ERG SES D 06, Education and Pre-Service Teachers
Developing of technology, industry, and increasing human population have led to increase effect of environmental problems. In order to reduce the impact of these problems, governments or non-governmental organizations have taken a series of measures. For example, it is aimed to educate students as environmentally literate individuals from primary education to university education. Environmental literacy refers to become aware of environmental systems and take appropriate precautions to protect, maintain, or improve those systems. An environmentally literate person can realize consequences of human effects to ecology. In order to protect the environment from the negative consequences of those effects, he or she is a person who takes education or follows environmental activities for more sustainable future (Strauss,1996). Well educated graduates students or pre-service teachers can become a role model to future generations in the social life and professional life as an environmentally literate person (Strauss, 1996; Teksöz, Şahin, & Ertepınar, 2010). Environmental education is very important in this respect for university students to meet need of environmental activities, practices, and new approaches (Teksöz et al., 2010; Thomas et al., 1999).
In the literature, there are some studies to determine pre-service teachers' environmental literacy. Moody, Alkaff, Garrison, and Golley (2005) conducted a study to determine environmental literacy requirement of university students. The result of the study showed that students and faculty support were willing to enhance their environmental knowledge. In another study with university students, Kaplowitz and Levine (2005) compared with graduate students and U.S. citizens outside of university for determining their level of environmental literacy knowledge. According to the result of the study, general public had lower levels of environmental knowledge than graduates. Knowledge of university students also accessed the 8 correct respond in 11 questions. Another similar study was conducted by Tuncer et al., (2009) to evaluate pre-service teachers' environmental literacy in terms of environmental knowledge, attitude towards environment, environmental uses, and concern for supporting teacher education programs. The results of the study showed that 49% of the pre-service teachers had a passing environmental knowledge grade (8 or more in the 11), and pre-service teachers had a positive attitudes toward environment and eco-centric worldview. In addition, pre-service teachers were mostly worried by poor drinking water quality, indoor air pollution, ozone depletion and global warming. The similar results were found a study conducted by Teksöz et al., (2010) with pre-service teachers in the four public universities. Pre-service teachers had inadequate level of environmental knowledge but they had a positive environmental awareness.
In light of the studies mentioned above, the purpose of this study was to determine pre-service teachers' level of environmental literacy (knowledge, attitude, uses, and concern) in the faculty of education. Assessing pre-service teachers' environmental knowledge, attitude toward environment, environmental uses, and concern about problems may support to the studies conducted in the environmental literacy. The study also investigated the effect of pre-service teachers' department on their environmental literacy. Within this framework, the following problems were identified;
What is the environmental literacy level of pre-service teachers in the different departments (elementary science, mathematics, pre-school, classroom teaching, Turkish teaching, and social sciences teaching)?
Are there any differences between pre-service teachers' departments in terms of level of environmental literacy?
Kaplowitz, M. D. & Levine, R. (2005). How environmental knowledge measures up at a big ten university. Environmental Education Research 11, 143–160. Moody, G., Alkaff, H., Garrison, D., & Golley, F. (2005). Assessing the environmental literacy requirement at the University of Georgia. The Journal of Environmental Education , (36) 4, 3-9. Strauss, B. H. (1996). The Class of 2000 Report: environmental education, practices and activism on campus. New York, Nathan Cummings Foundation. Teksöz, G., Şahin, E., & Ertepınar, H. (2010). Environmental literacy, pre-service teachers, and a sustainable future. H. U. Journal of Education 39, 307-320. Thomas, I., Kyle, L., & Alvarez, A. (1999). Environmental education across the curriculum: a process, Environmental Education Research, 5(3), pp. 319–337. Tuncer, G., Tekkaya, C., Sungur S., Cakiroglu J., Ertepinar H., & Kaplowitz, M. (2009). Assessing pre-service teachers’ environmental literacy in Turkey as a mean to develop teacher education programs. International Journal of Educational Development 29, 426–436.
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