After the Smoke Clears: Toward Education for Sustainable Development in Bhopal
Radhika Iyengar and Monisha Bajaj
Vol. 55, No. 3 (August 2011), pp. 424-456
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
http://www.jstor.org/ stable/10. 1086/660680

This article examines approaches to environmental education (EE) in Bhopal, India. It is an attempt to understand how much EE as a topic has been incorporated into formal curricula. An analysis of state and national syllabi indicates a focus on conventional, natural sciences approaches to the environment, thus neglecting the social science aspects of education for sustainable development across all grade levels. Environmental disasters are given a very general treatment with no contextual link to incidents like the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984. Social dimensions like environmental citizenship are also minimally mentioned. Finally, the article highlights the large gap between national educational policy frameworks and the actual incorporation of EE in state and national textbooks.

Environmental Advocacy as a Critical component of Environmental Education 
Bhargavi S. Rao, Environment Support Group, Bengaluru, India
Almost all Environmental education programs today focus on scientific knowledge and much of this is taught within the four walls of a classroom with very little exposure to ground realities. Much of such education is imparted, even at higher levels, with very little focus on the socio-economic and cultural dimensions of the impacts of the current paradigm of development. Making connections from the local to the global issues or understanding the issues from different world views is largely rhetorical.
There is a lack of capacity building in the education systems to create a future citizenry who will be environmental advocates of the City, State or Nation in a context that projects humanistic values of stewardship in the framework of intergenerational principles of action. Environmental education systems, at least in India, completely lack this perspective in the taught curricula.

This stream of learning is looked down as being politically incorrect, economically useless and in general not keeping with the classical framework of productive learning in an education process. Unless we address this fundamental challenge, our objective of evolving a citizenry capable of stewarding a planet in peril is extremely difficult. Needless to state, it may become impossible for our formal decision making cycles to consider the overwhelming need to respond with due dispatch in establishing at least a workable relationship with our ways of living and the environmental limits of our planetary systems.

Based on experiences in advocating change in environmental decision making processes in India, this paper explores the importance of training youth as part of their EE in some basic skills of environmental advocacy. It is argued that such engagement would help initiate a process of change at a time when the planet is in deep crisis and humanity must reshape its ways of living. Some case studies of Environment Support Group, a non profit organization focused on environmental and social justice, are utilized to establish the need for such engagement of EE in our society.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/Environmental-Advocacy

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