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Cultivating the Ecological Conscience: Smith, Orr, and Bowers on Ecological Education

Description: During the past two decades, one of the positive developments in academia has been the emergence of a sizable literature pertaining to ecological education-the theory and practice of preparing children and adults alike for ecologically responsible citizenship. Gregory A. Smith, David W. Orr, and C. A. Bowers are three of the more prolific writers in the field. Smith critiques modern primary and secondary education and argues for, and paints a picture of, an alternative "green pedagogy" that seeks to inculcate in students strong community and ecological values. Orr focuses on the social and ethical problems associated with the environmental crisis and the changes that colleges and universities need to make in order to become propagators of, rather than impediments to, a widespread diffusion of ecological literacy. Bowers emphasizes the role that ecologically problematic modern cultural assumptions play in blinkering the ecological vision of most educational theorists and in preventing the flowering of an eco-justice pedagogy. Each writer seeks the transformation of both education and culture with a view toward realizing ecological sustainability, strong communities, social justice, and moral edification. They neglect or ignore some important subjects, including animal welfare ethics, politics, and corporate influence on governments.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Hoelscher, David W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of a Laboratory-based, In-context, Constructivist Teaching Approach on Preservice Teachers' Science Knowledge and Teaching Efficacy.

Description: This study began with a concern about elementary teachers, as a whole, avoiding the teaching of science in the elementary classroom. The three main factors noted as reasons for this avoidance were: (1) minimum science requirements to reach certification, leading to a lack of preparedness; (2) lack of exposure to science in elementary school; and (3) general dislike for and understanding of science leading to a low self-efficacy in science teaching. The goal of the Environmental Science Lab for Elementary Educators (ESLEE) was to conduct an intervention. The intervention was lab-based and utilized in-context, constructivist approaches to positively influence participants' abilities to retain science content knowledge and to affect their belief in themselves as teachers. This intervention was created to respond to all three of the main avoidance factors noted above. The research utilized a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest control group design. Two pretests and two posttests (science teaching efficacy and content knowledge) were given to all 1,100 environmental science lab students at the participating institution over two long semesters. Three experimental/control groups were formed from this population. The Experimental Group was comprised of 46 students who participated in the ESLEE Intervention. Control Group 1 was comprised of 232 self-described preservice educators (SDPEEs) in "regular" labs. Control Group 2 was comprised of 62 nonSDPEEs taught by ESLEE instructors in "regular" lab settings. A DM MANOVA was used to analyze the data. The results demonstrated that the ESLEE Intervention was statistically significant at the p> .05 level for science teaching efficacy between the Experimental Group and Control Group 1, and was statistically significant for both content knowledge and efficacy between the Experimental Group and Control Group 2. More notably, the effect size (delta) results ranged from .19 to .71 and .06 to .55 (partial eta squared) and demonstrated the practical significance of implementing ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Thompson, Ruthanne
Partner: UNT Libraries