The Effect of Six Thinking Hats on Student Success in Teaching Subjects Related to Sustainable Development in Geography Classes

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of six thinking hats technique in teaching subjects related to sustainable development in geography classes. The study was in both a quantitative and qualitative form. The quantitative part of the study was designed according to pre-test, post-test control group research model, and in the qualitative part, answers given by students to interview questions were analyzed according to descriptive analysis method. The population of the study consisted of 650 students studying in Gaziantep Araban High School and the sample consisted of 36 students studying at 11th grade in the same school. The results of the study revealed that teaching techniques based on six thinking hats resulted in more positive results compared to other teaching techniques proposed in the curriculum.

Key Words

Geography Teaching, Sustainable Development, Six Thinking Hats Technique.

Environmental pollution that has emerged in local level in industrial cities first and then in regional, national and international level depending on factors such as rapid population increase, rapid urbanization and use of natural resources excessively and intensively as a result of advances in technology has become a threatening risk for next generations. The balance tried to be created between economy, society and environment after 1970s brought environment education and sustainable development concepts to forefront (Evin, 2005; Keles & Hamamci, 2005). The first comprehensive approach in international level about sustainable development was adopted in "United Nations Environment and Development Conference" held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. An agenda named Agenda 21 (21st century Agenda) was specified, in which interactions with environment were discussed (Güçlü, 2007, p. 2-3).

Sustainable development necessitates individuals to think globally and act locally. Individuals can acquire these skills with education organized for this purpose (Stengel, Liedtke, Baedeker, & Welfens; 2008). Parke (2010) and McKeown (2002) stated that, teaching individuals skills of acting in global sense of responsibility, being able to adapt to change, communicating effectively, proposing alternative solutions to problems, thinking critically and creatively is of great importance for a sustainable future.

Since factors such as increase in roles of international partners, the desire to possess energy sources, countries' efforts to make use of sources more effectively and removal of the negative effects of globalization require geography knowledge and point of view, geography teaching is becoming more and more important (Incekara, 2009), because geography is a science that is in connection with interdisciplines and disciplines, requires cooperation, use of multi-media and critical thinking, is contemporary enriched with implementation and method, is related to behavior change and has value education (Heinecke, 2009, p. 29). Human, environment and economy that are the main components of education are key for sustainable development and the basis of geography is to assess relationships and interactions of these components (Alkis, 2009, p. 46). By teaching social, economic and environmental changes through geography education, living in harmony with nature can be ensured (Demirci, 2006). Sustainable development education has become an integral part of geography education in many countries (Alkis & Öztürk, 2007). Luzern declaration (2007) pointed out to the importance of having knowledge and understanding, skills, attitudes and values for sustainable development. Despite similarities, geography education is carried out in different classroom environments and by following different teaching methods in the world (Tas, 2007). Because of changing perceptions in education, students are now not only learning knowledge, but also producing it through multi-directional, abstract, critical and independent thinking (Özden, 2005). …