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Let’s save the bees! An environmental activism initiative in elementary school.
Case Study

Pedro Reis

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  • 6
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  • 25+

Let’s save the bees! An environmental activism initiative in elementary school.

English

Portugal

Science education research emphasizes the need to engage students in socio-scientific issues, empowering them to act in a substantiated manner. This study aims to understand the potential of a collective action initiative, focused on the decreasing honey production issue, and on the students’ empowerment for action. A qualitative research methodology was used with an interpretative stance. The participants were 26 3rd grade students and their teacher. Data was collected from the students written documents, and through an interview with the teacher. Results show that students’ engagement in collective action focused on the decreasing honey production issue, required them to mobilize their scientific knowledge to support their actions, as well as the development of several other competences. Students also became aware of the importance, for every citizen, to substantiate their knowledge in order to act, that acting is crucial to overcome issues that may persist and impact future generations, and that only by engaging in action can change take place. Another highlight was the students’ strong engagement in collective action, allowing them to raise awareness this issue in their local community.

Research Article

Erkan Cermik

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  • 12
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  • 16

Developing Environmental Citizenship Knowledge Test and Determining the Knowledge Levels of Secondary School Students

Turkish

Turkey

In this study, a theoretical, valid and reliable knowledge test was developed to measure the knowledge dimension of environmental citizenship in secondary school students. In addition, environmental knowledge levels of secondary school students were examined. The data were collected from a total of 255 secondary school students studying in the seventh and eighth grade1 . Within the framework of environmental citizenship, a multiple-choice knowledge test consisting of 45 items was prepared in accordance with Bloom's taxonomy considering the secondary school environmental curriculum standards. As a result of the item and test statistics using the Classical Test Theory, items with item difficulty and item discrimination indexes at the desired level were selected. Content validity was taken into consideration in the selection of the item. As a result of the analysis, Environmental Citizenship Knowledge Test consisting of 25 items with average difficulty value of 0.54 and average discrimination value of 0.57 was obtained. The internal reliability coefficient of the test (KR20) was determined to be 0.85. Findings showed that secondary school students' level of knowledge about the dissolution time of different substances in nature is low. The sub-dimension, where the students have the highest level of knowledge, is the Mindful Consumption-Conscious Consumer sub-dimension. However, it has been observed that knowledge levels on global warming and greenhouse effect are lower than other subdimensions. The fact that the lowest level of knowledge is the behavior towards environmental protection emphasizes the importance of environmental citizenship education. The test developed in the study is a valid and reliable scale to measure the knowledge dimension of environmental citizenship levels of secondary school students.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 13
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  • 25+

Environmental crime on the coast

Greek

Cyprus

This one-day program includes the participation of students in a series of activities with theoretical and practical direction and is based on the pedagogical methodology of problem solving. It is organized in such way as to support the understanding of environmental concepts and issues by anchoring students in an exciting learning adventure for them. Mission: Students arrive on the Coast and are informed that as members of the “Department of Environmental Crimes Investigation” they are called upon to solve a crime involving the area. Solving the mystery requires students to go through different document collection stations, to evaluate testimonies by participating in various experiential activities. Creation of sand dunes: Students drawing information from scientific articles, tables of abiotic factors and study of specific life factors, know the ecosystem of dunes and study how to create and develop them through experimental and playful way. Food webs: Students, using the evidence they collect about the food relationships of Coastal organisms, discover the Food webs of the Coast. Thus, they delve deeper into the concepts of food relationships, while at the same time recognizing organisms in the area and their relationships with each other. The effect of garbage: Students study and discover various presumptions that are related to the time of decomposition of different waste and their effect on the Coastal ecosystem. Through the data they collect and activities related to their rate of deconstruction, students wake up environmentally and realize the effects that anthropogenic waste can have on natural ecosystems. The coast and the humans: Students identify and study various presumptions that are directly related to the presence of human on the Coast and the consequences of anthropogenic activities in the ecosystem. They explore and outline human’s relationship with the shores. Solving the Problem: The data collected and answered specific questions that help the students in solving the mystery unfolding on the Coast are processed. They understand the importance of sustainable coastal management and protection and develop environmentally friendly attitudes and values. Action: Students returning to their school are asked to continue their action at the individual and collective level (class, school, community) to protect the coasts.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 6
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  • 18

Biodiversity: The diversity of life

Greek

Cyprus

This daylong program is based on a sequence of activities that give emphasis both on theoretical and practical aspects as well as on the aspects of the expression and evaluation. It is organized in such a way that supports the conceptual development of students on both environmental concepts and issues and at the same time, its design enables a smooth transition from the simple to the complex, from the familiar to the unfamiliar and from the easiest to the most difficult. 1. Mission Students receive at their schools a letter from the educators of the Environmental Center. This letter invites students to compete to the “Game of Life” so as to enrich their knowledge and to win prizes. 2. What is biodiversity? Students, at the first two rounds, by watching a short documentary and creating a poster, they gradually develop an understanding of biodiversity as well as of the three levels of biodiversity. 3.What’s the value/importance of biodiversity? Students, at the third round of the game, through an entertaining pantomime, are asked to present to their students or to guess by watching their students, the reasons that render biodiversity important. 4.Why is biodiversity threatened? At the fourth round, students, by participating into a theatrical game, they are asked through a role-play in order to discover all the dangers that threaten biodiversity and lead gradually into its reduction. 5.What can we do about biodiversity? At the next two rounds of the game, students by watching a short presentation and by participating into an experiential game, the led into the attitudes and behaviors that human should develop so as to contribute for the protection of biodiversity. 6. Summing Up At the last round of the game students are asked to participate into a quiz concerning biodiversity. In that way, students sum up everything that they have learned about biodiversity during their visit.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 6
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  • 18

