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Pomona College

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

India: Sustainable Development and Social Change

Abstract

In India, environmental education (EE) became compulsory for Classes I-XII nationwide in 1991, with curricula designed by central and state governments. Meanwhile, in the interest of food security, the government-promulgated Green Revolution of the 1960s brought about commercial agriculture practices have led to environmental degradation, with negative impacts on farmers’ livelihoods. This paper presents a case study in a rural region in the state of Punjab, the heartland of the Green Revolution. Through interviews with students, teachers and community members as well as a review of school curricula, it seeks to understand how EE in schools is impacting the perceptions and aspirations of the community’s younger generation with respect to the community’s agricultural and environmental linkages, problems and future. It is found that although EE in Punjab touches upon locally relevant concerns, in the context of ingrained societal attitudes and the wider body of school curricula, it does not compel any meaningful initiative or change on the part of the students. While education is commonly seen as an important medium for human, societal and economic development, EE is part of an education system, taking part in a feedback loop with broader societal values which may not be aligned with sustainable development.

Disciplines

Agricultural and Resource Economics | Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Environmental Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Sociology of Culture

 

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