Responsibilities of Teachers in the Perspective of Environmental Protection
Awareness of environmental protection is not a recent idea. Due to rapid industrialization, urbanization and pollution the living conditions of the people in the world have been detoriated gradually and very rapidly. It is seriously degraded and there is creating an imbalance and disharmony. At the point when common assets of environments are exhausted the environment is considered to be corrupted and harmed. There are a number of different techniques that are being used to prevent this, including environmental resource protection and general protection efforts. 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. Education is regarded as an important instrument and means for generating proper awareness and adequate knowledge and skills regarding environmental protection. In that case a teacher plays vital role in growing or inculcating awareness among the students. The teacher should motivate and train the students to acquire and spread knowledge and skills that would help the society to solve interrelated environmental problems and prevent their occurrence.
Key words: Environmental degradation, Development, Environment, Awareness
The article has some objectives: ——-
- To focus on the process of practicing the environment-related awareness
- To understand the role of a teacher towards students in respect of EE
- To mention the status of EE in different school level
- To elaborate the methods of EE teaching
Environmental degradation is the disintegration of the earth or deterioration of the environment through consumption of assets, for example, air, water and soil, the destruction of environments and the eradication of wildlife. Awareness of environmental protection is not a recent idea. Awareness means to help social groups and individuals acquire a knowledge of and sensitivity to the total environment and its related problems. Environment includes both living and non-living objects in the world, their interactions and the products of these interactions. Man is the most dynamic element in the ecosystem because he changes most of the other elements in the environment. Even after realising well about the relation of man with nature and environment, the modern community of human being does not protect his environment and is responsible for its pollution (Das-375). Due to rapid industrialization, urbanization and pollution the living conditions of the people in the world have been detoriated gradually and very rapidly. Here we feel for a great need of Environmental Education (EE) which helps to learn the survival capacity or strategies for the present or future generation. “Environmental Education is a way of implementing the goals of environmental protection. Environmental Education is not a separate branch of science or subject of study. It should be carried out according to the principle of life-long integral education.” ( Finnish National Commission for UNESCO, Report of the seminar on Environmental Education, Janni, Finland,1974) (Das-377).
The young learners in today’s world are preparing for life and for work tomorrow. Their life styles differ very widely and the situations in which they acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to life and work also differ very markedly. Now the question arises that how can EE objectives be infused into the curriculum so that not only sound educational principles of acquisition and transfer are followed but also so that receivers are able to synthesize their experiences in various disciplines into a meaningful environmental awareness context. In order to provide right knowledge and to develop right attitude towards environmental education the school teacher play a vital role. The teacher should motivate and train the students to acquire and spread knowledge and skills that would help the society to solve interrelated environmental problems and prevent their occurrence. He should correlate the topics of environmental issues while teaching the subjects. It can be helpful to create environmental protection awareness among the public to safeguard its own environment from the adverse environmental damage.
Responsibility of a Teacher to Make Aware Students about the Environmental Protection
It is the duty of the teacher to show always the right direction to the society. In fact he can develop a healthy attitude among the students towards building a healthy environment. Hence all teachers in the schools and colleges are expected to play a significant role in environmental conservation and sustainable development. A school or college teacher has to foster a love and sympathy for the natural environment among their students, and to train them to appreciate the nature.
A teacher should play the following roles in the conservation and sustainable development of the environment:
- Motivate and train the students to acquire and spread knowledge and skills that would help the society to solve interrelated environmental problems and prevent their occurrence.
- Correlate the topics of environmental issues while teaching the subjects.
- Organize seminars and workshops on environmental issues like soil erosion, population explosion and deforestation.
- Discuss environmental issues along with simple teaching activities through which learners understand the importance of environmental resources.
- Teach the interdependence of living things and the relationship between the needs of the society and the interaction with the environment.
- Select, develop and implement curricular materials which make students aware of how man’s cultural activities (religious, economic, political and social aspects) influence the environment from an ecological perspective and how individual behaviour impacts the environment from an ecological perspective.
- Make students aware of the need for environmental issues, investigation and evaluation as a prerequisite to sound decision making.
- Tell students about the relationship between a healthy life and pure natural environment.
- Organize field trips to zoos, national parks, polluted cities, polluted rivers, birds’ sanctuaries and deforested sites.
The young learners belong to an age-group which is a very crucial stage in their life. Their spontaneity, curiosity, creativity and activity, in general should be used to promote teaching-learning in their immediate environments with a view to developing desirable knowledge, skills and attitudes. Education should take into consideration the social, intellectual, emotional and physical maturity of the children as well as the socio-economic needs of their community. Education should emphasize on a basic minimum to be achieved in respect of each and every child and should also have enough scope for flexibility and local adjustments to permit each school to go as far beyond the basic minimum as its circumstances permit (Das-378). There should be scope for developing problem solving ability among the students. The activities requiring the development of problem solving ability are the basis of any instruction aimed at developing abilities particularly demanded for effective improvement of the improvement. The very nature of environmental studies makes it imperative that the planning of teaching – learning activity should be such that the classroom becomes a laboratory for living and learning as children search for information and react to this experience. There should be provision for continuous evaluation of activities in the teaching –learning situation. Teacher’s observation during problem solving situation is very important. The teacher should evaluate how far the students are able to develop awareness about environmental pollution and the method of controlling the same.
