30 SES 04 B, Investigations on Pre-service Science Teachers' Views
The world had faced many challenges and issues throughout its history however current problems we encounter today are mainly the results of the human activities. Ozone layer depletion, global climate change, extinction, deforestation, air pollution and water scarcity caused a huge impact on our realization of the problems and resulted in global interventions. In addition to environmental problems, there are social and economic issues such as inequality of wealth, oppression on women, social insecurity, immigration, and wars. Hence, current understanding of development and our interaction with environment requires a new strategy to ensure both natural balance and development, and to provide equal opportunity and prosperity for everyone (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1993).
With the efforts of United Nations, sustainable development (SD) has been suggested to achieve “fulfillment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future” (UNCED, 1993, p. 15). Although it is hard to define the term because of its inclusive nature, sustainable development is stated as; “a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, p. 43). The term should be thought as a paradigm for thinking about a future in which environmental, economic and social considerations are balanced in the pursuit of development and improved quality of life (McKeown, Hopkins, Rizzi, & Chrystalbridge, 2006). Reorientation of education is required, and steps are taken by many countries to shape their education system by including Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in their curriculums (McKeown et al., 2006).
In light of the general purpose of chemistry curriculum, it is expected to include learning objectives that would support those aims. Hence, this study is directed toward understanding the inclusion of ESD and aspects of SD in Secondary School Chemistry Curriculum of Turkey (2013-2018).
Reorienting existing educational programmes to address sustainability was expected from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Member States during the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), and Secondary School Chemistry Curriculum has been updated in 2013 by National Ministry of Education of Turkey (MEB). Investigating the inclusion of ESD in updated chemistry curriculum is required to assess the overall inclusion of ESD in Turkish education programme. A literature review of the subject showed the research gap in the area of curriculum analysis of chemistry education in terms of ESD. Furthermore, Global Action Programme (GAP) seeks to accelerate progress toward SD by extending good examples of ESD in a global level. Hence, it is essential to analyze the current state of the curriculum in order to contribute to and benefit from the international practices.
The purpose of this qualitative study is to reveal the inclusion of learning objectives that reflect Education for Sustainable Development in the Secondary School Chemistry Curriculum of Turkey employed between 2013 and 2018.
The study addresses the three research questions given below;
1. Which objectives of Secondary School Chemistry Curriculum of Turkey (2013-2018) are related to ESD?
2. Which aspects of Sustainable Development are reflected through ESD related objectives in Secondary School Chemistry Curriculum of Turkey (2013-2018)?
3. How are the ESD related objectives of the Secondary School Chemistry Curriculum of Turkey (2013-2018) reflected in the chemistry textbooks approved by the Ministry of National Education?
This study employs qualitative content analysis as a mean for the method, and expert opinion is employed to ensure reliability. Further analysis and reconsideration of the draft are achieved through meetings with the experts. The discussions in the meetings served the research as expert opinions. Before the analysis, a literature review is conducted to designate the framework for coding. Dimensions of Sustainable Development are agreed upon, and the concepts under each dimension are determined. As a result, environmental, economic and social aspects are used as categories for coding the objectives of the curriculum and the content of the textbooks by the researcher and the experts. During the data analysis, operational definitions of environmental, economic and social aspects are used, and subcategories in each aspect emerged as the analysis continue. Secondary Science Chemistry Curriculum of Turkey published by the MEB is used the sample for the content analysis. The unit of analysis is determined to be the objectives and the objective annotations. The objectives of the two levels of the curriculum, Fundamental Level and Advanced Level, coded together and the objectives that are related to ESD are marked. The results of the first analysis are regarded as the Draft: ESD Related Objectives. Then, the results of the first analysis are investigated by the experts and agreement on the final version of ESD related objectives are achieved. Final: ESD Related Objectives is used as a base to answer Research Question 1. The final version of ESD related objectives are coded into three categories; environmental, economic and social aspects, and the results are used as a base to answer Research Question 2. The chemistry course textbooks of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades approved by MEB were used as the sample for content analysis. The unit of analysis is determined to be the ESD related content of the book including figures, graphs, and tables, besides texts. First, the contents of the textbooks were marked in terms of their relevance to ESD, afterward, ESD related contents were matched with Final: ESD Related Objectives obtained from the first part of the analysis. The results of the analysis were regarded as Draft: ESD Related Excerpts. The expert opinion on draft obtained through meetings and emails, and agreement on the final version of ESD related content. Final: ESD Related Excerpts coded into three categories and results are reported with the related ESD related objective from the curriculum.
The findings of the study show that inclusion of ESD related objectives in Fundamental Level Chemistry Curriculum and Advanced Level Chemistry Curriculum are imbalanced. There aren’t any ESD related objectives in Advanced Level Chemistry Curriculum while there are 14 ESD related objectives in the Fundamental Level Chemistry Curriculum. Since both levels have general aims that are in alignment with ESD, either the general aims of Advanced Level Chemistry Curriculums need to be reconsidered or the inclusion of ESD related objectives in Fundamental and Advanced Level Chemistry Curriculums needs to be improved. The objectives are diverse in reflecting the aspects of Sustainable Development, however, the focus on the environmental aspect is prevalent. Greenhouse effect, global warming, harmful effects of fossil fuel consumption, ozone layer depletion, threats to biodiversity, and environmental pollution are the dominant concepts extracted from the curriculum and textbooks. Even though social and economic aspects are reflected while introducing the environmental issues, the content that solely contributes to the social or economic aspect of SD is limited. The content that reflects ESD and matches with the objectives of the curriculum in 9th grade is dispersed in the 9th grade textbook. The ESD related content in 10th grade is focused in the fourth unit, Chemistry is Everywhere. Including a comprehensive unit in both curriculum and textbook rich with ESD related objectives and content reflects EE history. Despite EE, ESD requires a comprehensive implementation rather than one unit solves all integration. There are ESD related contexts in the 11th and 12th grade textbooks that reflect the environmental, economic and social aspects of SD, however, there isn’t any ESD related objective in the same grade level to match the content with the objective. Yet the contradiction between objectives of the curriculum and the content of the textbook favors the inclusion of ESD.
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