Habitat and Learning :

The habitat is where any species finds conditions that permit it to thrive. Learning is a vital faculty of all animal species. Animals learn about the features of their own habitat by picking up clues as to where they may expect to find food or meet social companions or encounter enemies. For our ancestors, knowledge thus began with the exploration of their habitat. But as human beings' control over the environment has increased, and as people have begun to mould the world more and more to suit their needs, this component of knowledge has diminished so much that today formal education has become largely alienated from the habitat of the students. But as environmental degradation proceeds at an uprecedented pace, we are beginning to realise the importance of taking good care of our habitat. Humankind must, therefore, make an attempt to comprehend its roots, to re-establish links with its habitat, and to understand and take good care of it. In substance and spirit, then the theme ' Habitat and Learning' is equivalent to environmental education. 

These significant concerns are best realised by infusing the components of environmental education as part of different disciplines while ensuring that adequate time is earmarked for pertinent activities. This approach can be meaningfully employed in the treatment of content in Physics, Mathematics, chemistry, Biology, geography, History, political science, health and physical education, art, music etc. Actvities constructed for life situations become a meaningful means for the engagement of learners. Rainfall, for instance, exhibits intricate variations over space and time. Data on such variations are available and can be used to promote many interesting activities in Physics and Mathematics. In Physics, simple experiments may be devised to visualise patterns of flow of fluids over uneven terrain, as well as to demonstrate how the ascent of air leads to cooling and precipitation and descent to the opposite effects. In Mathematics, a careful analysis of data for a longer period, say, 50 years, on decline in rainfall provides excellent possibilities for projects relating to data representation, visualisation and interpretation. Likewise, effluents from sewage treatment plants can form meaningful raw material for a variety of projects in chemistry. Besides, schools could work with panchayats, municipalities and city corporations to document biodiversity resources and associated knowledge. Schools can take up projects in Biology addressing specific issues of interest, such as the occurrence and utilisation of medicinal plants or the protection of rare and endangered fish in a body of water. People's representations of the environment and its specifics (animals, forests, rivers, plants etc.) through various forms of art, music, dance and craft illustrate their understanding of biodiversity. Such an understanding is also linked to the life of members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities as they often depend on natural biodiversity resources to sustain their livelihoods. Recording such knowledge is part of the mandate of preparing of people's biodiversity registers, and students can fruitfully be engaged in projects on the preparation of such registers. Projects assessing the nutritional role of wild plants, which provide important nutritional supplements in the diets of tribal communities, can be worthwhile components of health education. Likewise, preparation of maps of the immediate environment, documentation of environmental History, and analysis of political issues related to the environment may be made part of projects in geography, History and political science. Conflicts over water at the local, state, national and international levels offer a rich source for designing a variety of activities and projects connecting these descriptions of knowledge.
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Clear CTET - Coaching Institute for CTET, DSSSB and KVS: Habitat and Learning
Habitat and Learning
Clear CTET - Coaching Institute for CTET, DSSSB and KVS
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