Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Development and Implementation of an Instructional Design for Effective Teaching of Ecosystem, Biodiversity, and Environmental Issues

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Development and Implementation of an Instructional Design for Effective Teaching of Ecosystem, Biodiversity, and Environmental Issues

Article excerpt

Ecological problems grow with each passing day. Therefore, more importance should be attached to educational activities about environmental subjects and concepts. Education plays a great role in implementing national and international policies for preventing environmental issues and achieving their targets aside from determining such policies. According to Özkan (2008a), all segments of society should be informed about protecting natural resources and ensuring environmental sustainability. Moreover, it is reported that if awareness of biodiversity and ecodiversity is not achieved, it will not be possible to put the acquired knowledge and conscience into practice (Özkan, 2008b). This being the case, environmental education, especially in the early years, is of vital importance for environmental protection and environmental awareness. It is evident that providing education on humanity and their environment will allow the development of positive environmental attitudes, environmental conscientiousness, and environmental awareness. According to Çepel (2006), environmental education provides students with environmental ethics, which may prevent the emergence of many ecological imbalances and environmental issues, and teaches them to feel conscientiously dutiful and compulsory by having them notice their personal responsibilities for the maintenance of an inhabitable environment.

Ecosystem, biodiversity, and environmental issues, which are among the basic concepts of environmental education, are covered in the 7th grade "Humanity and the Environment" unit within the Science and Technology Curriculum of 2005. This curriculum was revised in 2013, and the course name was changed to "Science." The abovementioned subjects are still covered within the 7th grade "Humanity and the Environment" unit. The Science Curriculum of 2013 is being put into practice gradually. It will start to be implemented in the 7th grade as of the 2015-2016 academic year (Talim ve Terbiye Kurulu Baçkanligi [TTKB], 2013). Tables 1, 2, and 3 present the objectives associated with ecosystem, biodiversity, and environmental issues, which are three of the subjects covered within the 2005 and 2013 curricula.

The literature contains research that shows there are problems with environmental education, which is expected to play an active role in the development of environmental knowledge, positive environmental attitudes, and positive environmental behaviors. There are few studies that indicate students have moderate knowledge of environmental concepts and environmental issues (Yurttaç & Sülün, 2010) while there are many studies showing that they have inadequate knowledge about them (Atasoy & Ertürk, 2008; Erduran Avci & Darçm, 2009; Gökdere, 2005; Kuhlemeier, Bergh, & Lagerweij, 1999; Uluçmar Sagir, Aslan, & Cansaran, 2008). On the other hand, many studies report that students have misconceptions on subjects about the environment (Adeniyi, 1985; Bell, 1985; Griffiths & Grant, 1985; Munson, 1994; Özkan, Tekkaya, & Geban, 2004; Özata Yücel & Özkan, 2015), have low cognition of environmental concepts, and fail to correctly construct close relations between these concepts in their minds (Özata Yücel & Özkan, 2015). Kuhlemeier et al. (1999) stated that students do not have adequate, environmentally-responsible behaviors and Littledyke (2004) mentioned that students fail to comprehend basic ideas and relations which would allow them to make knowledge-based judgments on environmental issues. Uluçmar Sagir et al. (2008) said that students do not take part in environmental activities enough, do not have enough awareness of problems in their immediate environment, and fail to propose solutions to these problems. Aguirre-Bielschowsky, Freeman, and Vass (2012) found out that students cannot see the relationship of environmental problems with human activities or social events. Such lack of knowledge and interest among students poses an obstacle to a heightened development of environmental awareness (Erdogan & U? …

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