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A Collection of Studies Conducted in Education about "Global Warming" Problem*

Article excerpt

Abstract

The studies global warming problem conducted in education discipline in the world and in Turkey were analysed for this study. The literature was reviewed extensively especially through the articles in the indexed journals of Ebsco Host, Science Direct, Taylor and Francis and Web of Science databases and this study was conducted according to the descriptive method. 62 scientific publications about global warming which were published between the years 1992 and 2009 were included in the research. The articles obtained as a result of this review process were analyzed by taking the aims, results and the education levels into consideration. As a result of the research, some studies which didn't complement one another both in the world and in Turkey were encountered. However, for the most part the studies conducted had similar purposes and they had the same results. Descriptive studies introduced that similar misconceptions related to global warming existed in all levels of education and the media had negative effects during this process. Experimental studies revealed that the education methods where the students are active, visual materials and social activities outside the school were more effective methods in educating more conscious students about global warming.

Key Words

Global warming, Greenhouse Effect, Environment Education

Phenomenon such as the rapid population growth, industrialisation, urbanisation, and exploitation of natural resources implicitly cause a lot of negative effects on natural balance and these problems cause environmental problems to occur (Yildiz, Sipahioglu, & Yilmaz, 2000). Global warming is the primary environmental issue that is encountered today. Global warming can be defined as the gradual increase in the earth's surface temperature because greenhouse gases, such as CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), H2O (water vapor), and fluorinated gases let the heat from the Sun into the atmosphere but partially prevent the heat escape back into the atmosphere (Lynas, 2008). Global warming, which causes the climate system change as a result of the greenhouse effect is the most important environmental issue which emerged because of the human beings (scientific, political, economic and ethical fields) and it is a much debated question of the 21st century (Schreiner, Henriksen, & Hansen, 2005). Global warming affects not only the countries which cause the release of these gases but also all the regions on the earth. When the recent past is analysed, a lot of devastating natural events have been witnessed in a lot of continents ranging from America to Europe, Asia to Antarctica. The increase in the number and in the strength of hurricanes and typhoons in the States and Japan, the rapid melting of glaciers at the poles, fighting floods in the south of Asia, the unexpected destruction caused by the forest fires in Australia led to the deathes of a lot of people and a considerable amount of material damage (Lynas, 2008).

There is not only political, economic and technological search for the solutions of environmental problems such as global warming but also the increasing number of the educated individuals who are aware of environmental problems and who know which precautions to be taken to prevent them is extremely important. Therefore, "environmental education investment" made for our children must be perceived as an investment made for the world (Atasoy & Ertürk, 2008; Bozkurt & Cansüngü, 2002; Yilmaz, Morgil, Aktug, & Göbekli, 2002).

When a lot of descriptive and experimental studies conducted in the world and Turkey are taken into consideration, it is considered that the collection of these studies under common terms after being analysed will fill the gap in the literature and pave the way for the other studies to be conducted. The studies which were carried out in the world and in Turkey and which were indexed by the journals of important databases were analysed for this study and it was done so with the purpose of informing students and forming a conscious society. …