

It is generally believed that the development process itself could lead to environmental degradation in developing countries but this concept alludes mainly to industrial pollution. However, perhaps the greatest environmental challenge for poor developing countries is not growth and development, but due to poverty and underdevelopment. The dangerous convergence of rural poverty and dwindling natural resources due to environmental degradation is now widely recognized. Indeed, one of the major changes in our thinking over the past decade, and especially since the Rio Earth Summit, has been the recognition of the fact that the degradation of environment and desertification are primarily the result of unsustainable patterns of resource use under ever-increasing pressures to support more and more people and animals on a limited and fragile natural

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resource base. Poor rural people are very often forced to agricultural and ecological margins to earn their livelihood - they take the places nobody else wants. There, they have no alternative but to over exploit the resources they do have - because they do not have enough land to make a living and maintain sustainable practices. Education has always played a crucial role in the society because it disseminates knowledge, provides necessary skills and helps in fdrming certain attitudes. Hence, the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment in 1972 emphasized the need for an environmentally oriented education system, which would resolve the environmental crisis by preparing environmentally conscious citizens. The ultimate aim of Environment Education is Action. Action - to improve the environment, prevent its degradation and sustain its well being. Action itself can become a powerful way of learning about the environment because it helps the learners to realize that their actions can make a difference and it fosters a sense of responsibility for their immediate environment. With proper training and direction, schools and communities can become a valuable resource as the eyes and ears of society, observing and reporting not only on the natural environment, but on social responses to environmental issues as well. SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION

One of the factors that shapes the ways in which environmental education is conducted in educational institutions is its affinity with science & social education, with science education historically having the stronger hold. Hence, Science education is an essential starting point in addressing the environmental crisis, which is, in a deeper sense, a social crisis. Science education should particularly seek to contribute to a sustainable future. It should illustrate the relationship between ecological and social imbalances especially with regard to problems of sustainability, which are rooted in political problems, like inequality and the exercise of centralized power for private gain. The reorientation of educational activities should, therefore, basically aim at incorporating environmental components and strengthening of educational programmes for promoting environmental and ethical awareness, inculcating values and attitudes & developing skills for promoting sustainable development. Hence, EE should focus on nature conservation values and environmental


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which need to be incorporated keeping in view interrelationships in


ecological and social systems to underscore some of the most visible problems of environmental degradation, such as, the pollution of natural resources and ecological services, the management and disposal of domestic and industrial wastes, etc. Pedagogy of the environment should, therefore, promote the contact of students with their surroundings. Environmental values also need to be induced from outside the formal education processes. These may range from general ecological principles (behaviour in harmony with nature) and new socio-cultural and sustainable lifestyles. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

Environmental ethics can be defined as the code of appropriate behaviour towards environment. The word ‘ethic’ is derived from ‘ethos’ or ‘way of life’. Environmental ethics starts with developing beliefs. Culture is everything which characterizes our way of living, thinking, behaving, and producing. Ethics on the other hand forms a part of culture, which determines values, principles, and the perception of the relationship between man and nature. It contributes values and general principles that have been assimilated in the guidelines and content of educational programmes. It simplifies the environmental dimension for its absorption in life rather than trying to translate the complex environmental concepts into the formation of new perceptions, attitudes and knowledge. Hence, it has the potential to help create a social order which protects environment, integrates economy and ecology, science and spirituality, material and ethical progress. This, however, needs to be followed by all countries. A cross-cultural dialogue should be established to promote empathy between nature and humans and also amongst various communities. Environmental ethics as a specific discipline deals with a variety of issues ranging

from rights of non-human beings, issues of social justice, public policy, ethical issues of economic growth, health and human disease, etc. The current environmental crisis is basically a crisis of values and outlooks. It is, therefore, necessary to reorient these values and outlooks by drawing upon the cultural and religious traditions, which have always treated life as an organic entity and placed spiritual possessions of man at a higher pedestal than material possessions. Further, reclaiming for the future necessitates a commitment to intergenerational equity. We are the first generation to create serious

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environmental problems for our descendents. Ethics should address this problem and ensure that the future generations inherit a clean earth. School children can play a vital role in making other children and adults environmentally conscious. If school programs were adapted towards ensuring greater appreciation, better protection and a more responsible utilization of the environment, they could learn to treat the environment with lifelong respect. If we want to survive on earth we will have to learn to live, work and exist in greater harmony with the environment. Educating children towards this is of utmost importance. If it is the adults of the past and present who have been responsible for bringing about the deterioration of the environment, it makes sense to tackle the problem by educating new generations to become more conscious of and concerned about the environment. PEDAGOGY It is now widely accepted that the key to successful environmental education

rests with the teacher. Hence, if we wish to promote an environment concious society which follows the norms of environmental ethics, teacher education becomes the “priority of priorities” for preparing classroom teachers with the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to implement an effective programme of environmental education. Hence, interdisciplinary teacher training, new teaching strategies and new curricular structures need to be developed. Education for environment and sustainability should go beyond the mere transmission of knowledge in order to promote attitudes, commitments and patterns of behaviour which will characterize an eco-citizen, assisting in the process of environment protection and sustainable development. REFERENCES Dani,H.M.(Ed.).l996.Environment Education , Punjab University, Chandigarh. Roniotes,A.(Ed.).l998.Promotion of Education and Public Awareness for Environment and Sustainability, Proc. of the Workshop, MIO-ECSDE and HAEEE,Athens. Scoullos,M.(Ed.).l99&Environment & Society: Education and Public Awareness for Sustainability, Proc. of The Thessaloniki International Conference, UNESCO & Govt. of Greece.


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Explaining Complex Environmental Concepts through New Approaches and Techniques
C.P.R. Environmental

C. Krishna
Centre, Chennai, India

Director Education

Environmental education is one of the most important priorities for the future development of education. The ruling of the Supreme Court of India, in the background of the decreasing availability of natural resources, the increasing urbanization and consequent pollution and our growing population with its consequent pressures on land, have made environmental education essential to our educational system. Environmental education means different things to different people and is as locale-specific as, say, history. Can environmental awareness be taught in schools? This is a challenge confronting educators in every country. Thanks to the lack of a formal curriculum and state resistance to environmental education in the early stages, environmental education initiatives have generally been oriented towards grass-roots developments in environmental education. Schools, centres of environmental education, and NGOs have been developing innovative ways of teaching and learning about environmental issues, ranging from scientific and economic to cultural subjects. The efforts have a double impetus. Firstly, it has to develop environmental*awareness and commitment in teachers, students and, thereby, the community. Secondly, it has to develop dynamic qualities in young people, to make them understand that they, too, can contribute to their society by meaningful activities. Thus mere textbook knowledge is hopelessly inadequate for achieving the goals of environmental education. Any innovative implementation technique should be backed by action research on its and whether it achieves two important goals of environmental


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l l

Does it foster the students’


of their local environment? for and

Does it promote those dynamic qualities that are necessary associated with the initiatives to improve it?

To achieve these twin goals, criteria have to be developed to assess the techniques even before carrying out the project. I have listed a few, but these are neither complete nor perfect, and local educational situation and awareness levels can add to or subtract from them: The project must achieve the goal of environmental that goal further. education and clarify

The participants should experience the implementation process, i.e., they should feel the excitement, challenge and even the risk of their project. The project should aspire to develop dynamic rather than passive qualities, thereby offering the chance to overcome perceived negative qualities and behaviour in the local situation that cause environmental degradation. the innovation and Both boys and girls, men and women, must experience an equal commitment to change.

To understand the dimensions of the problem, the participants to reflect on their projects and explain the methodology. The innovative techniques need not necessarily be replicable.

must be able

Environmental awareness and human dynamism are closely interdependent. Explaining complex environmental concepts through new approaches and techniques offers the development potential for human creativity, intelligence and organizational
l l

skills. It assumes certain criteria:

It must create practical wisdom. The participants should which they live. The project environment. should reflect on their own actions in the environment problems and issues within in their


focus on practical

There have been several attempts to clarify concepts through activities and if many have been documented, an equal number have probably not been

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documented. An activity-based approach is ideal for any type of education, more so environmental education, which requires an understanding of nature, natural resources and natural processes, all of which are interdependent. Activities are infinite and changeable. I am describing a few approaches and initiatives that have been successful from the experiences of the C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre. DEFINING CONCEPTS THROUGH CREATIVE EXPRESSION

Generally, the educator defines concepts. For example, the term environmental education would be defined in one or more ways, taken from standard books on the subject. The presumption would be that the listener would take down and repeat such a definition. However, there is no way of assessing whether the listener has understood the concept.

To overcome the problem of understanding difficult concepts and definitions, participants are asked to put down their own ideas creatively. Give each person a large sheet of paper, coloured pens, old magazines and newspapers. Ask him or her to define the concept either through words or pictures or collages and watch the results. The responses would be startlingly different. Thereafter, the posters could be grouped under different sections such as values, local problems, global contexts and so on. Finally, the educator puts together all the various ideas, lists areas of agreement and disagreement and comes to a final description that would satisfy everybody’s understanding of the concept. The advantage of such a system would be that it is borne of each participant’s own understanding of the term, and the lacunae are filled in through discussion and debate, rather than a lecture. Concepts such as biodiversity, pollution, global warming and even areas of potential research can be identified through this method. DISCOVERY THROUGH INQUIRY

This technique utilizes various systems of delivery such as films, slides and photographs that narrate a story and demonstrate phenomena. Instead of performing experiments, students observe a film or picture and verbalize what is in their mind in the form of questions. Data gathering makes students test hypotheses through “verbalized experiments”, making them think critically. The emphasis is on preparing good and appropriate questions rather than finding


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the correct answers. For example, to understand the pollution of a local river in Chennai, the students compared a recent photograph of the river and another photograph taken about 25 years ago. From the visual difference, they prepared a questionnaire based on their observations of the activities that take place on the riverbanks. Some examples of possible questions are: Do people wash clothes in the river? Do they bathe in the river? Are there factories nearby ? Are there agricultural lands nearby? Are there houses nearby? Where does the sewage go? And so on. The construction of the questionnaire would enhance their general knowledge of water pollution and, in particular, the sources of pollution of the particular river. EXPERIMENTATION The conversion of data into knowledge is done by experimentation. An experiment is carried out under controlled conditions to discover an unknown effect, or test a hypothesis, or illustrate a known law. It is an inquiry with objects, apparatus and materials in natural or simulated conditions. Students describe, analyze and interpret data and form conclusions. Thereafter they must account for problematic situations and test the formulated hypotheses. For example, how can the hypothesis that deforestation is a cause of floods be tested? A sample experiment would be to mark off two inclined surfaces of equal areas, one bare and another covered with plants and trees. Water can be made to flow equally over both surfaces for a fixed period of time. At the end of the incline, the water is collected and compared. The students should be made to identify the factors to be controlled, such as the slope, amount of water allowed to flow, velocity of water, soil type, etc. An easy experiment would be the differentiation of biodegradable and nonbiodegradable materials. Four pits of equal size are dug. Old newspaper is buried in one, plastic bags in another, vegetable and fruit peels in the third and glass bottles in the fourth. The four pits are marked and re-opened two weeks later. The condition of the items in each pit would explain the concept. SURVEYS Surveys collect baseline information and can be used to provide direction to

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projects. Questionnaires, checklists and interviews are commonly used to gather data. However, the reliability of surveys would depend on the sincerity of the respondents. Since environmental education involves awareness and understanding, surveys are very useful. The C. P. FL Environmental Education Centre conducted a survey of the awareness of various environmental concepts among students in Chennai city. The city is divided into three zones of North, Central and South Chennai and the students belonged to schools that had participated in the Centre’s environmental education programme. The responses were most interesting. North Chennai is the location of several large polluting industries. Students here were extremely aware of air pollution and its causes, but did not comprehend terms such as biodiversity or water pollution, since both were fairly alien in their area. Central Chennai is the heart of the city and an area of heavy water pollution and traffic. The students in this area were able to describe the causes and results of water pollution and vehicular pollution, but were unable to identify sources of industrial pollution, which they had never encountered. South Chennai is a suburb, with urban forests and greenery. The students here were able to identify flora and fauna and define biodiversity, but they were barely aware of pollution, which they knew of as a concept but had not encountered. Apart from the actual answers to the questionnaire, the survey also highlighted the importance of a practical experience in understanding difficult and new concepts. CASE STUDY This method breaks down a case to identify the basic issue or problem. Thereafter each person present recommends an action for a solution, and the best recommendation is selected. The most important and educational aspect of this process is the discussion and analysis, which enables the participants to comprehend the problem. The periodical cyclones on the east coast have been a frequent topic for case study. The effects of the cyclone and methods to mitigate its effects - from a coastal green belt to satellite data for early warning - are discussed in the classroom to work out methods of disaster management and environmental control.

