Environmental education (EE) concerns with those aspects of human behavior which are more directly related to man’s interaction with the biophysical environment and his ability to understand this interaction. The article explaining Environmental Education – with their topic Aim, Principles, and Concept. EE is a methodology in which people pick up familiarity with their surroundings and secure learning, abilities, values, experiences, and passion, all of which will empower them to act – separately and aggregately – to take care of present and future environmental issues.
Learn and understand the Environmental Education: Aim, Principles, and Concept, deeply explain.
One of the most glaring problems which the world faces today is environmental pollution. The man has exploited nature excessively at the cost of the environment. There is an immediate need to make people aware of environmental degradation. What is Pollution and Types of Environmental Pollution? Education and public participation may change and improve the quality of the environment.
Explain it each one of Environmental Education (EE): Definition, Objectives of Environmental Education, Aim of Environmental Education, Principles of Environmental Education, and Concept of Environmental Education! Environmental Education in India – Concept, and Role of Environmental Education.
Definition of Environmental education (EE):
According to UNESCO,
“Environmental education is a way of implementing the goals of environmental protection. It is not a separate branch of science but the lifelong interdisciplinary field of study.”
It means education towards the protection and enhancement of the environment and education as an instrument of development for improving the quality of life of human communities.
Objectives of Environmental Education (EE):
The following are the objectives of environmental education:
To help social groups and individuals to acquire knowledge of pollution and environmental degradation.
To help social groups and individuals to acquire knowledge of the environment beyond the immediate environment including the distant environment.
To help social groups and individuals to acquire a set of values for environmental protection.
4] Skills and Capacity Building:
To help social groups and individuals to develop the skills required for making discriminations in form, shape, sound, touch, habits, and habitats. Further, to develop the ability to draw unbiased inferences and conclusions.
To provide social groups and individuals with an opportunity to actively involve at all levels in environmental decision making.
There are four areas of decision making:
- Types of environmental issues on which decisions might make.
- The physical setting of the prospective environmental decision, including its spatial scale.
- Types of social groups and individuals who might interact in a process leading up to an environmental decision, and.
- The time frame within which the decision must make.
The aim of Environmental Education (EE):
UNESCO has highlighted the following aims of environmental education:
The aim of environmental education is clearly to show the economic, social, political and ecological interdependence of the modern world, in which decisions and actions by different countries can have international repercussions. They should, in this regard, help to develop a sense of responsibility and solidarity among countries and regions as the foundation for a new international order which will guarantee the conservation and improvement of the environment.
The main aim of environmental education at the grass-root level is to succeed in making individuals and communities understand the complex nature of the natural and the built environments. Further, to acquire the knowledge, values, attitudes, and practical skills to participate responsibly and effectively in anticipating and solving social problems, and in the management of the quality of the environment.
Therefore, necessary steps for environmental education are:
- Attitude building for motivating to protect the environment.
- Evaluation of environmental measures, and.
- Skill and capacity building.
According to D.H. Meadows’, environmental educators on every continent develop materials and methods as varied as the different cultures and ecosystems on earth. He lists some key concepts which underlie all environmental education. These are food for thought, levels of being, complex systems, population growth and carrying capacity, ecologically sustainable development, socially sustainable development, knowledge, uncertainty, and sacredness.
Guiding Principles of Environmental Education (EE):
The Principles of Environmental Education is deeply explaining – These are as follows:
1] Resource Principles:
- Resource use demands long-term planning if we are to achieve truly sustainable development.
- Rationale utilization of a renewable source is a sensible way of preserving the resources while obtaining maximum benefits from it.
- A mode of life heavily dependent upon rapidly diminishing non-renewable energy sources (i.e. fossil fuel) is unstable.
2] Soil Principles:
- The protection of soils and the maintenance of sustainable agriculture are essential factors in the survival of civilizations and settlements.
- Soil erosion is the irreversible loss of essential resources and must prevent.
- A vegetation cover (grass, forest) is important for the balance of nature and the conservation of soil, besides being exploitable natural resources.
3] Wildlife Protection Principles:
- Wildlife population is important aesthetically, biologically and economically.
- Nature reserves and other protected wilderness areas are of value in protecting endangered species because they preserve their habitats.
- The survival of humanity is closely linked to the survival of wildlife both being dependent on the same life-supporting systems.
4] Environmental Management Principles:
- Sound environmental management is beneficial to both man and the environment.
- Management of natural resources should do rationally.
- Elimination of wastes through recycling and the development of clean.
