Infusing environmental themes into existing primary in-service teacher education programs in science
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
Environmental education has become an important and growing area of educational research. Environmental education is dynamic, reflecting our growing understanding of our relationship with the environment. An environmental perspective allows students to understand the importance of science for the society and the environment, to develop a sense of inquiry, and to think creatively about the solutions to environmental problems. Teachers have a vital role in ensuring that environmental education is implemented effectively. One of the purposes of my research study was to explore the opportunities for environmental infusion in the existing Science teacher education program, and to understand the perceptions of a science teacher educator, of how he experienced the possibilities and challenges of environmental infusion in his teaching of science topics. My research was designed in a qualitative paradigm; within this paradigm, I employed action research. My primary sources of data were interviews, and classroom observations, together with secondary sources such as document analysis and unstructured conversations. Major findings from the study revealed that the science curriculum of in-service teachers' training program contains a fair amount of environmental content in it. Moreover, most of the concepts are knowledge based, and these topics lack the action skills of environmental education. These skills are needed by the learners to enable them to have a positive approach towards the environment, for the purpose of resolving, or helping to resolve, environmental issues. The study further indicated that infusing environmental content in science was very challenging because environmental issues are complex. Building a sufficient knowledge base of science teacher educators is very essential while discussing and handling environmental issues. In the light of the findings, the study recommended the infusion of environmental concepts in all subjects of teacher education. The study also recommended the training of teacher educators in environmental education, on a massive scale. Science-based environmental education is required at every level of education to take informed, effective, and on the spot decisions. The study recommended the incorporation of skills in science textbooks that would help learners to take initiatives about the solution of environmental problems.
Mughal, S. (2004). Infusing environmental themes into existing primary in-service teacher education programs in science (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
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