FAQ About EVS
What is EVS?
Environmental studies is one of the most important subject taught in primary classes. The main aim is to develop awareness, be sensitized, to connect, and appreciate the physical, social and biological environment. It inculcates habits, values, emotions and attitudes required to maintain and promote a quality environment for the sustainable environment. In Grade I & II topics of Teaching of language and mathematics are woven around the child's immediate environment. EVS is taught as a separate subject in schools from Grade III to V. The subject works upon common themes which are repeated with new knowledge added in each grade.
What are the broad objectives of teaching EVS?
A major shift in our thinking of education as a process of ‘learning’ rather than ‘teaching’, and, going even further, of involvement in the active generation of knowledge. Our children become aware of the real life world which constitutes everything that we look around in our everyday environment. After we become aware of our surroundings, the next step is to analyze, evaluate and draw inferences about the problem and concerns in the environment for having a solution for sustainability. The understanding of co-existence with the other elements (natural, social and cultural) is brought upon into knowledge through Environmnetal studies. To engage children in exploratory and hands-on experience. Such activities will help children to develop their cognitive skills, skills of observation and measurement, collection of information and its processing, creative expression,etc. To nurture curiosity and creativity in each child. Building capacity for problem solving and critical thinking.
What are the key considerations for designing the EVS curriculum, across Early and Primary Grades?
The topics/themes chosen have a child centered integrated approach. The curriculum is designed in such a way that it widens the horizon of the child's understanding from near to far i.e first child learns about self then moves to family, next about neighborhood, city, country and finally whole world. The subject focuses on raising awareness and building capacities of communities to elaborate a vision of a socially and environmentally sustainable environment. Curriculum refers to the theory of education, learning by doing. Children learn best by being involved in learning, actively engaging with many different activities. A child must discover for herself. Therefore, the emphasis is on inquiry based learning which lays stress on the processes of scientific inquiry, problem solving skills and creative thinking abilities based on locally available natural and human resources. Topics included in the books are obliged to display sensitivity towards diversity, equity and gender. The content is required to have locale specificity in the context of a global vision. It should be multi-sourced and accessed. Textbooks essentially be empowering than indoctrinating, and act as a power house of knowledge generators.
What is the approach to teaching EVS?
Most primary schools' curriculum are working on an Integrated approach which is child centered. This proposes ‘themes’ that allow for a connected and interrelated understanding to develop.An integrated curriculum aims to connect the theory learned in the classroom, with practical, real-life knowledge and experiences. An example of integrated multidisciplinary approach is, in Grade I & II topics on environment are taught through subjects of language and numeracy. The syllabus web has been developed within a child centered perspective of themes that provide a common interface of issues in social studies, sciences and environmental education. An integrated approach creates learning experiences that call on more than one discipline or subject such as cross-discipline assignments or units. Integrated approach emphasizes on design and fabrication, estimation and measurement as a prelude to the development of technological and quantitative skills at later stages;
Integrated approach focuses on child centeredness where learning primarily revolves around the child's maximum involvement of the child will be there in the teaching learning process. The child is no more a passive learner. In this approach children construct new knowledge based on their previous experiences. In this, the teacher's role is of a facilitator who guides the learner through the process. The child centric approach can be adopted through strategies like experiential learning, here the learning begins with actions and promotes reflective thinking by learners.
How will this approach help students acquire K, S and D?
Integrated approach focuses on learning by doing which helps to create cognitive capacity and resourcefulness to make the child curious about social phenomena starting with the family and moving on to wider spaces. The nature of integrated approach is to engage the child in exploratory and hands-on activities which helps the learner to acquire basic cognitive and psychomotor skills through observation, classification, inference, etc.
In this process of learning a variety of topics children will develop other skills of communication, problem solving , critical and logical thinking.
The dispositions that come in hand after mastering a lot of skills from vast knowledge acquired through EVS curriculum are thinking flexibly, creating data through all senses and creating, imagining and innovating.
What strategies are used in teaching EVS?
Learning by doing. Children learn best by using practical, interactive, activity based methods in classrooms. Project-Based Learning- Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to few months– that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a public product or presentation for a real audience.As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills. Project Based Learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers. In order to answer a driving question and create high-quality work, students need to do much more than remember information. They need to use higher-order thinking skills and learn to work as a team.
- Inquiry-Based Learning- It is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios.Inquiry-based learning is about students taking charge of asking the questions they want to explore. That requires meaningful participation from students along with teacher support. In this, the teacher introduces a new topic or concept. Students explore the topic through research, direct instruction, and hands-on activities.Then, students develop questions related to the topic, make predictions.Next, is the lengthiest part of inquiry learning. Students take the initiative, with appropriate teacher support, to discover answers, to find evidence to support or disprove and to conduct research.Having collected information and data, students develop conclusions and answers to their questions. They determine if their ideas are correct or have flaws. This may lead to more questions. Finally, all students can learn from each other at this point by presenting results. The teacher should guide discussions, encourage debate, more questions, and reflection.
What is the role of a facilitator in teaching EVS?
A teacher’s role is to transfer knowledge and act as the facilitator, a role model, and a mentor. Teachers develop through practice that links the learner with the community, attitudes and values. A role of facilitator is to provide occasions to every child to come forward and contribute towards the project. Must be alert at all points in time to see if the project is running on the track. Teachers are required to have thorough understanding about abilities, interests, aptitude etc of each student so that suitable tasks related to the topic can be allotted to them. He should be able to create and maintain a democratic environment so that children can freely participate without any fear and hesitation. He should always act as a friend, guide and working partner.