Environmental Education in Teacher Education in India: Creating Consensus For Better Uptake Of Key Policy Reforms

Year: 2015

Author: Christine Almeida, Sylvia

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Objectives or purposes:
Environmental and Sustainability Education in recent times has been receiving heightened attention further supported by numerous global policy reforms. India’s galloping economy growing at 7.5% per year has come at a huge environmental cost. As part of its efforts to create greater environmental consciousness it has kept up with global trends ushering numerous policy reforms that call for Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development (Supreme Court of India, 2003), (National Commission for Education Research and Technology, 2005; National Council for Teacher Education, 2009; National Council of Teacher Educators, 2005) aimed at overhauling the education sector to help create a strong environmentally sensitive citizenry. However there is very little understanding and research about these how these policies are negotiated, determined, understood and further implemented by key players. Earlier studies involving teacher educators have pointed out to poor dissemination, lack of resources and a near complete lack of support creating a substantial policy-practice gap (Almeida, 2013). This research looks at the other side of the coins and work with key players and policy makers to understand their perspectives. It aims to present these findings to other key players in the field and determine a common set of factors that are seen as crucial for the effective implementation of EE in India. This will serve in bringing about a consensus and greater awareness amongst major influencers on India’s EE policies. The study also aims to understand policy maker’s perspectives and visions while creating the abovementioned policies.

Perspectives, Methods and Data:
The study uses a mixed method approach. 27 participants from a range of policy-making positions were recruited for the study. These participants are key players working with ministries, governmental bodies and NGO’s directly involved in shaping the current environmental and sustainability policies in India. Semi-structured interviews were conducted as the first stage of data collection. Interview data was transcribed and analysed thematically. Key issues and themes derived from the data were then used to create a survey in order to the focus and gain consensus.


The results highlight issues affecting policy uptake of Environmental and Sustainability Education in India and resonate with global concerns. These findings aim to bridge the gap and promote unanimity between teacher educators’ views and those of key influencers/makers on policies.