Why this approach is important

The National Curriculum Framework (2005) states that science education in India should help students to become more aware of their environment and the importance of protecting it for future generations.

Pause for thought

  • Why do you think the Government of India included environmental and social issues in the science curriculum of 2005?
  • What are the main implications for you as a science teacher?

There are two main arguments for this approach to science education (Osborne, 2010) that the Government might have considered:

  • The economic argument. A country with a growing economy needs a constant supply of scientists to remain internationally competitive. Scientists can work on solutions to environmental and health issues, and generate evidence to inform policy.
  • The democratic argument. Many of the problems facing society are complex and the solution often depends on science as well as economics and politics. A strong democracy is one in which citizens are well-informed, appreciate the importance of considering multiple viewpoints and take an active part in democratic processes.

The implications for you are that your students should understand that studying science at school is important even if they don’t want to study science after school. By raising their awareness and understanding of complex science issues, you are educating your students to take part in democracy as well as potentially contribute to economic development.

What you can learn in this unit

1 Making links between environmental and social issues and the curriculum