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SIMULATION Simulation reproduces a phenomenon or a real-life situation/problem. It is an informal classroom activity in which the players take on roles from the real world and make decisions according to their assessments. It is problem-based and requires social skills relating to the real world. It deals with situations that require flexible thinking and response. In our workshops to train teachers, topics for simulation have included problems

such as changing land use and socio-economic decisions to be made by the community. This methodology involves “doing lessons” rather than “listening to lessons”. ROLE-PLAY The difference between simulation and role-play is that the latter is dramatized,

enacting emotions to develop ideas and issues. Also, whereas the process and social interaction are emphasized in simulation, character development and emotions are emphasized in role-play. Students enact roles in which they become personally involved thereby re-enacting a conflict. The teacher selects the issue and the student for each role. The issue is one that affects the students or the community in which they live. There are two important criteria in the choice of topic: Firstly, the situation must be realistic and linked to the lives of the students and, secondly, the situation must be simple. Popular subjects, in our experience have been cigarette smoking and confrontation with officials on civic problems (such as garbage collection or water supply). After the role-play, discussion is essential to understand the problem: what is toxicity, how does a dam function. However, whereas simulation is a good method for understanding difficult concepts, used for the re-enactment of situations of conflict. PROJECTS This is an activity that is not based on a problem but requires active student participation. A project has to show the application of a principle or the improvement of an operation. The choice of topic is critical since it will determine the success of the project. This is a system by which complex mechanical role-play is generally

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devices can be explained.

14 1

An example is the treatment of wastewater or effluents. The various stages can be understood easily by the reconstruction of a plant, including the various mechanical devices. From windmills to an entire eco system, a miniature reproduction helps the student understand the concept fa.r better than any amount of teaching by the most learned of educators. Even the establishment of a small 10’ x 10’ plot of a vegetable or flower garden can do so much to teach young people about the natural world. FIELD TRIPS A field trip enables the students to experience materials and phenomena in their They can observe real conditions and gather true and natural relationships. actual data. Studies have shown that more education can be acquired in a pleasant outdoor environment than in the classroom. It provides an opportunity for students to become keen observers, appreciating the beauty and order of the natural environment. It verifies classroom instruction and laboratory exercises. It also enriches the entire programme and develops in the students a love for nature in all her beauty. Field trips must be planned in advance and followed up by discussions, reporting and continued investigation. The purpose of the trip must be clearly understood by the students. However, field trips supplement rather than substitute classroom education. This method is rarely used because of the responsibilities and cost involved. But even a walk in a nearby park can be environmentally educative. Some of the greatest environmentalists are those who were once exposed to nature, forests and wildlife and who, today, are unable to accept the loss. ANIMATION Cartoons and puppetry are most sophisticated forms of animation. However, even a simple movement - such as a magnifying glass roving over a poster can be a form of animation. For example, the breaking of an egg, with a chick coming out and growing into hen, which lays another egg, represents the circle of life and reproduction. It can easily be shown through animation by just attaching a picture of each stage to a stick and covering one with another.


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Puppet shows are an extremely effective form of environmental education. They catch the student’s attention, explain difficult concepts very easily and are far more interesting than classroom learning. They also invite creativity in both the teacher and taught, thereby teaching difficult concepts in a very simple creative method. FOLK ARTS Folk music and dance are yet another vehicle to explain difficult concepts. Our Centre had a problem explaining new methods of soil and water conservation to uneducated villagers. We therefore made a film called Pachchai Kovil or “Temple of Green” which talked about the need and the various methods of soil and water conservation. It was extremely successful in conveying new concepts such as terracing, contouring, etc., and even won a UNESCO award. Similarly, the Centre collected several environmental songs in Tamil folk culture. Two districts with about 50 schools and 150 teachers were selected for a unique experiment. The teachers were taught the songs which were supplemented with a booklet containing the words and audiocassettes. They, in turn, had to teach the students the songs as a supplement to their classwork. At the end of the year, inter-school competitions were held to evaluate the students understanding of environmental concepts through music and dance. What was interesting was that the project had not merely contributed to increasing the children’s repertoire of folk songs, but that the children, themselves, had written several songs and poems about contemporary environmental issues and how they should be dealt with. Concepts like air and water pollution were described through music and dance, with a small lecture at the end on different pollutants and how they should be avoided or managed. ECO-FRIENDLY CRAFTS AND WEALTH FROM WASTE

The terms are themselves suggestive. Young people are taught to abjure the use of plastics, paper or board and all those materials that contribute to environmental degradation or the misuse of natural resources. Instead, they use dried leaves and twigs, waste paper, etc. But these efforts should be accompanied by a discussion of the reasons for the choice. Wealth from waste is an excellent way to, both, teach the student of the uses of

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waste and to carry out classroom projects and experiments in an inexpensive way. Following the organization of craft workshops on the subject, the C.P.R.E.E.C. carried out two competitions requiring the use of waste to produce models. The first topic was ‘Agriculture and the Environment’ and the second was ‘Managing our Water Resources’. The stipulation was that nothing should be bought to create the models. The wealth of material that was produced was an indication both of the students’ understanding of the subject and their ingenuity and creativity. The results were wonderful, portraying detailed models of subjects as diverse as aerial spraying of pesticides to effluent treatment plants and water recycling units.

The Environmental Education Series (1985) of the UNESCO-UNEP International Environmental Education Programme identified seven practical and innovative approaches that are equally useful for conveying difficult concepts and solving problems.

The discussion group approach: This is a specific means of conveying knowledge and information through observation, formulating questions and clarifying facts. The individual gains a greater awareness of his identity and a better understanding of the subject. Most important, he participates in a socially significant experiment that prepares him for a more pro-active role in protecting the environment. Discussion groups develop individual and collective abilities of recognition, language and techniques. Guided environmental interpretation: It involves a programme of visits or studies that lead to discovery, observation, exchange and discussion. It gives a person greater knowledge of the living and natural environment, and immerses him in a sea of information to be observed, recorded and interpreted.



Clarification of values: This method clarifies the various forms of interpreting concepts and ideas, and builds up human culture through assimilation, integration and questioning. Gaming and simulation: This involves systems and techniques that trigger off a host of ideas, feelings, attitudes and patterns of behaviour that analyze information. It teaches participants to recognize other points of view and to integrate individual and collective ideas and actions. Experimental demonstration workshops: Workshop activity is an exercise to



144 Greening ScienceEducation
design and replicate objects, master tools and perfect knowledge, and skills. It is a useful device for joint study and problem solving. ability

Practical action projects: Such a project ensures that an individual becomes aware of his environment, selects a course of action, projects himself into the proposed action and gives a stamp of authenticity and purpose to the action. It is the most comprehensive and complex educational method, but needs the co-operation of the community. Action-oriented research: In environmental education, it can help identify recurrent natural phenomena that cause environmental degradation and establish simple relationships that can be easily grasped. The individual learns to independently solve problems after creating the appropriate conceptual and material framework, makes strenuous efforts to acquire information, increase skills and build up knowledge and question his own ideas and actions. Finally, there is one other innovative approach that we have successfully used for environmental education. We have taken up the protection of local environmental traditions, such as sacred groves, sacred trees and sacred tanks or water bodies. While the local community is involved in the conservation and restoration efforts, the schools use the project as a huge learning laboratory. First, a folk troupe performs Hari kathas (mythological stories) about the grove in the local schools and villages. Thereafter, the students visit the grove with their teacher and study the soil quality, identify and count the trees, and test the water quality. The low-cost soil and water kits developed by the CPREEC have been extremely popular in local environmental education efforts, since they involve young people in a practical understanding of pollution. At the end of the exercise, the local students are aware of their environment, the problems and solutions, and evolve a micro management plan that they have even executed. Such opportunities are particularly useful in schools that lack laboratories, equipment and funds, a problem with most rural lndian schools. If environmental education is to succeed, it must be comprehensive, interdisciplinary and lay emphasis on real situations. Active and innovative methods can, alone, form value judgments and commitment. Such methods confer a special role on the teacher, for the teaching objectives would relate to affective behaviour, cognition and practical skills leading to the achievement of

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specific results. The acquisition of knowledge and comprehension of complex environmental concepts - as against the present system of learning textbooks by rote - will help the students develop practical skills essential for future activities within the environment and the local community. To achieve the creativity required to find innovative solutions to environmental problems, new approaches and techniques in the educational system would inspire young people to think and act creatively.


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Environment Education Through Science Curricula
J.S. GILL Professor of Science National Council of Educational Research & Training, New Delhi, India

Environment education became a systematic and organised movement after the 1972 Stockholm UN Conference on Human Environment. Earlier it was pursued in various forms like nature studies, nature education, out door education and conservation education. EE in a span of three decades has attained unassailable position and firm footing in context of society and education. The reasons of EE becoming central to educational activities are many, the main being the intensifying environmental problems on one hand and remarkable upsurge in people’s concern and sensitivities about environment on the other. There has been an observable significant shift in educational materials which are becoming more relevant, meaningful and also environment based. In fact, the educational process is under severe pressure to have focus on immediate and emerging local, national and global environmental concerns in the curricular materials. The pressure will build up further in coming years since the environmental issues/problems are becoming household concerns in view of environmental degradation reflected in disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, floods, drought, environmental accidents affecting common man, etc. The call was given by Rio conference in 1992 for reorientation of educational activities starting with curriculum planning including identification of environmental content accompanied by well defined transaction strategies and evaluation procedures in context of sustainable development.This paper deals with ‘Why and how of EE’ especially through Science curricula at the school level in context of India.

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There has been a debate on incorporation of EE in educational curricula. Two alternatives are available, first being the integration of Environmental components into the existing curricular subjects, while the second one proposes EE as a separate subject at various stages of education. Whichever alternative one adopts some basic considerations would be essential. It may be worthwhile to go through these essentials. NATIONAL POLICIES

Each nation designs policies to fulfil1 the needs and aspirations of its people and prepare them for future challenges. The policies framed in different sectors like, agriculture, health, population, science and technology, industry, urban planning and environment have a bearing on educational policies and ultimately the educational process in terms of what to include, what to emphasise and how to do the same. These policies draw inspiration from of the constitution and certain constitutional obligations need to be fulfilled through the educational system. A) DIRECTIVE The principles ARTlCLE 48 “The State shall endeavour to protect and improve safeguard forest and wildlife of the country”. ARTlCLE 51 -A The constitutional incorporation of fundamental on environment and is in tune with traditions: duties of the citizens also focus the environment and to PRINCIPLES regarding OF STATE POLICY highlight the responsibilities of the State.


