Facilitating place-based environmental education through bird studies: an action research investigation
– paper in current issue
Özge Keşapli Can, Jennie F. Lane & Armağan Ateşkan
Pages: 733-747 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1233389
This study involved a workshop designed to support biology teachers in conducting birdwatching activities with their students and to promote place-based environmental education in Turkey. The instruments for collecting data were a workshop questionnaire and interviews. The findings revealed that initial response to the workshop was positive; participating teachers reported that the resources and strategies motivated them to conduct bird studies with students. They identified barriers and noted that the place-based education approach might help overcome many of these barriers. After the workshop, it became clear that participants’ initial intentions to integrate birdwatching into their lessons were challenged by lack of confidence and time. To gain deeper insights into the outcomes of the project, the project coordinator used action research strategies to reflect on her practice and reveal implications for her continued efforts to promote bird and environmental education. She kept a journal, used reiterative reflection, and content analysis to analyse workshop evaluations and interviews. The coordinator recognized potentials and challenges for facilitating birdwatching and environmental education as part of her teaching career. This study shares some of her efforts to provide ongoing support and emphasizes that facilitation of environmental education needs time, commitment, and passion.
Keywords: Action research, birdwatching, facilitation challenges, teacher professional development, place-based education