Environment Education in Indian Schools: The Search for a New Language
This article analyses the National Council of Educational Research and Training textbooks of environmental studies using critical discourse analysis to shed light on questions such as how the environment is dealt with in the text, using what kind of language are environmental concerns framed, how is the current environment crisis contextualized both in terms of ecological and social justice, if at all, and what solutions are suggested in this regard. The article finds that though the content of the textbooks exhibits strong social contextualizing of learners’ surroundings, the thrust is anthropocentric, and the environment figures only as a peripheral concern. Themes such as gender, caste, hygiene, culture, equality and discrimination emerge stronger than those of biodiversity, conservation, pollution, water crisis and global warming. While the in-built thrust on conviviality in the textbooks is necessary and heartening, a better infusion of the current predicament in terms of the environment crisis and how it could be mitigated is recommended.
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