“it should be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures “.


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There are certain constitutional imperatives for education like universalisation of elementary education intending to provide compulsory education to all upto the age of fourteen. It envisages bringing special groups like girls, children from schedule castes and tribes and challenged children with various types of disabilities in the main stream of education. B) POLICIES ON EDUCATION

National policies are framed to provide further directions to various sectors and education in the present context. This is necessary in view of the constitutional requirement. National Policy on Education (1968) emphasised on the need of lntegrating Science teaching, especially at the primary stage, with immediate surroundings/environment of the learners. This paved a way for designing environment based curricula both in Science and Social Studies under a separate curricular subject titled Environmental Studies (EVS). The reframed National Policy on Education (NPE, 1986) added a special focus on EE in the policy document in view of the growing environmental concerns and the need for strengthening environmental dimension in the educational activities. The policy states that “There is a paramount need to create consciousness of the environment. It must permeate all ages and all sections of the society beginning with the child. Environment consciousness should inform teaching in schools and colleges. This aspect must be integrated in the entire educational process”. Further, guidelines necessary for educational planners and the curriculum developers are provided in the National Curriculum Framework for School Education which has been updated from time to time (1975, 1988 and 2000 documents). JUDICIAL These are quite helpful in translating INTERVENTION the policy into practice.

Generally environmental and educational issues are a considered a responsibility of the government through its executive wing. The environment conscious and spirited citizens approached the Supreme Court of lndia and sought its intervention in tackling environmental problems/issues which receive delayed and diluted action on part of the concerned departments/ministries. Judicial interventions have been sought in matters related to air pollution, mining, wildlife

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protection, water management (dams) and even cleanliness


and waste disposal.

Similarly, on the educational front intervention was sought with a plea to improve educational courses with environmental dimension. The court directed the concerned authorities to provide environment education as an essential component and also explore the feasibility of separate compulsory EE course for all undergraduates. The court also suggested further integration of environmental components at various stages of schooling. ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

The education sector draws its policies and contents from other sectors like Science and Technology, Environment, Population, Health, Agriculture and Industry. The technical knowledge available in these sectors can help to understand environmental issues/problems and even the solutions to these problems. This information needs to be scientifically authentic, pooled and educationalised for the purpose of educational activities. It is 8Xp8Cted that education would provide better insight of environmental problems and enable the learners to understand and contribute to the improvement of quality of life and environment. INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE

Since there are many environmental issues/problems which require global attention, it may be worth considering the implications. As mentioned earlier, isolated efforts in different forms were practiced to promote environmental conservation and protection. The EE journey of three decades started with UN Conference on Human Environment held in 1972 at Stockholm. The recommendations led to establishment of International Environment Education Programme (IEEP) which helped in establishing universal goals, objectives and guiding principles for Environment Education. EE, since 1977 through Tbilisi Inter Governmental interaction became an area of concern for education sector. A large number of activities both internationally and at regional and national levels climaxed into paradiam shift from Environment to Develoument. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held at Rio-de Janeiro, Brazil (1992) exactly after two decades of Stockholm


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came out with the document Agenda 21 highlighting the environmental problems/ issues & strategies to tackle the problems. The conference, popularly known as ‘Earth Summit’ suggested the change from ‘Environment Education’ to ‘Environment and Development Education (EDE)‘. This also gave refocussed emphasis on EE objectives knowledge, skills attitudes & participation to
l l l l l

from awareness



and ethical awareness. environment and related issues.

Skills for studying

Values and attitudes. Behaviour consistent with substainable in decisions development.

Effective participation

making. relates to education. It called upon

Chapter 36 of Agenda 21 of the conference all nations to : Create Environment sectors globally and Development


(EDE) awareness

in all

as soon as possible. to all from primary through demography in

Provide access of ED linked social education adulthood. Integrate Environment educational activities. and Development

concepts including

Develop child oriented materials on Environment and Development for media to strongly develop public information system to promote close cooperation between community and school in general. The conference also provided areas which can provide content inputs to be

integrated into the educational curriculum through its reorientation. Some of the content areas are changing consumption patterns, demographic dynamics and sustainability, halting spread of desert, combating deforestation, sustaining biological diversity, managing hazardous wastes, social patterns for sustainable development, sustainable and equitable development, women’s role, science for sustainable development, International laws and national legislative measures for sustainable development ( Agenda 21).

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The Curriculum Development process is a continuous exercise and change is central to the process. The curriculum requires reframing of goals/objectives, modification of content/concepts, modification of teaching methods/strategies and reforming of evaluation system after its implementation. The change is necessary in view of the emerging concerns, and technology and multiplying environmental to find solutions to these problems . expanding knowledge in science problems and the people’s urge

Goals of Objectives

Evaluation \ Teaching Methologies
Fig 1. The Curriculum Development Process

The following goals and objectives of EE worked out long back (1975) are quite relevant to the present educational scenario also. GOAL The goal of EE is to aid citizens in becoming environmentally knowledgeable and, above all, skilled and dedicated who are willing to work individually and collectively, towards achieving and maintaining dynamic equilibrium between quality of life and environment. The goal can be expanded further into objectivies, awareness, knowledge, skills, attitudes and participation. There is a shift in focus to environment in context of sustainable development.


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Since we are going to discuss the scope of integration of Environment into Science teaching, it may benefit if some aspects of Science curriculum planning is discussed before hand.

The National Policy on Education, 1986 also provides direction to Science education at the school level. The protection of the environment, observation of small family norms, inculcation of scientific temper are some priorities to be reflected in the curricula. The policy states that : “Science education - the spirit of inquiry - creativity - courage to question - aesthetic sensibility. will be further strengthened so as to develop in the child :

Science Education programme will be designed to enable the learners to acquire problem solving and decision making skills and discover relationship of science with health, agriculture, industty and other aspects of daily life. Every effort will be made to extend science education to the vast numbers who have remained outside the realm of formal education.Science education should develop interest, curiosity, objectivity, problem solving and decision making abilities. “

The guidelines provided in the National Curriculum Framework would help in preparing a meaningful curriculum. It is expected that it would take care of the following GENERAL curricular concerns expressed from time to time.



The following general educational concerns highlighted in the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (2000) prepared by NCERT relate to environment, science and technology. Though they are general but have implications on science curricula with environmental dimension.


Education of the girls- it can promote the cause of environmental and specific role in sustainable development. Integration of indigenous knowledge-This would

protection of

help in adoption

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traditional knowledge of natural resources. iii) and methods for environmental conservation


and use

Impact of globalisation-It provides scope for covering environmental implications of liberalisation, privatisation and global policies especially in transfer of knowledge and technology.

(iv) Utilisation of information and communication technology-It would be useful in collection and processing of information and also improvement of teachingv) learning process. Value education-Its emphasis especially in science curricula would promote inculcation of ethics/ values related to environmental protection with sense of obligation. Integration-Integration population, consumer, and technology. of diverse curricular concerns like environment, human rights and legal aspects related to Science


vii) Pedagogies - Adoption of culture specific pedagogies would help in use of local information, resources and strategies in teaching- learning process. viii) Aesthetic sensibility - Development environmental dimension. CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL of aesthetic sensibility directly reflects


There is a proposal to continue Environmental Studies at the primary stage. However, at upper primary ( standards 6-8) and lower secondary (standards 910 ) in context of present workshop, Science and Technology is proposed to be introduced as a curricular subject. Earlier it was a Science course, though it had a technology component also. Accordingly, there is a focus on Scientific and Technological literacy. There is a widened scope for integration of environmental components. Science and Technology curriculum would enable the learners to:

Apply appropriate

science concepts. values that underlie science and technology. joint enterprise view of science of science, technology science and and


Develop capacity to understand Understand society. and appreciate


Develop rich and satisfying technology throughout life.

and continue

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Develop certain


skills required for day to day life situations. in the framework are quite relevant

Further, the following important suggestions to environment and science.

Science must cut across traditional subject boundaries areas like population and environment. Environment should should try to understand

and open itself to


continue to be a major source of learning and students the changes taking place all around.


Students should gain understanding of living world, balance of nature, role of air, water and energy and conservation of natural resources. SCIENCE CURRICULA -WHY


While going through the constitutional aspirations, policies, curricular guidelines, etc, one may find every aspect aiming at environment and environmental education. There is a good scope for integration of EE in educational curricula. Science and Technology (ST) curriculum is an effort to make learners literate to promote the inter connectedness and interdependence of science, technology, environment and society. There is a long list of reasons for integrating EE with Science and Technology.

ii) iii) iv) VI vi)

Science Science

is an integral part of school education. is offered to all during first ten years of general education. of high drop out rate only insignificant numbers pursue higher

On account education.

Science curricula have core concepts running through all stages of schooling. Science courses can accommodate less disciplinary than in the past. Interdisciplinary education. approach EE enrichment since they are becoming to environmental

to science

is also central employed be quite

vii) Scientific methods can be meaningfully problems and seek their solutions. viii) Manipulative, environmental experimental problems. skills would

to study environmental relevant for study of

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ix) x) xi) Problem through Scientific solving and decision making abilities expected


to be developed ethics/ values.

science teaching

are core to environmental


values are means of promoting


The scope of investigatory projects, case studies and field studies adopted for science teaching can help in studying physical, biological and social aspects of environmental problems/issues. and society.

xii) EE could be an interface between science, technology MORE SERIOUS CONSIDERATIONS

EE may not find a separate place in School education since there is a feeling that this slot is already overloaded including the science curricula. Though EE deserves a separate place, there is an apprehension of it becoming another structured and specialised subject which may require trained specialised teachers. It may rather dilute the focus. but a Integration into already existing curricula is though a soft option, difficult proposition due to lack of trained curriculum developers.

Preparation of Science teachers is needed to effectively deal with socially sensitive but important issues related to population, environment and development. They will have to have commitment, dedication and actions for environmental protection. INTEGRATION OF EE WITH SCIENCE CURRICULA

The suggestion of using environment as a major source of learning situations in all school subjects and especially in Science and Technology could be put into practice by identifying the themes. The broader thernes may be based on daily life experiences of the children. Each theme would cover science concepts, laws, phenomena, use of energy, resources, technology for sustainable future, etc. CONSIDERATION FOR CONTENT iDENTiFiCATiON

The content for these themes may be worked out to cover : local environmental regional /national development, situations/problems, issues and problems related to environment and

156 Greening ScienceEducation
global issues having impact on environment, technology. It can be illustrated by a few examples. Urban areas have problems of air pollution, water scarcity, waste disposal, environmental sanitation, over crowding and noise pollution, while rural areas have problems related to agriculture, soil, water, use of chemicals and energy. Agriculture based areas like Punjab and Haryana have different problems like loss of productive soil, receeding water table, use of agrochemicals affecting health. Increasing consumerism even in rural areas would affect environment. Industrial areas have severe problems related to pollution of air and water directly affecting human health, soil and water. natural resources and available

Living world Individual & Organism

Environment : Physical Biological, Social

Learner (Human being)

Natural resources Air, Water, Soil, living

World of work Technology

Fig. 2. Science and Technology
(Human Beings and Sustainable


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There are several constraints of teaching environment through Science, like lack of resources, trained teachers, trained curriculum developers, authentic scientific information on environmental issues and problems. We find that already there are controversies about clean fuel, dam construction, unplanned urbanisation, energy and chemical intensive agriculture and so on. These have to be tackled objectively with conviction for which teachers are to be trained. lnspite of best efforts, very little progress has been made to augument resources and capacity REFERENCES 1. Atreya, B.D., Lahirya D., Gill J.S., Jangira N.K. and Guru G. 1985. EE Module for Inset-vice Training of Teachers and Supervisors for Primary Schools. UNESCO, Paris. Gill, J.S. 1993. Environmental Education- Curricular concerns after Rio. Proc. Global Forum on Environmental Education for Sustainable Development. UNESCO/IES. New Delhi. Govt of India. 1992. National Policy on Education-1986 modified in 1992. building of educational functionaries.


