CTET 2015 Exam Notes : TEACHING OF EVS
Integrated Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies in its various forms and shapes helps us to understand ourselves and the environment around us. However, this task to understand ourselves and the environment is not so simple as it appears otherwise. To facilitate and serve the purpose in a better way, therefore, attempts are the environmental studies into some distinctive branches like Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Astronomy, Medical Science, etc. Such division helps in the deep and thorough study of the specific area covered by a particular branch and ultimately in this way one may be led in a proper way to understand one-self and his environment.
Integrated approach v/s Disciplinary Approach in Environmental Studies Teaching
In our schools for the teaching of environmental studies, we have so far followed an integrated approach. As a result we have been teaching environmental studies in an integrated way through the subject ‘General Science’ instead of teaching it in the form of separate branches like Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology etc. The arguments favouring such type of integrated approach in the teaching of environmental studies run as under:
- In our day life we use environmental studies in an integrated way and not in the form of specialized fragmented pieces of knowledge.
- What one needs in his day to day life is the knowledge and skills related with some basic facts and principles of environmental studies. One does not need the specialized and deep knowledge as advocated and contained in the specialized branches of environmental studies. Therefore, for most of us general environmental studies of everyday ‘use and also by being essentially elementary and simple in comprehension.
It is on account of the above grounds that environmental studies in our schools in the past has been taught in the form of ‘General Environmental Studies’ by taking all the essential useful topics related with the day life activities and needs from the different branches and areas of environmental studies. However, this type of integrated approach has been a subject of considerable criticism on account of the changed circumstances. Today there has been a tremendous increase in the body of environmental studies and also its impact is now felt in each and every sphere of our life. Looking at the all round development in the field of environmental studies and technological advancement and consequently considering our growing dependence on the knowledge and skills of environmental studies the study in the form of ‘General Science’ going on in our schools has become out of tune. It cannot prepare the future citizens for keeping pace with the latest development in the field of environment studies and technology. In case we need so, we will have to bring a change in our approach of teaching science in our schools.
Consequently, the integrated approach is now being replaced by disciplinary approach. Instead of teaching environmental studies in the form of a mere combination of, some fragmented pieces of knowledge in the name of ‘General Science’, we have started to teach it in the form of the separate specialized branches like Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, etc. It has helped in studying with minute details and going deep in particular branch. With the adoption of 10+2 system, the disciplinary approach is gaining momentum. The different branches of science for this purpose are being put into two groups, namely, physical sciences and life sciences.
The Physical Science group includes those branches of science which are related with the study of non-living material such as Physics and Chemistry etc. In the life sciences group we include the branches dealing with the study of living beings like, humans, animals, birds and plants etc. Thus the branches like Botany, Zoology, etc. comprise this group.
The grouping of the environmental studies subjects in the two district group, physical and life sciences and adoption of disciplinary approach with regard to science teaching have thus necessiated to bring essential changes in the ways and means of training teachers in our training colleges. Instead of training them as a teacher to teach, ‘General Science’ we have started to train them separately as the teacher of environmental studies, them to teach the subjects falling in the group physical and life sciences separately. The pupil teachers who, have a non-medical background i.e., those who have offered Physics and Chemistry in their degree examination are being asked to take teaching subject. On the other hand the pupil “teachers who belongs to medical group, i.e., those who; have offered Botany, Zoology etc. in their degree examination studies as one of their teaching subject. These both categories of teacher, trainees need to be given different” learning experiences and training opportunities for teaching physical or life sciences.
The question at this stage arises, what provisions can be actually made to sciences teachers. When we come on the practical ground, it is being observed that, although the contents of the subjects belonging to these groups differ significantly, there seems no significant difference with regard to the methodology, devices, techniques and strategies adopted for the teaching of physical and life sciences. Therefore, when we try to discuss such essential teaching concepts, we come across with the duplicacy and repetition. Consequently it seems wiser to discuss the methodology of teaching physical and life sciences under one single heading of ‘teaching sciences’. Considering the above hard fact, attempts have been made in this text to include all what can be said separately for the teaching of physical sciences and the teaching of life sciences under a single combined title ‘teaching of science’. Consequently the questions how to teach physical sciences and life sciences are being answered in the coming pages with a common name science incorporating a common scientific terminology.
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