Practical Work and Activities Undertaken by the School for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development:
For a long term development of our environment we should give our efforts very much practically, not theoretically. In this regard an educational institution or school can play a vital role represented as below with a diagram:
How to Inculcate the Environmental Values in a Learner?
Human values are closely integrated with human life. They are intertwined with our day to day chores. No human life is possible without values. How much of virtues and vices are filled in depends solely on the parents, teachers, circumstances, environment, and sometimes even geographic location. However everyone can be inculcated with human values by the parents, teachers, friends, well wishers and even strangers. Self education of human values is also possible by meeting, learning, and reading about, great individuals living a holistic life.
At school level we can produce or apply a very good method named as “Brain Storming Method” by which it is easily possible to inculcate the environmental values among the present and future generation or group of students for sustainable development.[image: C:UsersTARA PRAMANIKDownloadsindex.jpg] [image: C:UsersTARA PRAMANIKDownloads28864087-multiethnic-people-with-startup-business-talking-in-a-cafe.jpg]
Brainstorming is a strategy or technique for allowing a group to explore ideas without judgement. In practice the children may be asked to sit in a group for solving a problem and attacking it without any inhibition from many angles: in fat literally storming it with a number of possible ideas and solutions. The technique should be applied in whole class at a time. The students get the opportunity for divergent thinking and they become very active and conscious about the problem. During the session the teacher should observe and encourage them with strolling. Thus internal discussion becomes very much lively and fruitful. As all the students can participate at that time so the participants are inspired through creative thinking.
Here are some examples of the running questions on environmental awareness that can be applied by a teacher supervisor—
- Do you think cars should be banned from city centers?
- Do you think people should recycle newspapers? Why or why not?
- What are some ways that you can reduce pollution in this country?
- What can you do to help prevent pollution?
- What do you think of people who smoke cigarettes indoors?
- Which is more important, increasing people’s standard of living, or protecting the environment?
- What is the most important issue facing the environment today?
- Do you usually drink bottled water? Why or Why not?
- Are worried about global warming?
- If you live on an island or on the coast does this increase the danger from global warming? Why?
- What happens when we remove forests?
- What can we do to protect forests?
- What are the benefits/ disadvantages of a smoking ban?
- In what ways can we save more water? Please tell your experiences.
- What should we do to increase the awareness about environmental pollution?
- Do you have any ideas on how to minimize the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam boxes?
This type of questions is really motivating the students to think divergently and various creative solutions come out from this brainstorming session.
Besides this there are many different methods to help the students to know the ways of improving environment. Some of them are mentioned below:
(a) Small Group Project Method (b) Field Trip Method (c) Outdoor Study Method (d) Creative Thinking (e) Experiential Learning (F) Use of Exhibits (G) Inquiry Learning (H) Community Programmes (I) Environmental Educational Forum (J) Problem Solving Method (K) Story Telling (L) Collaborative Approach (M) Celebration of Environmental Calendar, etc.
Through the implementation of such various practical works, methods, celebration of environmental calendar, etc. our young generation can develop and sustain the habitable environment for our future, if we the teachers community try to retain and continue the practice as a never ending process. So we have to make our children to realize that they are part of the problem, and therefore they have to be part of the solutions.
- Brainstorming- Mind Tools Content Team, Retrieved from- https://www.mindtools.com/brainstm.html
- Das, B. N. – Trends &Issues in Indian Education, Dominent Publishers & Distributors Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, India, 2014, ISBN: 978-93-82007-02-9( HB), 978-93-82007-54-8(PB), P-375,376,378
- How to Inculcate Human Values- Retrieved from www.wikihow.com/inculcate- Human-Values
- How to Run a Brainstorming Meeting? Scott Berkun, Retrieved from- http://scottberkun.com/essays/34-how-to-run-a-brainstorming-meeting/
- Mangal, S.K. – Advanced Educational Psychology, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall of India Private Limited, New Delhi-110001, June 2006, ISBN- 81-203-2038-7, P-350-351
Work & activities
- Collection of plants & flowers
- Survey of animals & their modes of living
- Observation of growth of plants & maintenance arecord book
- Writing essays -poems on forest &natural environment
- Preparing posters on global warming
- Preparing charts &crapbooks on environment related issues
- Organizing debates, exhibition & discussion on environmental issues