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The integration of biodiversity education in the initial education of primary school teachers: four comparative case studies from Europe


Lindemann-Matthies, P; Constantinou, C; Junge, X; Köhler, K; Mayer, J; Nagel, U; Raper, G; Schüle, D; Kadji-Beltran, C (2009). The integration of biodiversity education in the initial education of primary school teachers: four comparative case studies from Europe. Environmental Education Research, 15(1):17-37.

Abstract

In this article, we present results from an international research study on biodiversity education in pre-service education of primary school teachers. The study was carried out between 2004–2006 in four teacher education institutions in Cyprus, England, Switzerland and Germany. We used document analyses and indepth interviews with 27 teacher educators and 22 student teachers to examine the
integration of biodiversity into the pre-service teacher education programmes, andthe student teachers' satisfaction with their respective education. In all teacher education institutions, aspects of biodiversity education were integrated mostly in the natural science modules which provided students at least with some information on the scientific aspects of biodiversity. Few modules included aspects of the controversial nature of biodiversity conservation in relation to economics, ethics, social and political concerns, and methodological approaches on how to
deal with this. In the institutions in Cyprus, England and Germany the teaching focus was content-oriented, whereas in Switzerland a situated method-oriented approach was used. The student teachers in Switzerland felt more confident to
teach about biodiversity in school. All interviewees thought it necessary to prepare primary school student teachers on how to address biodiversity in schools, and
strategies on how best to achieve this are critically discussed.

In this article, we present results from an international research study on biodiversity education in pre-service education of primary school teachers. The study was carried out between 2004–2006 in four teacher education institutions in Cyprus, England, Switzerland and Germany. We used document analyses and indepth interviews with 27 teacher educators and 22 student teachers to examine the
integration of biodiversity into the pre-service teacher education programmes, andthe student teachers' satisfaction with their respective education. In all teacher education institutions, aspects of biodiversity education were integrated mostly in the natural science modules which provided students at least with some information on the scientific aspects of biodiversity. Few modules included aspects of the controversial nature of biodiversity conservation in relation to economics, ethics, social and political concerns, and methodological approaches on how to
deal with this. In the institutions in Cyprus, England and Germany the teaching focus was content-oriented, whereas in Switzerland a situated method-oriented approach was used. The student teachers in Switzerland felt more confident to
teach about biodiversity in school. All interviewees thought it necessary to prepare primary school student teachers on how to address biodiversity in schools, and
strategies on how best to achieve this are critically discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:biodiversity education; education for sustainable development; initial teacher education; case studies
Language:English
Date:February 2009
Deposited On:19 Mar 2009 11:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:11
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1350-4622
Publisher DOI:10.1080/13504620802613496
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-17849

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