Notes: Group Discussion - 25 March 2023 - Climate Change, Environment, Sustainability, etc

Group Members: Jayashree (Group Anchor), Joy, Walter, Baswant, Milind Watve, Neel and Jayashree from Pratham, Urmi, Charu, Rafikh, Anusha

Forms of Intervention à

  • Problem: We always want to find an answer for a question. Need to change this.
    • Aim at Lower Standards in Schools (till 8th) and College level – Can do this.
  • Problem: Disconnect between environmental issues and lifestyles
    • Environment should NOT be just another chapter in the textbook.
      • Connect impact of environment to lifestyle:
        • Enable learners to be well-informed about the impact of human actions on the environment
        • Enable them to map values and choices at both the individual and societal levels.
      • Connect Environment and Livelihoods, eg Agriculture to be a main thrust
    • We can do Season Watch - We can expand on it
    • Such activities we get a better idea of the environment around us
  • Problem: Lack of Prepared Teachers
    • We need to create rubrics to ensure the project is environmentally friendly.
    • We need teacher training intervention.
    • Make Learning fun – at higher education level.
  • Problem: Lack of mind and emotion connect.
    • Affective aspects need to inform the whole intervention.
  • Problem: Lack of Awareness
    • Communication and Advocacy needs to be worked on à
      • Emphasising the importance of Climate Change à also the importance of Critical Thinking
      • Make it easier through visuals
      • Connect to Equity, Justice and Peace
      • Connect to larger groups and other individuals working in this space.
    • Problem: Fear-based communication
    • Communication needs to be focused on hope (and not just make it fear-based)
    • Make engagement with Climate Change Aspirational:
      • Career Pathways |Interactions with Activists (Role Models)
    • Working for Climate Resilience

Policy à

  • Work at Local Government Levels à Municipalities / Panchayat
  • School Level à Norms for sustainability in Project-based learning and the overall ethos of the school such as zero-waste.

Concrete Action Plans à

  • Creating robust learning opportunities and mapping them to specific competencies around existing nature-based activities done in schools such as planting trees and composting, making posters and slogans.
    • High School activities à Measuring Rainfall in your area | Biodiversity Maps |Blogging ….
  • Compilation of resource materials (in local language/s and English (for access) for teaching learning materials and teacher guides how to use these materials à
    • Making existing research and research topics available
    • Teacher Training needs to be engaged with
    • Making existing resources available as a group.
      • Cultural resources: Indigenous forms of knowledge – Stories, Poems, Songs, Oral Histories ….
      • Traditional and New Media
      • Technological and Procedural Resources (activities, projects, tools, data, documentation)
    • Translate Materials from Local languages to English and other Indian languages.
      • Make available channels for folks who are working in this field to connect and contribute.
  • Analysis of available materials.
  • How do we connect to larger network of professionals that are working in this area?
    • Connect this to Systems Thinking / Critical Thinking / Scientific Temper / affective aspects.

DISCUSSION - Free Flowing:
Walter – Symbiosis -
Baswant – Centre – School work

Prayavaran Shikshan – Should not be limited to planting trees event, waste management, etc.

Can we make the focus of education be around an activity à Why plant a sapling.

Charu – HBCSE PhD – Biology and Values is the topic – So this group interests him to focus on endangered / invasive species how they get affected.

Rafikh – HBCSE (PhD) and TISS (Teach there) –

School and College education – Climate change and education very Season Watch – interest

Neel – Pratham – Works –

Work – how can we conduct more environment related activities in education

Milind Wadwe – Here out of curiosity – Trying to hunt for questions and see what he can enquire

Urmi – Seed for Peace –

Indian Documentary Organisation – did work in this

Faith based intervention – to engage faith leaders to enable them to add to this work

Jayashree – Pratham – Science Group –

Rural areas not aware of climate change – Pratham plans to create a campaign

Anusha – TISS –

English Language Teaching – Environmentalism – in the classroom

Joy - Pune – Maharashtra – Mukti Sangarshan Activitst – has been

Activism – Research Agenda – Shivaji University - Maharashtra – Vegetation of area – study, NSS 10 colleges worked on Drought area – water, agriculture,

Part of a group for Society for Participatory Ecofriendly Environment –

Water Conflicts à Coordinate that in the Forum.

Need to focus on this issue in education à how to articulate alternatives for Govt and corporate activities

Konkan – Langurs destroying crops – Asking University of Agriculture to estimate this loss.