3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

NCERT. 1988. National Curriculum for Primary and Secondary Education - A framework. NCERT. 2000. National Curriculum framework for School Eduction. NCERT. Science Education for first Ten years of Schooling- Guidelies for upper primary and secondary classes. Peter, Fensham and Humwick, Jone. 1996. Environment Education Module for Pre-Service training of Science teachers and supervisors for Secondary Schools. UNESCO, Paris. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. 1992. Agenda-21, Rio de Janerio, Brazil.


158 Greening ScienceEducation

Role of Educational TV / Multimedia in Promoting Environment, Science and Technology Education
Central Institute of Educational

Singh ,NCERT, New Delhi, India

Lecturer, ET (Science) Technology

Developments in satellite telecommunication and information technology have immense potential for delivery of education at all levels. Over the next decade or even earlier, television and computer will swap their primary means of transmission: telecomputer. We are already swimming in the digital pool of mobile information: INTERNET. If the print media has the constraints of space, TV as a mass media has the limitation of time, particularly “prime time”. The best of comprise is computer multimedia. In its broadest sense, multimedia refers to combining and integrating instructional systems that deliver a wide range of visuals, high quality illustrations, 2D / 3D graphics, 2D / 3D-motion animation, virtually real video, hypertext and synchronized audio. As a first step in trying to determine what role, if any, television should play in school education, it is necessary to evaluate what television is already contributing (NCERT, 2000). Children are the most regular, dedicated and enthusiastic viewers of TV. Action, movement and sound are as much a part of TV as they are of young learners. The mesmerizing power of TV is so intense that they are bound to watch all the programmes whether they are meant for them or not. Specialists are highly critical of most of the current programmes. They are

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specially critical of the medium’s basic attitude towards children, the content of the programmes, classroom chalk-talk style and the unimaginative and unaesthetic use of the medium. They are also concerned about the widespread confusion between reality and fantasy for children at a stage when clarification and understanding are crucial for their development. The discovery approach c?nd inquiry method are substantially missing. Hence, there is a need to evolve a strategy of television programming for the purpose of inculcating scientific temper and rational thinking, appreciation and enjoyment of nature, and concern for environmental degradation. PEDAGOGICAL TECHNOLOGY TV / Multimedia
l l







can help in the following with experiential

ways : audio. in the

Enriched classroom

learning environment and opportunity at affordable

video and motivating on the screen

Accessibility Elimination

to bring the world

cost (cf. e-learning). systems). (cf.

l l

of barriers of time and space (cf. open learning distinctions between recreation

Erasing of traditional edutainment).

and education


Life - long learning from childhood

to adulthood. in general, reduce learning

Media research studies show that TV / Multimedia, time and enhance learning gains. STRENGTH OF THE MEDIA TECHNOLOGY

TV / Multimedia has tactility “feel” of information through listening and viewing that we so desperately need in modern information intensive world. The other benefit of Multimedia technology for facilitating learning is its feature of interactivity. If there is no interactivity, it is mixed media, but not multimedia. Educational multimedia packages provide navigation tools that let you traverse a web of connected information. Another value of it is the ability of becoming any and all existing media and the information can be presented from many different perspectives. If you cannot create and contribute your icleas, it is television, but not multimedia.


EDUCATION Environmental scientists express their concern of “too much reflection” but “too , little action”. What is required, is “ANCHORED SCIENCE EDUCATION”. This paradigm

means: vividly and convincingly the real world applicability with real life examoles. EDUCATION

Capability to demonstrate of knowledge; Contextual framework GOOD


to skills and knowledge SCIENCE AND



It has to meet the dual requirement of being good science and good education. So educational television programme, if it has to be good, must meet the criteria of technical presentation, utility, interactivity and above all the substance Contemporary, imaginative and creative content of the programme. Images are the most expressive way of conveying information. So actual processes, 2D or 3D - Graphics, Animations (particularly 3D-motion) must be used to enhance concept learning and comprehension. This will also aid in integrating ideals of relationship such as dynamic elements like change, facts, values and aesthetics. Visual communication is very effective structural representation in mind. For example : in ergonomic cognitive fit of

(Award winning

Rotten Truth I want to see blue sky environmental education programme

for children)

Media programmes unlock the power experimentation that are too hazardous, For example :

of it for demonstration and expensive or time consuming Dissection of

A.D.A.M. The middle story Multimedia Programme on Animated Anatomy for Medicine Brain : An overview (BBC) Chemistry explored Demonstrations in Physics

Greening ScienceEducation

16 1


solving :

simulations Titanic explored Virtual fly bys on the planets giving sensation through space. of flying

For example



based investigation :

and exploration

For example

Multimedia Science Adventure Virtual Science lab: interactive game of exploring and learning about forests and ecology, intriguing puzzles, tests and hidden creatures to find out. research tools and methods


Wacky dilemmas, mysteries .. . . .. etc. using of actual scientists For example : Science Sleuth Medical detectives


Pros and cons of a debatable For example :

issue to promote


making / BBC) classroom Channel)

Global Warming

(National Geographic student


Resource learning material teaching and learning For example :

to support

- focused (Discovery

Ultimate Guide and Assignment MEDIA



Communication of information is one-half of the promise of this technology. The other half is understanding information. Compare the understanding gained by a child watching a TV programme on rain forests or coral reef to that gained by a child visiting the same. What is the difference and in what respects? Real hands-on-experience and field study is always superior to any contrived and projected representation. Media, the master carrier of representation of every kind at its best, is an amplifier of learning that an unaided eye or voice cannot produce. But it will not substitute the role of teacher. The music is not in the “piano” but the musician who plays it and creates the music. If the music is not in the “piano” to what use can media be put, in the class room and elsewhere? TV should not attempt at what teacher is capable of doing best in the classroom in the most interactive manner.


Greening ScienceEducation

SOME ISSUES WORTH PONDERING Multimedia may have the best features as an instructional tool, but its availability and access is to a very few. TV still has the maximum viewership and reach. Needless to say that there are many good programmes on environment, science and technology, available on various channels. But are they relevant for our target audience, considering our environment, biodiversity and socio-econimic concerns? Hence, there is need to design and develop inspiring, interesting and instructional programmes suited for curricular needs in the language and the level of the target user, embedded to society in their locality, as well as, global perspectives. Production of such quality programmes are time-consuming and require expensive multiple inputs of talent.

The assessment of the perceived usability of educational media packages is the first step only. It need not mean that it will satisfy the evaluation criteria of pedagogical effectiveness. Well designed media packages, some times, may be least effective in the final analysis of application. An educational TV programme in science and technology does not have a life of its own. It is highly dependent upon pre and post telecast discussions. One such TV programme series entitled “Environment Pollution” revealing the problems and possible solutions to pollution, is currently under production by NCERT. REFERENCE NCERT. 2000. Television, The Pied Piper of the Century. Educational Research and Training, New Delhi. National Council of

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Promoting Practical Interventions and Participatory Approach in Science Education w.r.t Local Environmental Concerns and Socio-Cultural Inputs
Neeru Snehi
Associate National Institute of Educational Fellow New Delhi, India Planning and Administration,

Human effort for improving the quality of life through the interactive process with nature is a continuous process. Scientific and technological achievements are enabling humankind to control and transform the natural environment through use of resources. To suit man’s needs and demands indiscriminate use of these technologies, however, has created a situation threatening the existence of humanity itself as it has lead to environmental imbalances of great concern both, at global and local level. Global environmental problems are on the rise. Global climate is changing because of build up in atmosphere of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, the CFC’s (powerful green house gases as well as destroyers of stratospheric ozone) and other green house gases produced by fossil fuel burning, by extensive deforestation for increasing agricultural land area, shifting cultivation, soil erosion leading to desettification and occurrence of floods. Further, increasing pace of development is now depending on use of nuclear energy leading to highly radioactive spent off nuclear fuel waste. The recent industrial accidents in Bhopal (India) and Chernobyl (USSR) have highlighted the threatening issues which pose damage to human life. Therefore, one of most fundamental question is how to meet basic needs and requirements of all people in order to improve quality of human life without

164 Greening ScienceEducation
destroying the resource base i.e. environment. What is needed, is a new concept sustenance

of development and proper management of resources to encourage of symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.

It appears that environmentally sound development may only be founded by widespread environmental awareness through community participation in environment and development. Hence, environmental education for the students and community at large is the need of the day. What does the term ‘environmental education ‘(EE) encompass in itself? The domain of environment education as recommended by Nevada Conference of International Union for the Conservation of Nature and National Resources (1970) is described as : “Environmental education is the process of recognizing values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the interrelations among man, his culture and his biophysical surroundings. EE also entails the practice in decision making and self formulating a code of behaviour about issues concerning environmental quality. ” Thus, the emphasis is on interrelatedness of mankind and the biophysical support systems, learning of values and attitudes and codes of social and personal behaviours. The extent and nature of concepts implied belong to widely different disciplines such as the biophysical and social sciences streams. This further reflects that if environmental awareness is to be promoted, EE should form an integral part of the educational process, be centred on practical problems and be of an interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary character. Further, this integration of EE should not remain confined to formal education, as it is a life long process (Belgrade Charter, 1977). ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS IN THE INDIAN CONTEXT assimilation of environmental concepts

The recent past has witnessed conscious

and components in formal education programs. However, in India, the importance of the environment, how to live harmoniously with our surroundings, as well as, many principles and practices related to protection of plants and animals has been passed on through ancient texts, like, Athrava Veda, teachings of various

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religions, Jainism, Buddhism, etc. The Basic Education movement launched Mahatma Gandhi also emphasized on physical and social environment.

