This type of development had a deep impact on our minds; so much so that education on environment has only recently surfaced as the degradation of ecology has increased for most of the humanity living in the developing countries. After some years of struggle both at the grassroots level (e.g., the Chipko movement, Narmada Bachao Andolan etc.) and the judiciary, the Supreme Court of India has given a visionary direction to introduce Environment as a compulsory subject from the academic year 2004-05 at all levels of education (School, University & Professional).
Viewed from this perspective (of renewed importance given to Environment education), we can see and also account for costs the humanity has to pay for an education, which has remained confined to studies of human beings alone. Education hitherto has been “anthropocentric” as it ignored ‘ecocentric’ linkages.
A balanced view of education takes humans and their environment as inseparable. The most authoritative statement on this line of reasoning has been given by the pioneer in the field, Rachel Carson whose famous book “Silent Spring” opens with the best definition of environment: “The history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings.”
Environment simply means the surroundings comprising the living (biotic) and the nonliving (a biotic), and the study of interactions between these two is the science of Ecology. Study of ecology is essential because, in the words of futurologist Sir Aldoux Huxley “It is only by means of the sciences of life (Ecology at that time was a branch of science of life) that the quality of life can be radically changed”.