Jayashree – HBCSE

Silent Spring read this in UG years and resulted in a science curriculum for Primary Education – Studying Flora and Fauna seems to be the entry point for science learning for children anyway.

Father got engaged with Pani Panchayat and her interests also lies in water Management.

Course in Pune à Teach Botany course à NISARG cell – Last year helped her understand how many people are interested and there seemed to be a language and culture and environmentalism.


  • Competencies à Global Competencies such as problem-identification and others could be linked to Subject Competencies
  • Sampling Method / Quadric Method à Students are able to do statistical analysis and are able to estimate this in
  • Rural areas knowledge – we are not including in our curriculum à
  • We need to understand the players – and enable students to critical thinking and decide what is good.

How we think about this subject?

  • Why is it not happening and how can we go forward?
  • Project work à 1300 students interviewed à Learning not evident in the projects
  • Materials – not factually correct at times + not environment friendly
  • Teacher education – not done well
  • The focus of education seem to be that there must be an answer to every question
    • We need to allow for iterations and that asking new questions are in themselves a worthwhile process
    • Rafikh: Open-ended problems are not a part of education
  • Lifestyles are in contradiction to how we save the environment –
    • Materialism | Knowing the impact of our actions needs to be highlighted and the complexities – Systems Thinking (Book – CEE) |
    • Students need to be empowered to take the decision to say NO to Lays and other stuff.
    • Some environment friendly product purchases are difficult and sometimes more harmful to the environment.
  • Walter:
    • Environment science is boring
    • WE need to make the students think
    • IPCC à Going nowhere and
      • Municipalities and Local Governments the site where change can happen
    • We talk about how we can talk needs to be about how to tackle problems – not individual ways to tackle and not system
    • Teaches students à
      • Techno-Managerial Stream of Teaching à Polity and Politics
      • Why are we not doing what is needed even when things are wrong
      • Mind Game à Suppose 2/3rd of population disappears, but can the 1/3rd survive and can the world survive
      • Personal Choices à how to connect values and choices
  • Joy:
    • Human to rest of nature relationship à needs to be understood.
    • We need to deep dive into societal reasons why cash crops
    • We need to walk on two legs à
  • Walter --? Ethics and Climate Change need to be brought together à UNFCC à Inquiring into these things and how do I take the action individually and how do I take/influence action at a collective level?
  • Aksharnandan (marathi Medium school) à Lara Patwardhan à build sustainability into the working of the school à School has grown with the Environment movement in Pune à People are their resources à
    • Role Models are very important for children
    • Visits to place to see how garbage is managed
    • Anand Niketan and such are also such unassuming school sites where these are happening.
  • We could think of Environment as a tool but more as a content and context to inform across education.
    • We need to also work with teacher education.
  • 2 Stories – Hunter families (Pardhi Community)
  • Bangarwalas à do not collect sachets etc.
    • People use these as fuel à
  • Kerala: Chalakudy – Children expressed through their emotions about the trauma about the floods through art à Reflect on the environment though these artefacts.
  • Examples of Systems Thinking – Gond Community à
    • Before schools no cholera or dysentery – Used leaves for toilets | Now water used and therefore source of water was limited and then people did not walk did not walk too far.
  • Indigenous forms of celebrations of nature can provide affective reasons.
  • Kalpvraksh might be interested in publishing translations of Nature poems.

Post Presentation Discussion Points

*Justice and Equity - A core - Needs to be a central thrust
*Environmental Inequities are deeply linked to caste and class and this needs to be highlighted and worked upon in this area. Linked to Progress/Development story that at times leads to a kind of ethnic cleansing and most disadvantages the ones who least contribute to Climate change.
*Materialism / Consumerism rise needs to be addressed
*Climate Crisis not Climate Change - We need to work at this level of urgency
*Need to Work on Govts and Corporates rather than students and teachers.
*Need to connect with young influencers who are Environmentalists.
*Need to think of how Environments (not just nature-based) to be more equitable and accessible. Design buildings to be sustainable and Access friendly while energy efficient.
*Need to practice what we preach. We need to set role models for climate change through our own examples. This will most help students learn.

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Thanks for so meticulously putting this up, Anusha. Just one small correction and one addition.

The name of the organisation I work with is called Seeds of Peace, and an addition to the list of interventions, as suggested by John DSouza (of CED), to add Climate Adaption to the environment curriculum.

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