165 by

Looking back to the National Syllabus in General Science (1963), for the elementary level it was, by and large, environment based though the curriculum designed for middle, secondary and higher secondary around the processes, principles and laws of science. ‘The Curriculum for the Ten - year Schooling’ NCERT (1975) points out schools centred mostly

- A Framework



“The report of the Education Commission (1964 - 66) incorporates the best, that basic education has to offer and lays emphasis on the internal transformation of education so as to relate it to the real life, needs and aspirations of the nation. 0 As a result, the Curriculum Framework underlines that the needs for emphasizing environment education should be woven into entire school education through relevant disciplines. Policy on Education National Curriculum This was further advocated and ernphasized by National (NPE) in 1986 and the Program Of Action (POA) in 1992. Framework for School Education, 2000 further reaffirms the

concerns of NPE, 1986. Similarly, National Curriculum Framework for Elementary and Secondary Education of 1988 also recommends an indigenous curriculum based on cultural and sociological traditions. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS AS PART OF SCIENCE EDUCATION

Science education is a leading agent to promote technological & agricultural development, industrial production and scientific research, each of which has a powerful influence on social development. However, it is essential to understand the nature and resources, and ensure that minimum damage is done to nature’s delicate balance. Each component of science, technology and environment complements and supplements the others stressing the holistic nature of natural order. Science and technology education should be environment oriented in order to ensure the continuity of life and integrity of the planet earth (UNESCOUNEP, 1985). As discussed earlier, in the recent past Education Commission reports

166 Greening Science Education
(NPE, 1986, POA, 1992 and National Curriculum Framework, 2000) have made conscious efforts to assimilate more and more environmental concerns especially in science education and all other disciplines in order to improve the quality of life of people. Looking at the school curricular scene the NPE (1986) prescribes environmental protection as a core element of the national curriculum. Extension of integrated science to the lower secondary stage made it possible to further environmentalize the course content. The various aspects of environmental awareness and knowledge are included in “The Curriculum for Ten Year Schooling” - A Framework proposed by NCERT as a result of workshops, seminars and group interaction of various senior faculty members. It is understood that the curriculum is the device which translates the national or perceived goals into educational objectives. But now the question arises: What should be the classroom transaction process? How is this knowledge / information received by the students? Is it possible to associate classroom transaction process with local environment issues? Does the syllabus / curriculum which they are forced to study caters to their local environmental concerns or needs, their socio-cultural values? Rapid socio-economic changes are taking place in our country as a consequence of rapid industrialization and increase in agricultural producton. The environmental problems, which a developing country like India is facing are different from those of developed countries, As a consequence, the curriculum should emphasize shift to Indian culture systems, which varies from one region to another region. It should imbibe local Indian traditional values and wisdom. A student living in a village, if taught about pollution occurring due to exhaust of vehicles and created due to untreated smokes and gasses of industries, will not be able to relate with it as he is not living in that kind of environment. However, if he is taught about the pollution caused due to various fertilizers, insecticides or pesticides being used, he will try to find out more about the traditional practices which can be adopted to protect the environment. The essence is that knowledge and learning provided should be relevant to specific local needs and contexts. These issues i.e. children’s education, needs to be brought into line with the principles and practices of local community. Further the integration of the knowledge should be such that children think and act locally while being aware of global issues.

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Community participation towards education of children is more capable of responding to local environmental issues and attitudes towards culture (Menon, 1994). It is expected that social beliefs and values have more social meaning and are useful to the community in real life as they have been passed on from generation to generation. Further, this can also help children to develop a sense of shared responsibility and skills that will enable them to participate as adults and to recognize the importance of their participation in local, national and even global environmental decisions. For instance, the knowledge of renewable and non-renewable energy sources in the lower secondary curriculum can be further substantiated by taking locally relevant examples of the fuels being used in the cities, bio gas used in the villages and their comparison in terms of economy, efficiency, maintenance of the gas plants, etc. Further, in those areas where mining of coal, drilling of oil, oil refineries, mining of other minerals present in the region takes place, it is possible to make children aware about the mining activities and related technologies by organizing exposure visits of children to these areas. These kinds of efforts of integration are also available in India. There is an example of Rishi Valley Project which is run in Chitoor District of Andhra Pradesh which stresses on integration of local environmental issues in day to day classroom transaction. The children are taken out from the school to observe the livestock, flora and fauna, customs, traditions, culture, etc. and interact with the village community to discuss their needs and problems related to environmental issues in their surroundings. Back to school, they discuss their observations and further learning is constructed on the information collected from the community. The impact of this approach is felt in mainly three different ways i.e. Firstly, day to day classroom transaction and learning of children gets related to practical experience of local environmental issues; Secondly, involvement of communities in teaching - learning process which gives an opportunity for dissemination of environmental concerns in the community; and finally, this enhances the scope of practicing participatory teaching - learning process. On the basis of Rishi Valley experiences, ‘ Nalli Kalli ’ approach has been undertaken in Karnataka also which puts significant emphasis on participatory approach in teaching of environmental studies, There are instances which show


Greening ScienceEducation

that other states also have started practicing the same approach. Following the approach of Rishi Valley experiences, Rishi Valley Schools have been started in Uttar Pradesh under the initiative of District Primary Education Program (DPEP). The outcome of these approaches can be reviewed and prescribed for developing and improving the classroom transaction by integrating such innovative and participatory approaches towards learning in other schools also. It is also important to find out how to integrate local environmental issues in curricular and classroom practices. This is possible by relating to the socio cultural practices prevailing in different parts of the country particularly in the tribal areas. The tribal culture always emphasizes on the preservation of forest and different species of trees and herbs. This is because the tribals have a symbiotic relationship with nature which is reinforced by their religious practices, as well as, livelihood adaptation strategies. It not only helps them protect their environment but also keeps alive the traditional ecological knowledge systems which have been developed centuries ago. In such a situation, it will be oppropriate if the curriculum incorporates this traditional wisdom along with adapting suitable classroom transaction process. There are instances where many rural movements also relate to different environmental issues as they have significant concern for land, water and air e.g. Chipko Movement relates with the conservation and protection of trees / forests or ecological systems in Garhwal region. Even the recent Narmada Bachao Andolan has its base on environmental issues. All these environmental concerns and the issues raised by these movements can be incorporated in the curriculum in form of stories & poems and activity books can be prepared addressing these problems. Besides, children should have knowledge about valuable herbs and medicinal plants like Tulsi, Neem, Peepal, etc. Children can be encouraged to plant trees and relate to trees mentioned in their religious texts and considered sacred. Information about their scientific justification will further reinforce their beliefs and make them more active, participatory members for conservation of environment. It is also possible to practice and promote formation of eco-clubs, plantation of trees (Vanmahotsava), celebration of different environment related festivals like Baisakhi, Onam, Sankranti, etc. in the urban areas where urbanization itself has taken a toll on Environment. In the long run, these efforts in the schools can

Greening ScienceEducation
enhance awareness. CONCLUSION the process of inculcating the values to promote



In the last two decades, environment consciousness and awareness has grown tremendously. Environment problems have become priority issues, for instance, the movements centering on deforestation of hills, Tehri dam and Narmada Bachao Andolan, etc. As a result, formal education in this respect has a special role to play. Environmentalization of the school disciplines specially, science education in order to understand and develop environment friendly technology, shifting to and developing indigenous traditional practices of farming, water harvesting, etc.,needs consistent efforts and special attention. These traditional local values classroom community, awareness. and wisdom can be transmitted to the students by adapting suitable transaction processes, by interaction and involvement of local as well as, by reinforcement of these beliefs by promoting scientific The curriculum plan also needs to focus on this.

REFERENCES Atreya, B.D. 1987. Science Education for the Environment-an Indian Case Study. In ‘The Environment and Science Technology Education’. Pergamon Press: 127 - 134. Goodland, J.I. 1986. School Curriculum Company, Wallhan, Mass: 144 - 162. and the Individual. Blaisdell Publishing

Krasilchik, M. 1987. Some Problems and Perspectives of Environmental Education in the School. In ‘The Environment and Science and Technology Education’. Pergamon Press: 101 - 106. Lahiry, D. 1995. Environmental Education Curriculum: A Critical Appraisal and Future Perspective. In ‘Towards Quality Secondary Education’. CBSE: 317 - 326. Mehta, J. 1987. Environmental Education and Community Involvement in the Environment and Science and Technology Education. Pergamon Press: 397 - 400. Ministry of Education. 1971. Education and National Development: Report of the Education Commission. 1964 - 66 (Vol.2, School Education), NCERT, New Delhi. Ministry of Education. Delhi. 1986/92. National Policy on Education. Govt. of India, New

170 Greening ScienceEducation
Menon, P. 1994. Mobilising In ‘Sourcebook R. P. and Mishra, Community Support for Conservation: NIEPA. Nexus: NIEPA. (NCERT). 1975. The Some Basic Participation and

Education. Mishra,

of Environment S. 1994.



Environment Education’. and Training NCERT, level.

Considerations. National Curriculum NCERT. Council

In ‘Sourcebook of Educational

of Environment Research

for the Ten Year School 1981. Environmental

- A Framework. of the School

New Delhi. A lead paper. NCERT,


New Delhi. NCERT. Delhi. NCERT. Science Textbooks, Class V-X. NCERT, Training New Delhi. in India - Present Problems 2000. National Curriculum Framework for School Education. NCERT, New


P.S. 1974. Ecology

and Research

and Future Needs. Acta Botanica lndica, 2: 1 - 12. Ramakrishnan, P.S. 2000. Ecology Teaching In India and in Developing Countries.

Biology International No. 39: 33 - 43.
UNESCO. 1977. Inter Governmental Unesco, Conference on Environmental Education, Tbilisi (USSR) - Final Report. UNESCOEducation, UNESCOScience Paris. - A Source Book for Environmental

UNEP. 1985. Living in the Environment UNESCO. UNEP. 1990. Environmental Teachers and Supervisors Education: for Secondary

Module Schools,

for In-Service UNESCO. Education



Wali, M. K. and Burgeos. Human Pergamon Needs. In’ The

R.I . 1987. Environmental Environment and Science


and Future Education’.

and Technology

Press: 273 - 277.

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Promoting Non- formal Science Education India for Highlighting Local Environmental Issues through Socio-cultural Inputs: Perspectives of WWF
Sangeeta Jund Education Officer WWF-India, Chandigarh State Office, India


WWF-India’s Conservation Education programme aims at strengthening on a long term and enduring basis, both human and institutional capability for nature conservation and environmental protection through the promotion of Environment Education and Awareness within a variety of social structures. Recognizing the need for non-formal education to create public awareness on conservation of nature and natural resources, WWF-India mounted the first ever national programme on education for sustainable development in the year 1969. The focus of the programme was and continues to be till date in reaching out to the country’s youth through the Nature Clubs of India Movement, Nature Education and Leadership camps. Over the years this has gained considerable momentum and has led to building a solid foundation towards conservation education in partnership with the Indian education system, government authorities, international funding agencies, like-minded NGOs, and others. The Education Division of WWF-India is responsible for the organisation, supervision and monitoring of programmes related to environmental awareness. The various challenges faced in promoting Environment Education are: i) Diversity of Target Groups ii) Cultural and Linguistic diversity iii) Reaching out to remote areas iv) School Education (largely textbook and examination oriented) v) Lack of motivation for teachers to use participatory classroom techniques vi) Shortage of Resource Materials vii) Training of Trainers (Education Staff)


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viii) Inadequate Funding ix) Inadequate involvement of parents and therein the community x) Lack of organized programmes for motivating and channeling the resourcefulness of the youth for environmental conservation The major programmes EDUCATION conducted include the following:


PROGRAMME major area of activity for WWF-India and has received WWF-International, WWF-Sweden, WWF-UK, WFThe primary target groups for this activity are school youth in general and is implemented through the Divisional offices of WWF-India across the country. are:

Conservation Education is a project based support from Switzerland, and WWF-USA. children, teachers -and the network of thirtyone State / The major highlights

of the programme

Teacher Training Workshops: Capacity building of school teachers to play a leadership role in infusing environmental concerns and sustainable life styles among school children while dealing with curricular and extra-curricular activities relating to environment and conservation. Nature Clubs of India Movement: Nature Clubs encourage school children to undertake campus and neighborhood based environmental studies and conservation projects. Over 2000 Nature Clubs with a total membership of about 40,000 school children take on a gamut of activities starting from nature study projects, campus greening, vermicomposting, quiz, painting and declamation contests, recycling programmes and pollution monitoring which are co-ordinated by WWF-India Branch Offices across the country. Nature Study Camps: These are conducted mostly at National Parks and Sanctuaries to provide opportunities for appreciation of nature and to understand basic and major conservation issues. Production of Environmental Education (EE) Resource Material: Resource material in English, as well as local languages, has been produced to supplement environmental studies in schools and to facilitate EE programmes for children, teachers, and community. Among the publications brought out are ‘Prakriti

Greening ScienceEducation
Parichay’ (Hindi), Guidelines for Conducting & Hindi), etc.


