The philosophies, contents and pedagogies of environmental education programs in 10 Israeli elementary schools

The philosophies, contents and pedagogies of environmental education programs in 10 Israeli elementary schools

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Tali Tal & Einat Peled

Pages: 1032-1053 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1153047

Abstract

In this study, our aim was to understand how environmental education has been implemented in Israeli elementary schools. We selected ten schools that had implemented Education for Sustainability programs and analyzed their mission statements and curriculum documents. We observed each school’s activities and interviewed teachers. Our analysis shows ambiguity with respect to the rationales and the theoretical foundations of the programs. It also shows much didactic teaching of content, a strong focus on behavioral outcomes, especially with respect to reducing resource consumption and to increasing the levels of recycling, as well as some degree of working with the community. The unclear status of environmental education in Israel, in terms of its structure within the education system, prevents it from having sufficient resources for teacher education and curriculum development. It is suggested that this lack of clarity is the main cause of the ambiguity and for the use of the traditional pedagogies we found in our analysis.

Keywords: curriculum, education for sustainable development, environmental education, professional development, Elementary schools

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2016.1153047

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Establishing enabling conditions to develop critical thinking skills: a case of innovative curriculum design in Environmental Science

Establishing enabling conditions to develop critical thinking skills: a case of innovative curriculum design in Environmental Science

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Dina Zoe Belluigi & Georgina Cundill

Pages: 950-971 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1072802

Abstract

This paper considers a curriculum design motivated by a desire to explore more valid pedagogical approaches that foster critical thinking skills among students engaged in an Environmental Science course in South Africa, focussing specifically on the topic of Citizen Science. Fifty-three under graduate students were involved in the course, which was run over a two week period. Data were generated from several sources, including individual student evaluations, a focus group discussion, lecturer reflections and summative assessment results. During the course, the development of critical thinking skills was scaffolded by different thinking approaches to the possibilities and problematics of student-selected case studies, followed by a collaborative re-examining of ‘what is known’ about Citizen Science. Spiralling engagement with various resources harnessed the diversity of the class, as they drew on their personal and disciplinary backgrounds. The insights highlight possibilities for alternative higher education teaching models for emerging subjects such as Environmental Science, where the competencies required of graduates, such as critical thinking and coping with uncertainty, differ significantly from traditional ‘science’ competencies, and therefore require a departure from traditional teaching methods.

Keywords: critical thinking, curriculum, enquiry-based learning, pluralism

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2015.1072802

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The I3E model for embedding education for sustainability within higher education institutions

The I3E model for embedding education for sustainability within higher education institutions
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Gisela Cebrián
Pages: 1-19 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1217395

Abstract
This paper presents an evidence-based model (the I3E model) for embedding education for sustainability (EfS) within a higher education institution. This model emerged from a doctoral research that examined organisational learning and change processes at the University of Southampton to build EfS into the university curriculum. The researcher aimed to learn from real practice through acting as a facilitator for curriculum development in EfS within an interdisciplinary group of academic staff members. A critical friend position was also acquired within a community of practice to implement a programme which attempted to embed sustainability within the student experience. The I3E model identifies four overarching components that can support universities in their aim to embed EfS within the undergraduate curriculum. These integrated components are: Inform the university community about sustainability; Engage the different university stakeholders in the change process towards sustainability; Empower individuals and groups to make change happen within their sphere of influence and action; and Embed sustainability within existing university structures.

Keywords: Education for sustainability, organisational change, higher education, action research, model, academics

http://ow.ly/7z96303wf32
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