Environmental Studies program in Primary works with the idea that children become part of the society and the environment by connecting to life around them. They learn by observing, exploring, experimenting with ideas, by reading, by interacting with people and by relating with nature, by collaborating with their peers. Learning becomes more meaningful and a joyful experience when knowledge is not fragmented or compartmentalized but it lends the scope to integrate the whole by building the connections.
Children also express and communicate their ideas and learning in many forms thus giving us the opportunity to expand our understanding of evaluating learning beyond the standardized model and considering learning as a product but a rich journey the taken by the child and the teacher.. Environmental studies program in Primary level encourages children to explore the relationship between the structure and the functions, the grand design of the planet with the abundance of diversity existing both in natural and human world, the human predicament, the drive for changes, crisis and the causations which builds the strain, the significance of the co-existence of all the living forms which Knowledge and awareness is developed through conceptual understanding expanding the scope for lifelong learning.
The intent of the Environmental Studies program in Grade 1-5 is to help the child to discover the connection between the Physical and the Living world, a sense of society and a wide range of communities. The framework of Environmental studies consists of four themes expanding the scope for developing a spiral curriculum. The spiral movement of the concepts deepens the understanding in a progressive manner and builds the complexities by following a natural pace.
A sense of wonder and curiosity is nurtured and nourished by creating a scope for the children to develop their own perceptions by engaging with science through nature walk and experiments. Children gather information by applying their senses, learn to observe and notice the finer details from immediate surroundings.. They share their observations through drawings, by speaking about them and by recording their findings in the science journals.
Art integration plays major role in Primary to capture the nuanced aspects of the environment and the imagination of the child transits towards reason by choice and not by compelling children to accept the facts. An ecological sensitivity is nourished with the inclusion of art as a medium of expression.
Learning happens by examining how families work as units, human settlements grow in different Geographical settings giving birth to a variety of cultural expressions, ways of living and by celebrating life. Looking around, the Environmental studies textbook designed by NCERT portrays the phenomena related to society and individuals.