Understanding the grade V students’ ecological identity in Karachi and helping them in enhancing their ecological consciousness
Date of Award
Master of Philosophy in Education
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
In recent time, climate catastrophe has trounced every part of the world and Pakistan is one of the most badly affected geographies. Human actions and behaviour are considered responsible factors for environmental degradation. The qualitative action research (AR) explores the understanding and enhancing Grade V students’ ecological identity and consciousness in Karachi, Pakistan. This study aims to reestablish significance in a time of climate catastrophe and to ensure a sustainable life on earth and the future of relevant education. The proposed cyclic model of AR method aims to intervene to enhance their environmental consciousness and sense of place by employing place-based education (PBE) in Social Studies (SSt) classroom. Further, the employed design not only helps to improve the existing situations but also my teaching and learning practices as a reflective teacher in the classroom setting. The research site was selected purposively because of its purpose-built environment with an inclusive approach of coexistence with nature. Further, 10 grade V students were selected as primary participants randomly, to record interviews and conduct focus group discussions (FGDs) because it was not possible to maintain the data of 46 students in short span. Although, the rest of the students were part of the activities inclusively. The data were collected by interviews, FGDs, observations, document reviews and maintained a reflective journal. The data were thematically analyzed in two stages. Therefore, this study makes distinct contributions to the nascent field of integrated environmental education. The reconnaissance stage data reveals that conventional teaching and learning practices in SSt classrooms ignore children's real-life experiences result in eco-phobia, lack of awareness and a detachment and aversion towards nature and often a treatment towards nature as a nuisance. Lastly, NC does not provide any explicit benchmarks and standards to integrate EE at grade V level. These findings guided the action stage planning. In six week, twelve sessions were conducted. The analysed data reveals the application of PBE in SSt classroom has a positive impact on a child’s understanding of ecological identity and consciousness. A marked interest in both curiosity and the connection with nature was witnessed through guided visits to the garden and green spaces of the school. This shows that even a six-week intervention can show a marked improved in the understanding of local ecological identity and larger environmental consciousness among young students. Therefore, I recommend SSt teachers to take the challenge of employing PBE in their classrooms to attain the objectives of planetary citizenship.
Khatoon, N. (2019). Understanding the grade V students’ ecological identity in Karachi and helping them in enhancing their ecological consciousness (Unpublished doctoral thesis). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.