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Learning beyond the classroom

Staff Reporter

CBSE ask schools to focus on outdoor activities

NEW DELHI: : It may be a subject that had to be "forced" into school curriculum, but if a recent circular issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is anything to go by, then going the "green" way for schools will be all about creating the right "environment".

In a circular issued by CBSE on environment education to all school heads, the Board has asked them to focus on outdoor activities and field trips instead of depending on books or textual matter alone. It has also directed schools to adopt an informal evaluation process till Class V, and a continuous grading process for those between Class VI and VIII.

Noting that learning would not remain limited to the classroom but extend much beyond it, the Board said, "every child from the upper primary levels onwards should be provided with the opportunity to participate in at least one nature/outdoor field visit experience''. The Board has further pointed out that the content of the subject should be aimed at recognising, acknowledging, respecting and celebrating all forms of local diversity.

While pointing out that the pedagogy of environment education will have to be based on "local contextual, indigenous knowledge, experiential learning strategies, multi-disciplinary approaches, project based-methods and action oriented practical assignments'', the Board believes that the assessment of a learner's achievements should include "cognitive and affective'' development.

Curriculum load

Stressing the need to develop a course that though action oriented and value based does not burden students with more curriculum load, the CBSE said the focus of the subject was to expose students to the world they live in by acquainting them with the issues and problems relating to environment.

The CBSE has suggested that for students of Class I and II, the curriculum can become a part of a part and parcel of language, mathematics and the Art of Healthy and Productive Living, with the Board maintaining that there need not be a separate textbook, with the transaction being woven around the student's immediate environment.

For those between Class III and V, it has asked schools to emphasise on local activities and development of habits and values. "The evaluation practices need to be both informal and formal in Classes III to V. The focus at this stage would be on assessment of socio/emotional development and behavioural patterns of the learners besides their cognitive learning.''

In the case of students between classes VI and VIII, the Board feels the curriculum needs to focus on "affective components by providing additional inputs in the form of investigation, project work and co-scholastic activities''.

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