ERG SES F 09, Parallel Session F 09
By increasing population and developing technology, human beings started to govern the environment according to their own profit. Therefore, the balance between human beings and environment started being destroyed. Destroyed ecological balance increased the occurrence rate of some environmental problems such as; erosion, extinction of species, desertification, acid rains, starves, poverty, radioactive pollution, etc. (Erol and Gezer, 2006). In the 20th century, rapid population increase, industrialization, urbanization and developing technology cause soil, air, water pollution and a decrease in the number of natural lands (Buhan, 2006). In rural surroundings, direct daily contact with the basic natural resources was prevalent, especially within man’s immediate environment. As man became progressively urbanized, his intimate association and interaction with natural resources diminished and, with it his awareness of his dependency on them (Stapp et al., 1969).
If citizens are not aware of what the environmental problems are and do not have positive attitudes toward environment; any restriction, environmental law or universal agreement can help to prevent environment from depletion. There are many solutions suggested for environmental problems; however, the most reasonable one is prevent them before they arise. Prerequisite for this, which is accepted for many authorities, is environmental education (Şimşekli, 2004). Environmental education is aimed at producing a citizenry that is knowledgeable concerning the biophysical environment and its associated problems, aware of how to help solve these problems, and motivated to work toward their solution (Stapp et al., 1969). Environmental education is based on environment and protecting natural resources (Şimşekli, 2004).
Protecting natural resources is very important for protecting world and for future generations. Environment started to warn human beings; if resources are not used economically, there will be no chance for the next generations to survive in the near future. Therefore, sustainable development gained much importance. Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED, 1987). Education for sustainable development is recognized as the most promising approach to increase environmental literacy and awareness, and to produce a logical knowledge base on which people can make intelligent decisions to protect the environment.
Environmental education (EE) and education of sustainable development (ESD) are very important to make people environmentally literate and gain positive behaviors toward environment. Therefore, schools and universities should give much importance to EE and ESD and should make students environmentally literate people. However, at first educators should be well equipped. Tuncer et al. (2009) argued that teachers will produce students who are environmentally literate when they are themselves environmentally knowledgeable, have positive attitudes towards the environment and show concern for environmental problems. The aim of this research is to examine pre-service elementary teachers’ knowledge and attitudes toward environment.
The research questions of this study;
1. How is pre-service elementary teachers’ knowledge in Turkey?
2. How is pre-service elementary teachers’ attitude about environment and sustainable development in Turkey?
3. How much sensitive are physical and educational properties of different universities toward environment in Turkey?
Buhan, B. (2006). Okul öncesinde görev yapan öğretmenlerin çevre bilinci ve bu okullardaki çevre eğitiminin araştırılması. Unpublished Master Thesis. The Institute of Social Sciences , Marmara University, İstanbul. Erol, G. H. & Gezer K. (2006). Teachers’ attitudes toward environment and environmental problems. International Journal Of Environmental and Science Education, 1 (1), 65-77. Esa, N. (2010). Environmental knowledge, attitude and practices of student teachers. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19(1), 39-50. Stapp, W. B. et al. (1969). The concept of environmental education. The Journal of Environmental Education, 1(1), 30-31. Şimşekli, Y. (2004). Çevre bilincinin geliştirilmesine yönelik çevre eğitimi etkinliklerine ilköğretim okullarının duyarlılığı. Uludağ Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi,17(1), 83-92. 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. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Our common future . Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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