Teacher Training Workshops (English

Contests and Competitions: Organizing quiz, declamation, painting and essay competitions on environmental themes during special occasions like Earth Day, Vlorld Environment Day, Wild Life Week, WWF-India Conservation Day, etc., continue to be a regular feature. Vrindavan Conservation Project: The Vrindavan Conservation project was part

of WWF’s programme on Religion and Conservation designed to emphasize the fundamental link between nature conservation and Vrindavan’s religious tradition. The programme included greening operations, pollution monitoring, revival of sacred groves with emphasis on community involvement and educational activities for students and teachers including development of school nurseries, working in collaboration with religious leaders, etc. Education / Interpretation Centres: A Conservation Education Centre is being

set up in Goa with the support of the State Government and UNDP. An Interpretation Centre at Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan for which Govt. of Rajasthan has received support through the World Bank / GEF assisted Eco-development project in the State, is planned. The feasibility studies and design for the Interpretation Centre have been completed.

Russel Train Education for Nature programme: A seminar on ‘Promoting Conservation Leadership in India’ was organized in Delhi during 1997, under the auspices of the Russel E. Train Education for Nature Programme of WWF-USA in which grantees of the Russel Train fellowships for the year, including one Educator from WWF-India, participated. Exhibitions: Exhibitions on various themes relating to Natural History / Conservation are organized at regular intervals in Delhi and other state branches of WWF-India to increase the outreach within the community. Living Planet Campaign: Under the ‘Living Planet Campaign’ an educational project was launched which involved the production of Project Portfolios by students on selected topics like ‘My favourite trees’, ‘Birds of the locality’, ‘Pollution control’, etc.

174 Greening ScienceEducation

In our continued efforts to promote regional cooperation in the field of environment education, the WWF-India has provided technical assistance in conceptualizing and planning the setting up of an Urban Environment Education Centre in Beijing, China by WWF-China and also assisted WWF-Thailand Programme Office in organizing a Teacher Training Programme. Other programmes include : CERTIFICATE COURSE IN ENVIRONMENTAL FROM THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION EDUCATION FOR EDUCATORS

WWF-International, in collaboration with IUCN, has started a three month Environmental Education Programme for the Educators from Asia Pacific region at the Centre for Environment Education at Ahmedabad, co-ordinated by WWFIndia. The programme aims at capacity building of Environmental Educators with the objective of training the trainers. The first training programme consisted of 11 participants from nine countries with five being sponsored by WWF and the second with 12 participants from seven countries, six of them were sponsored by WWF. GREEN GIFTS PROGRAMME The Education Division is participating in the Green Gifts Programme, a transboundary project coordinated by WWF-Nepal office. The participating schools have been identified for this purpose and the programme will be implemented through Nature Clubs.

NATIONAL PROGRAMME ON EDUCATION AND CAPACITY BUILDING FOR PROMOTING NATURE CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION The Education Outreach Programme of WWF-India has made an impact not only in delivering quality environment education to diverse target groups but also in creating a goodwill among the donor agencies. India-Canada Environment Facility has sanctioned a project to strengthen and diversify the EE programme of WWFIndia. In the first phase of two years, the project will be implemented in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh,

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Karnataka and Arunachal namely:
l l


Pradesh. The project has five programme


Capacity Production


of secondary

school teachers,

Of EE resource material, of Nature Clubs of India movement, on “Environment and Sustainable Development” and

l l

Strengthening Travelling Teenagers’


Seminar on Environment.

Basic objectives for conducting an Environment Education programme is to incorporate the following and work towards each objective through a participatory approach
l l


: Issues,

Local and Global Environmental Education for Sustainable Education:

Development, Methods and Strategies, and

l l

Environmental Resources

for Environmental


Project Management

and Capacity


The Student Programme mainly focuses on information dissemination in the first place thereby enhancing their understanding towards the basic concepts of environment and, in turn, building their capacity and motivating them to undertake conservation activities within the school premises, immediate environs, community projects, etc., as required. They are also informed about the various inter-linkages within the gamut of environment as a whole and the interdependence and interrelationships with their surroundings. The school programme is conducted with a three-pronged strategy, which includes: “education “education “education about the environment”, in the environment”, for the environment”. and


Greening ScienceEducation

Towards Effective Environment Upper Primary and Secondary Schools
State Council of Educational

Education at Stage(s) in

Kiran Setia

Lecturer Research and Training ( SCERT), Delhi, India

Education is recognised as a process that makes human beings able to take new challenges. The “ National Policy on Education has envisaged protection of the environment as the core element at all levels. It should be developed as one of the values amongst policy has also recommended the creation among all ages starting with school education. document states, “ there is a paramount need environment. It must permeate all ages and all the child . Environmental consciousness colleges. This aspect will be integrated

‘and societies ( NPE)“, 1986 of education children. The

of environmental consciousness The relevant section in the policy to create a consciousness of the sections of society beginning with

should inform teaching in schools and in the entire educational process”.

The national framework for school education (2000) produced by NCERT envisages concern for integration of environment education with languages, mathematics and other activities in the first two years of primary education, integration of art, health, physical and work education into the ‘Art of Healthy and Productive Living’ at the primary stage, integration of science and technology upto the secondary stage and value development at all stages of education using culture specific pedagogy. Environment and human beings are two inseparable entities. Environmental education necessitates bringing education closer to the realities of life. Nevertheless, environment is being degraded as never before. Polluted water and air, solid waste, energy crises, radio active debris, improper and overuse of

Greening ScienceEducation


pesticides and fertilizers, unwise management of natural resources and population explosion have combined to give rise to serious environmental problems. Therefore, it is a matter of prime concern to educate the society about the vital relationship of man with his environment. While meeting the human needs, improvement of environmental quality is a big task before us. The question then is who and what can help in making the difference? There is thus, a need for environment education as a tool to influence values, attitudes and knowledge. Education at all levels is to be modified to enable the children to comprehend the fundamental interactions and interrelations between man and his environment. Small is not just beautiful but can be powerful too. We as educationist have to catch the children when young and work out strategies that ensure that every child in the school going age is able to get to school, or else, the school reaches out to all such children. State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Delhi in 2000 started ‘Dakhila Abhiyan’ with the help of the community and 70000 children were enrolled at the primary stage in the schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The ultimate goal of environment education is action. Action - to improve the environment, prevent its degradation and sustain its well being. For children at upper primary stage, action itself can become a powerful way of learning about the environment and fosters a sense of responsibility for their immediate environment. ACTION PROJECTS

In the schools of Delhi, children are encouraged to take up action oriented environmental projects in their homes, neighbourhood and schools within the formal curricular framework or as an extra co-curricular activity, e.g. planting and growing trees in the school campus or their neghbourhood, saving electricity, judicious use of water, identifying leaking taps for repair or closing them, depositing the bio degradable school waste into a compost pit, etc. This develops a positive and responsible attitude towards the environment .The stress should be on reinforcing the message that each child can affect the environment through his/her actions. Other activities could be maintaining gardens in the schools, holding competitions and cleanliness drives, etc. At the upper primary stage the learner should be given activities to inculcate respect for manual work, values for self reliance, cooperation, perseverance, and work ethics and concern for the community through action oriented environment programmes. These activities

178 Greening ScienceEducation
would lead to enhancement in personal and community health, sanitation,

productivity and improved economic status. SCERT, Delhi has been organising ‘World Food Day’ and ‘World Habitat Day’ in association with the Ministry of Food & Agricultural for the last ten years. Debates and declamation contests are organised at district and state levels for students. Students, as well as, teachers are encouraged by giving prizes and recognition. SCHOOL - COMMUNITY LINKAGES

In order to make education a meaningful experience, it has to be related to the Indian context. Enormous amount of wisdom and experience can be drawn from the community, by drawing from traditional knowledge systems and solutions to issues of health, waste management, water management, songs related to environment and culture of the community of the school curriculum. In turn, the community can also interaction with experts, street plays and poster campaigns issues, health education, consumer awareness population organised by schools. etc. Folk cultures, must become part benefit by way of on environmental education, etc.

During the current year SCERT Delhi, proposes to undertake various pilot projects by organising students’ campus in government schools during summer vacations, with the support of scientists, teachers and community, especially, the mothers to generate and promote understanding of the environment in its totality ( both, natural and social and the interactive processes) and ways and means to preserve it. The upper primary stage is a period of biological transition from childhood to adolescence, at the cognitive level the children are gradually able to think logically. They also endeavour to establish an identity of their own. At secondary stage these character developments get strengthened. Students can be moulded into potential change makers by sensitising them to social issues and developing amongst them a sense of social responsibility. Programmes like nature camps and activities in eco clubs are designed to meet these objectives. In Delhi, students were involved in intensive campaigns to raise awareness about the harmful effects of polybags and to generate ideas on alternatives in the community. Another successful movement was sensitization of school children about the ill effects of crackers which brought down pollution levels during Diwali in the last two years .

Greening ScienceEducation


It is recommended that audio visual aids should be used extensively while creating environmental consciousness. Resources of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, CIET, other national & state organisation and various NGOs should be utilised for the purpose. Further, in the technological age, computers can be effectively used for the purpose. Networking amongst the schools within the city, country and region should be started on different environmental projects. Video conferencing for teachers from different district, region can also be arranged for effective learning. Steering committees should be formed for each and every school involving the managers, heads, teachers & active community members. Orientation programmes on environment education for teachers should be a regular feature. SCERT, Delhi has been regularly organising training programmes for teachers for seeding ideas and skills on environmental issues. Orientation programmes on environment issues be organised for officers and heads of schools as well. Churning of ideas, sharing of experiences with local and global communities, establishing links with the district authorities and mobilising the necessary support from them in order to facilitate the green movement be resorted to. In a way, the ideas and skills seeded through such interaction which local action would crystallize. shall act as nuclei around

Furthermore, Boards of education have to bring in reforms in evaluation. Cocurricular environmental activities and actions must get due recognition for assessment of personality attributes including attitudes, habits and values for becoming good and contributing citizens. For this audacious task, we need to evolve a mind set that is not fragmented into cubicles, but has courage to resist the onslaught of obscurantist ideas and that is throbbing with an urge to redefine the world around us.