- Technologies are important to modern societies to help reduce the consumption of resources.
- Human activities and technologies influence considerably the natural environment and may affect its capacity to sustain life, including human life.
5] Other Principles:
- The relations between humans and their environment are mediated by their culture i.e.
- Cultural, historical and architectural heritage are much in need of protection.
The Concept of Environmental Education (EE):
Any curriculum should base on well-thought-out and clearly define concepts that one wishes the learner to acquire. Some important concepts of environmental education have interdisciplinary significance such as environmental pollution, carrying capacity, ecosystems, ecology, and conservation, etc.
Environmental Education (EE) in India:
The prosperity and well-being of a nation depend on the effective utilization of human and physical resources through industrialization based on science and technology. But there is a perennial controversy between development and the environment. Also, the question is whether we shall go for industrial or modernization or we shall protect the environment.
On one hand, we know that the development of a nation depends on industrialization and the other hand, rapid industrial and agricultural development entails many adverse effects on the environment of the countries concerned. So we have to apply our wisdom in striking a balance between these two contradictory factors. Development and environment are concerned with global ecology. We should, therefore; clearly, know the basic concepts of environment or ecology and its relation to our developmental activities at the macro as well as micro-level.
Basic Concept of Environmental Education:
Everything that surrounds us and on which our life depends is our environment. Our room, our home, our village or town, our family and friends, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the sunshine and the rain – all are part of our environment. Even the environment of two individuals is different. But these environments are interrelated so closely that in a sense we all belong to the same environment.
This interrelatedness is a matter of ecology. The term “ecology” has been deriving from the Greek word “Oikos” which means home. So, ecology is literally, the science that deals with the home conditions of all living beings. Also, Ecology deals with the interrelationships between living beings and their environment.
Previously, in the old days, a natural balance was maintained between all living beings including men and plants. They were living together in harmony and the natural setting. Human beings live in harmony with Nature including the Forest which was providing most of the necessities for living. But over recent years, due to rapid industrialization, urbanization, nature has been adversely affecting.
The environment seriously degrades and there are imbalance and disharmony. Also, the water and air have been polluted to a great extent because of the destruction of the vast forest on the earth. Because, the forest plays an important role in the conservation of water, purification of air and supplying many useful things to human beings.
Another disaster that is posed before us is that due to the rapid growth of urbanization. Also, the living conditions of the people in the cities and towns have been deteriorating. There is the pollution of water, air, and noise, etc. due to the rapid expansion of industries, power stations, and motor vehicles, etc. Everywhere, there is pollution. It has been proving harmful to the physical and mental health of the people.
All the Influences on the growth of the individual constitute the environment. As well as, the environment includes several situations or experiences that influence the development of the individual. So the environment of an individual comprises all the physical and social factors around him which directly affect his living including the working conditions.
The various environmental factors are interrelated. Also, the physical environment includes living and non-living, the geographical landmarks, topography, and climatic conditions, man-made features like buildings, roads, transport and other facilities like health, sanitation, nutrition aspects. As well as, the social environment consists of the family and community life, fairs and festivals, modes of production and supply of essential commodities.
The various environmental factors are inter-related. We know the environment of an individual comprises all the physical and social factors. Then only the individual can survive on his earth. For this reason, our environment is to protect.
Role of Environmental Education (EE):
Education regards as an important instrument and means for generating proper awareness and adequate knowledge and skills regarding environmental protection. It is, therefore, felt essential to develop education about the environment, education for the environment and education through the environment.
So as a whole, it will be environmental education.
- They should integrate into the whole system of formal education at all levels.
- It adopts a holistic perspective that will examine the ecological, social, cultural and other aspects of particular problems.
- They should center on practical problems related to real life.
- They should aim at building up a sense of values.
However, it universally agrees that environmental education should be interdisciplinary, drawing from biological, sociological, anthropological, economic, and political and human resources. It is also agreed that a conceptual approach in teaching environmental education is the best.
It also involves decision-making and development strategies for promoting environmental protection. As well as, it treats as a discipline in which various subjects like Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics are including. This makes it imperative to train specialists in environmental education for planning,’ management, development and taking remedial measures for solving the problems.
The NCERT developed the guidelines for the school curriculum based on the Education Commission, 1964-66. It has also prepared a resource material on the use of the environment as a basis for meaningful learning in Primary Education.
The National Policy on Education 1986 has also given a special place of significance to education and the environment. So a great need is being felt to create awareness for the protection of the environment by redesigning the objectives, methods, and curriculum in the field of education.