Greening ScienceEducation

Existing Methodologies For Science Education In Secondary Schools And New Approaches to Address Local Environmental Concerns Through Socio-Cultural Inputs
Surinder Dhingra Director State Institute of Science Education (SISE), Punjab, Chandigarh, India

According to our constitution, protection and improvement of natural environment (including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life) and compassion for living creatures is one of the ten fundamental duties of citizens. Through science education programmes we hope to enable the students to know and understand the main facts, concepts, principles and processes in the physical and biological environment and also to acquire problem solving and decision making skills regarding the different aspects of day to day life, thus helping them to lead a quality life. To achieve the above-mentioned objectives in Punjab suitable learning material is being developed and effective teaching strategies are adopted. The books developed by NCERT are being followed in schools of Punjab after adaptation and translation. The teaching methodology currently being adopted for classroom teaching, is lecture-cum-demonstration method. Existing science practicals help the students in “learning by doing”. In the prescribed books itself, there are a few assignments in the shape of project work and field trips are suggested to teachers/students, but as the evaluation at the end of the term is only for the subject matter of the syllabus, emphasis is laid on class room teaching. Content analysis of the syllabus till secondary stage shows that knowledge regarding the world wide destruction of forests, depletion of cultivated land,

Greening ScienceEducation

18 1

scarcity of drinking water and depletion of other resources is being imparted to students. There are topics related to increasing population, uncontrolled pollution of air, water and land in which global warming, ozone depletion, biodiversity are also discussed but as text book teaching does not leave a permanent impact on the minds of the students, science related co-curricular activities are promoted in Punjab. For example, through deliberation in Student Science Congress and participation in Science Fairs and chain of Science Exhibitions in state, the student community, as well as the masses visiting the science fairs, have started realizing how human activities have disturbed the ecological balance and, at the same time ideas are also put forth by students to tackle local environmental problems. To involve more students during Tehsil, District and State level Science Exhibitions, debates declamation, paper reading, chart making and quiz contests are also organized. Teachers are also encouraged to take part and for them Extempore Speech competitions and Teaching Competitions are arranged. Besides, there is a directive from the State Institute of Science Education that every school must have two boards named ‘Vigyan Darpan’ and ‘Vigyan Board’ and these should be exclusively devoted to science related news. On ‘Vigyan Notice Board’ clippings from newspaper and periodicals are displayed and on ‘Vigyan Darpan’ important TV news are written in Punjabi. In this manner media news is made available to students, and through them, to their illiterate or neoliterate parents. Besides these, every school must have a science club or Eco-club. Activities of these clubs are to be maintained in a proper register. During school inspections and surprise visits to schools, along with classroom teachings, the activities of science clubs/eco clubs, Darpans and boards are also checked. There is a special proforma developed to monitor all the science related activities in the school. Further, there is a standing instruction from the Institute to all the schools of the state to observe the following days: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Science Women’s Day Day Day Day 28m Feb. 8m March 5m June llm July l*’ Dec.

World Environment World Population AIDS Day


Greening ScienceEducation

A month before the observance of a particular day a detailed programme of activities is circulated to schools and inter school/inter district competitions are organized. Special brochures regarding the importance of the day or its related issues are printed & distributed. Through the Population Education Cell working under SISE, awareness is being generated amongst student community for various global and local environmental issues. As environmental degradation is also linked to uncontrolled population, it is one of the thrust areas of the Under this programme, songs, dramas and population education programme. cultural competitions are held and the environmental messages are spread through rallies and mass mobilization campaigns. Every year four News Letters are published in which songs, skits and stories related to environment and other themes are published. However, the situation is so serious that more efforts are required and a multi- pronged approach has to be devised. Every possible endeavour is to be made to make the students more aware of and responsible towards environment. The curriculum & teaching methodology has to be redesigned to include emerging issues. The teacher’s responsibility in the changing scenario has increased as he has to link local issues with class room teaching and plan co-curricular activities according to these issues, e.g. - weedlfarthenium eradication programme, removal of water Hyacinth (Eichhornia) from village ponds or disposal of household/field wastes. Exposure of the students to ill effects of pollution would generate urge for remedial measures. Visits to parched lands, deserts, marshy lands, colonies of workers living near the polluting industries, polluted rivers would definitely leave a lasting effect on the impressionable minds of students. On the spot teaching which should cover the causes for the present state of affairs and remedial measures needed for correction would bring education nearer reality rather than as an abstract exercise. Low cost methods of arranging exhibitions, paintings and photographs of such sites would also achieve almost the same results. Plays and documentary films can also be useful. Topics like Global Warming can be easily dealt through films. Similarly, the habit of water conservation can be inculcated right in the childhood by teaching the child about scarcity of water on one hand and wastage involved in keeping the taps running during brushing of

Greening ScienceEducation
teeth or washing of clothes.


Project works in which students gather data about

various aspects of air, water and land pollution will have a lasting effect and develop in them the urge to find solutions to conserve the natural resources. There is an urgent need to develop supplementary material for teachers or adapt the present books in relation to specific area problems. Local examples regarding air and water pollution can create a better impact rather than those of faraway places. A step in this direction has already been taken by the subject experts of the Institute and Punjab School Education Board. A few areas have been identified where examples related to Punjab will be incorporated in the next revision of books. Subject experts have also agreed to the need to include project work marks in the annual practical examination. Department of Science & Technology through Punjab State Council for Science & Technology is also promoting science education programmes in schools of Punjab by organizing student science congress and conducting workshops for developing activity based learning material. Some other schemes include adoption of young scientists programme, science corner schemes and eco clubs. PSCST has promoted environmental awareness by sponsoring special environment quiz and chart making, essay writing and teachers extempore competitions. Visits to Harike bird sanctuary and Kanjali wetlands, were also sponsored by PSCST and students from Ferozepur, Amritsar and Gurdaspur were shown birds and other flora and fauna of these places. The teaching learning process should also help in promoting environment friendly socio-cultural values. Love, respect and reverence for nature, vegetation and wild life are Indian traditions which should be imbibed and revived for better conservation. Austere and simple life styles of our elders should be highlighted. Children should be taught to avoid wastage of every small item. Habits regarding the proper and judicious use of paper, stationary items including greeting cards should be inculcated. Students should also be taught about the ill effects of excessive farm chemicals especially in rural areas. Use of pesticides and fertilizers should be minimized and use of green manure, compost or vermiculture manure be promoted through simple projects. Teachers may also suggest local herbs with medicinal, antifungal or biopesticidal properties e.g. Neem and red chillies for safe storage of woollens and food grains, respectively. Narration of incidents

184 Greening ScienceEducation
of blockage of sewer pipes by improper garbage inculcate better practices amongst students. disposal, etc. will help to

Indians rever several wild and domesticated animals. The possibility of death of cattle due to accidental eating of polythene can also be highlighted. Vegetarianism and healthy fresh food eating habits are definitely more environment friendly than the hazards of tinned fruits and frozen packages. In our damp and hot climate the use of wall to wall carpets is not good rather it leads to many respiratory problems. Van-Mohotsav and tree plantation drives should be celebrated with the involvement of students. Visit of dignitaries to the school should be associated with plantation of a tree. This will increase the number of plants in schools which can be labelled and cared for. Every social, religious and cultural gathering should be used as a platform to propogate and educate the general public about environmental issues. During tricentennary celebrations (of Khalsa) in Anandpur Sahib, beside ‘Karah Parsad’ (Gift of food), ‘Bute da Parsad’ (Gift of plant) was also distributed to a multitude of devotees. Naturally every body must have taken better care of plants which they got with the blessings of God. All educational strategies should aim to build a socio-cultural environment in

which man is more humane, ecofriendly and opting only for those technologies which are environment friendly. Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh have taken another step in this direction by devoting one day (Saturday) in a week as School Environment Day. Such a practice will definitely make impact on future citizens and will enable them to shoulder the responsibility of this onerous task of making the earth healthier and cleaner for tomorrow.

Greening ScienceEducation



for Environmental
Mrs. Asha Gupta Lecturer


State Institute of Education, Chandigarh, India

Increase in environmental problems in the recent years has led to the need of environment education at alls level to understand and find scientific solutions to these. There are sufficient commonalities broad framework of Environmental

of environment concerns to justify a national Education. These are:

Population pressure in the cities and its consequences such as insufficient human settlement, conversion of agricultural land at the fringes of cities into human settlement areas, pollution, inadequate transportation, solid waste disposal, etc. Health problems Deforestation and inadequate medical services. flooding during the rainy season.

l l

and the resulting



CAN PERFORM functions: scope.

A good EE framework
l l

will perform the following

An educational

plan, a curriculum

with an extensive

A model for national, zonal or school adoption to suit particular environments and needs. An integrative mechanism environment in the country. for educational activities concerning the


Hence, to define the scope of EE the following


need to be answered: system or should

Should EE framework

be confined to the formal education

186 Greening ScienceEducation
efforts be made to include formal education with mass media and NGOs?

system and establish


Target audience - EE framework to consider only secondary school or general public? Should EE thrusts be confined to science only or to any other course that leads itself well to EE infusion? EE strategy. A debate needs


It is, therefore, essential to define an appropriate to be initiated on the following:
l l

Multi disciplinary


or interdisciplinary which should


to be adopted. for use in EE at different

Instructional techniques oriented classes. Competencies age levels.

be recommended


which should

be emphasized

for development

GOALS The goal of such an EE programme

would be to: in the region populace an


an EE policy

that will develop

understanding of environment phenomena and processes, skills and values needed to ensure an ecologically harmonious, sustainable development and productivity of the environment.

Share new scientific environment. Exchange appropriate

& technological


to enhance

the quality of devices


new educational to environmental

approaches, education.


and teaching

OBJECTIVES As highlighted to:

at various international

& national fora, the objectives

of EE are

Acquire basic understanding of the interrelationships of components of the environment and the processes that occur in it.

& factors


Develop desirable values and attitudes, especially concern and responsibility

Greening ScienceEducation
towards the conservation


and enhancement

of the environment.

Acquire and refine skills in identifying, problems. OF THE FRAMEWORK

assessing and solving environmental


A broad framework Basic Ecological

of EE as per felt needs of the area is suggested concepts

as under:

Energy flow and utilization Pollution Population and basic human needs

Health and environment Natural resources etc.) Corrective (including air, water, soil, flora & fauna, marine resources, problems

measures for current environmental Laws


Only a well defined EE framework which leads to induction of appropriate environmentally oriented curriculum at both, the forrnal and non-formal levels can help promote an environmentally literate citizenry.


Greening ScienceEducation

Workshop Agenda
DAY-I. 16.4.2001 Registration Introduction
Chairman: Welcome Objectives PSCST Introduction Address Tea Country report on “Strategies in environmental education: Experiences from India” by Dr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director (presented by Ms. Shivani Jain, Programme officer), Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad Lunch of participants Executive Director, PSCST 11.40AM 11.50 AM 12.15 PM 12.30 PM 11.00 AM

& Ice Breaking Session
Mr. N.S. Tiwana, Executive Director, PSCST 11.30AM Scientific Officer, : 11.35 AM Sr. Scientific by Dr. Neelima Officer, PSCST Jerath, Principal

by Dr. SK. Saxena, of the Workshop

by Mr. N.S. Tiwana,

1.15 PM

Chairman: Welcome

Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) JFR Jacob, Address by Mr. N.S. Tiwana, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab PSCST & Technology: : 2.30 PM 2.35 PM 2.40 PM 2.50 PM 3.00 PM 3.05 PM Ministry of Env. & Forests, Govt. of India : 3.30 PM Executive Director,

Message from Mr. Orlando Hall Rose, Chief, Section for Science Education, UNESCO, Paris (read by Dr. Neelima Jerath) Address by Mr. Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary Deptt. of Science, Technology & Environment Inaugural address by Lt. Gen. (Retd.) J.F.R. Jacob, The Governor of Punjab Vote of thanks Inaugural Chairman: Tea Mr. Harjit Singh, Sr. Advisor,

to the Govt. of Punjab, His Excellency,

Technical Session
Bangladesh Country Report on “Incorporation of Environmental Issues in Science Education” by Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim, Executive Director, CMES & Chairman, Physics Deptt., Univ. of Dhaka Bhutan Country Report on “Science Education with special reference to environmental issues” by Mr. Nandu Giri, Lecturer in Chemistry & Science Education, National Institute of Education, Bhutan (Tea on table) Country Report on “Existing issues & Methodologies in Science Education Nepal: some major Environmental Concerns” by Ms. Sharada D. Maharjan, Associate Professor Environment Education, Tribhuvan Univ., Nepal Discussion Inaugural on Country Reports (Governor’s House) in


4.00 PM


4.30 PM

: 5.00 - 5.45 PM 8.00 PM

Dinner at Punjab Raj Bhawan

Greening ScienceEducation
DAY-II.17.4.2001 Technical Session I
Chairman:Dr.Mohammad Ibrahim, Bangladesh in Science Education Education, Ministry of in : Country Report on “Existing Issues & Methodologies Sri Lanka” by Ms. P.K. Nanayakkara, Asstt. Director Education, Sri Lanka Discussion Tea “Major Environmental & Socio-cultural issues of India: Need for integration with: existing science curricula” by Mr. Harjit Singh, Sr. Advisor, Education & Information Div., Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India “S&T inputs for Promoting Environmental Education in Schools” by Mr. Anuj Sinha, Joint Advisor, National Council for Science & Technology Communication, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India “Analysis of Existing Issues & Methodologies in Science & Social Science Education with respect to major local environmental concerns and socio-cultural inputs : A Case study” by Dr. Erach Bharucha, BVIEER, Pune Brain Storming Lunch - Identification of additional issues for incorporation : on Country Reports continued


9.30 AM

10.00 AM 10.50 AM 11.00 AM

11.30 AM

12.00 Noon

12:30 PM 1:30 PM


Mr. Anuj Sinha, Joint Advisor, Deptt. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India 2.30 PM . 3.15 PM : 3.30 PM

“Towards Incorporating major environmental concepts in to Science Education in South Asia” by Ms. Shivani Jain, CEE, Ahmedabad. Tea “Explaining Complex Environmental Concepts through new approaches & techniques” by Ms. Nandita Krishna, Director, CPR Environment Education Centre, Chennai Brain Storming - Identification in implementation Cultural Evening of suitable techniques & constraints

: 4.15 - 5.15 PM :6.00 - 10.00 PM

and Dinner at PSCST & MGSIPA Complex

DAY-III. 18.4.2001 Technical

Ms. Sharada D. Maharjan, Nepal 9.30 AM

“Promoting Practical Interventions and participatory approach in Science Education w.r.t. Local Environmental Concerns and Socio-Cultural Inputs” by Ms. Neeru Snehi, Asso. Fellow, Educational Planning Unit, National Institute of Educational Planning & Administration, “Environment Education through Science Curricula” Science Education, National Council of Educational (NCERT), New Delhi Prof. J.S. Gill, Division Research and Training

New Delhi of : 10.00 AM

“Role of Educational TV/Multimedia in promoting Environment & Technology Education” by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Central Institute of Educational Technology, NCERT, New Delhi Tea

10.45 AM


190 Greening ScienceEducation
“Promoting environmental Dr. Sangeeta Non-formal Science Education in India for highlighting local of WWF” by for : 12.00 Noon 1:15 PM 11.30 AM

issues through socio-cultural inputs : Perspective Jund, Edu. Officer, WWF India, of country wise recommendations

Discussion and formulation capacity building Lunch


Dr. J.S. Gill, NCERT to UNESCO Resource Kit (by Dr. Neelima Jerath, PSCST)

An Introduction & Review Tea

2.15 PM 4.00 PM

Field Visit : Rock Garden

& Sukhna Wetlant Asstt. Director recommendations Education, Sri Lanka

: 4.15 - 6.30 PM

Evening Session
Chairperson: Discussion Ms. P.K. Nanayakkara, & formulation of general

7.00 PM 8.00 PM

Dinner at Hotel Aroma Complex

DAY-IV. 19.4.2001 Field Visit
Botanical Tea Cyclotron, Lunch Visit to Cactus Garden, Panchkula of S&T for Deptt. of Physics, Panjab University, Chandigarh Garden, Panjab University, Chandigarh 9.30 AM 11 .OO AM 11.30 AM 1 .OO PM

2.30 pm 3.30 pm : 6.30 - 9.30 PM

Visit to Sukhomajri Watershed project to demonstrate application improvement of rural environment through peoples’ participation Visit to Moghul Gardens, Pinjore and Dinner at Golf Club

DAY-V.20.4.2001 Technical Session
Chairmen: Mr. N.S. Tiwana, PSCST & Dr. Madhav Karki, IDRC 9.00 AM 10.00 AM Feed back on UNESCO Resource Kit by participants

“Initiating Development of South Asian Environment Alliance” by Dr. Madhav Karki, Regional Programme Coordinator, International Development Research Centre, N.Delhi “Role of Wetland International in promoting region” by Dr. C.L.Trisal, Director, Wetland Tea Presentation Discussion Lunch of region and country on Networking specific recommendations Environment Education in the International-South Asia, New Delhi

10.30 AM
11 .OO AM 11.15AM 12.45 PM


in the South Asian region

1.30 PM



19 1

Mr. Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary, Science, Tech. & Env., Govt. of Punjab 2.15 PM of Nodal Institutions/officers

Summing up of major recommendations by Dr. Neelima Jerath, PSO - Env., PSCST Formal network Remarks Valedictory Technology establishment : Identification

2.45 PM 3.00 PM 3.30 PM 3.40 PM 3.45 PM 4.30 PM 8.00 PM

by participants

(country-wise) Principal PSCST Secretary, Science,

remarks by Shri Rajan Kashyap, & Environment, Govt. of Punjab by Dr. S.K. Saxena, SSO-Env,

Vote of Thanks Farewell Tea

Local Visit Dinner at Hotel Aroma Complex

192 Greening ScienceEducation

List of Participants
1. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, Professor of Physics,Dhaka University and Executive Director, Centre for Mass Education in Science, 828, Road 19 (old), Dhanmondi R/A Dhaka-1209, Banaladesh Tel. No. 88-02-8111898 (0) 88-02-8619223 (R) 88-017-564665 (M) Fax No. 88-02-8013559 & Mr. Nandu Giri, Lecturer in Chemistry & Science Education, National Institute of Education, Samste, Bhutan Tel. No. 975-5-365363 Fax No. 975-5-365273 (0) 975-5-365316 (R) Dr. Sharada D. Maharjan, Associate Professor, Deptt. of Science and Environment Education, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, P.O. Box 1007, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel. No. (R) 977-l-411351 Fax No. 977-1-488802 saraddmasaraddm. wlink. & Mrs. P.K. Nanayakkara, Assistant Director Science &Education Branch, Ministry of Education & Higher Education, “lsurupaya”, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka Res.Add: 8/D/172, Jayawalamagama, Battaramulla Tel. No. (0) 94-l-876062 (R) 94-74403644 Fax No. 94-l 872158 Dr. Madhav Centre,206, Karki, Regional Programme Coodinator, International Development Research Jor Bagh, New Delhi-l 10003 Tel. No. 011-4619411 Fax No. 0114622707 Asia, A-127 (2nd floor), Defence No.01 l-4629906 Colony,






Dr. C.L. Trisal, Director, Wetland International-South New Delhi-l 10024 Tel. No. 01 l-4691 294/ TeleFax


Mr. Harjit Singh, Sr. Adviser, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India, Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-l 10003 Tel.No.01 l-4364687 Dr. Anuj Sinha, Scientist G, & Head (NCSTC), Deptt. of Science & Technology, Bhawan, New Mehrauli Road, Govt. of India, New Delhi Tel. No. 01 l-6866675 6960207 Dr. Nandita Krishna, Director, CPR Environment Education Aiyar Foundation, La Eldams Road, Alwarpet, Chennai-600018 Fax No. 044-4320756 Technology Fax No. 01 l-



Centre, The C.P. Ramaswami Tel. No. 0444337023/4346526


Dr. UjjwalaT.Tirkey, Scientist C (NCSTC) Deptt. of Science &Technology, Technology Bhawan, New Mehrauli Road, Govt. of India, New Delhi Tel. No. 01 l-6866675 Fax No. 01 l-6960207 Ms. Shivani Jain, Programme Officer, Centre for Environment Education, Nehru Foundation for Development, Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad-380054 Tel. No. 079-6858002-09 Dr. Ram Boojh, Scientist-in-charge, Centre for Environment Education, Northern Regional Cell, 21/467, ICCMRT Building, Ring Road, Indira Nagar, LucknowTel. No. 0522-3423811 353271 Fax No. 0522-342381 Dr. Erach Bharucha, Director, Bharti Vidyapeeth lnsitute of Environment, Education & Research, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Katraj - Dhankawadi, Pune-411043 Tel. No. 020-575684 (0) Fax No. 4339121 (R) 603588,632602 Prof. J.S. Gill, National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) Deptt. of Education in Science & Mathematics, Sri Aurbindo Marg, New Delhi-l 10016 Tel. No. 01 l6561742/6566047/6966047 Fax No. 01 l-686641 9





Greening ScienceEducation


Dr. Jitendra Singh, Lecturer, Central Institute of Educational Technology, National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) Sri Aurbindo Marg, New Delhi-l 10016 Tel. No. Ol l-6962580/6864141 Fax No. 01 l-6864141 Dr. Neeru Snehi, Associate Fellow, Educational Planning Unit, National Institute of Planning & Admn., NCERT Campus, Sri Aurbindo Marg, New Delhi Tel. No. 01 l-6863562/69621 201 6962126 (PBX) 6515472 (Direct) Fax No. Oil-6853041/6965180 Dr. K.K. Garg, Joint Director, Ministry of Environment 2nd floor, Chandioarh Tel. No. 0172-604134/600061(0) Ms. Sangeeta Jund, WWF-India, KarundaSadan, & Forests, SC0 132-33, Sector 34-A, 0172605219(R) Tel. No.0172-746231



18. 19.

Sector 11, Chandiaarh

Dr. Sushma Setia, Lecturer, Deptt. of Science &Maths Education, State Council of Educational Research &Training, Varun Marg, Defence Colony, N e w Delhi-l 10024 Fax No. 01 l-5841640 (R): Dr. Rajinder Singh, Punjab 214201(0), 214206-lO(PBX) School Education Board, Fax No. 0172-214196 Phase VIII, Mohali Tel. No. 0172-

20. 21.

Ms. S.K. Dhingra, Director, State Institute of Science Chandiaarh Tel. No. 0172- 702536 Ms. Asha Gupta, State Institute of Education, Ms. Anuradha Sh. Prayash Agnihotri, Chandra Lecturer,Dev Suri, Freelance


SC0 66-67, Sector


22. 23. 24. 25.

Sector 32, ChandimTel. of Education,

No. 604131

Samaj College Journalist,

Sector 36-B, Chandiaarh

# 594, Sector

18-B, Chandiaarh

Sh. N.S. Tiwana, Executive Director, Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, Adj. Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, Chandiaarh-160019 Tel. No. 91-l 72-793300/793600/793141 Fax No. 91-l 72-793143 Dr. Neelima Jerath, Dr. SK. Saxena, Principal Scientific Officer (Environment) - as above -,



Sr. Scientific

Officer (Environment)

- as above -,

A Publication by Punjab State Council for Science

8 Technology

Supported by Science and Technology Education Section Division of Secondary, Tech&al 8 Vocational Education United Nations Educational, Sclentlflc 8 Cultural Organization