Recycling, 5R: Sustainable Consumption

Greek

Cyprus

This daylong program includes the participation in a sequence of activities that give emphasis both on theoretical and practical aspects and it is based on the methodology of decision making. It is organized in a way that supports the understanding of environmental concepts and through a hooking mission introduces students in issues related with the recycling and the sustainable consumption. 1. Mission. Students’ mission is to visit the mini-shop that has been set up at our Environmental Center, especially for the needs of this program, in order to buy the products they need for preparing a pic-nic. However; before their visit at our mini-shop students are asked to participate in a sequence of activities in order to complete a mysterious circular diagram which will reveal to them a “Green Code”, necessary for their shopping. 2. Studying the products and the raw materials. Students learn that for the production of several products different raw materials are used coming from several natural ecosystems. 3. Reuse. Students develop their crearivity and imagination as they seek and discover different constructions and ways to use of an item. 4. Recycle. Students study and sort out rubbish and waste at the recycle bins. In addition, the learn about the process of recycling through a more experiential way – by making recycled paper. 5. Refuse. In this activity students learn to reject the purchase of a product if the material from which is constructed in not environmental-friendly. 6. Reduce. Students study several packages as well the amount of rubbish resulting from these and thus they realize the need to find alternatives through which will reduce the volume of garbage. 7. Green Code. At this point, students are ready to complete the mysterious circular diagram, prioritizing first the 4Rs. 8. Eco-shopping . Having in their hands the circular diagram with the green code, students visit the mini-shop, they make decisions, they shop ecologically and they prepare for their pic-nic.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 6
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  • 18

The land of the Salt Lakes

Greek

Cyprus

This daylong program is based on a sequence of activities that give emphasis both on theoretical and practical aspects as well as on the aspects of the expression and evaluation. It is organized in such a way that supports the conceptual development of students on both environmental concepts and issues and at the same time, its design enables a smooth transition from the simple to the complex, from the familiar to the unfamiliar and from the easiest to the most difficult. 1. The lake, a unique ecosystem. Students are gathered into a special screening room where they have the opportunity to watch an excellent eco-documentary entitled Akrotiri Peninsula – An Environmental Tour created by the CYCERE as an introduction to its programs. Through an interactive discussion concepts related with the Salt Lake are highlighted and are discussed. In addition, the role and the functions of the Salt Lake are considered into the framework of the culture and the human societies. The emphasis of the program is focused on the flora and the fauna adaptations to the salinity of the Salt Lake. The pressures and the threats that the Salt Lakes receives are also considered and the need for conservation through appropriate environmental management practices as well as the adoption of attitudes and behaviors friendly to the environment are also stressed. 2. Study and discover. Students study and discover the variety of organisms found in the salt marshes. They are organized in groups and they are asked to solve a problematic situation. Students observe, record, collect samples and make measurements of biotic and abiotic factors at some stations around the lake. 3. The salt lake and the man. Students are gathered in the ecology laboratory where they observe through stereoscopes and microscopes, they plan and execute experiments, they analyze data and compare their results. They discuss their concerns that arise and they draw conclusions. In addition, they Investigate the relationship between the man and the ecosystem of the salt lake and they model populations using computer software. They understand the need for sustainable management of the salt lake developing positive attitudes and values towards the environment. 4. Expression – Evaluation. Students participate in artistic activities and in activities of creative expression. At this time, the program is also evaluated.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 13
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  • 18

Tracer Readers: Mystery at the lake

Greek

Cyprus

According to the program, the students work in groups of two as to research an environmental issue associated to the reduction of the Mallard population of the Despotic Lake. Specifically, the students are transformed into “Tracers” and aim at collecting information and data from different digital characters and through measurements from the lake ecosystem as to solve the problem. During the activity each group shares a tablet with GPS application. The application activates files, images, videos and data associated to the environmental research depending on the geographical position of the user motivating the students to interact with the natural environment and learn more about it.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 6
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  • 18

Traditional uses of Cyprus plants

Greek

Cyprus

This daylong program is based on a sequence of activities that give emphasis both on theoretical and practical aspects as well as on the aspects of the expression and evaluation. It is organized in such a way that supports the conceptual development of students on both environmental concepts and issues and at the same time, its design enables a smooth transition from the simple to the complex, from the familiar to the unfamiliar and from the easiest to the most difficult. 1. The plants in our lifes. Students are gathered into a special screening room where they have the opportunity to watch an excellent eco-documentary entitled Akrotiri Peninsula – An Environmental Tour created by the CYCERE as an introduction to its programs. Through an interactive discussion concepts related with the traditional uses of plants are highlighted and are discussed. In addition, the role and the functions of the plants are considered into the framework of the culture and the human societies. The emphasis of the program is focused on the collection and the treatment processes of the plants. The need for conservation through appropriate environmental management practices as well as the adoption of attitudes and behaviors friendly to the environment is also highlighted. 2. Study and discover. Students study and discover the traditional uses of plants in Cyprus. Students are divided in groups and every group tries to achieve its own task through a well-designed game of hidden treasure. During the game students encounter riddles and surprises trying to collect the different elements needed for their task. 3. The need to preserve the traditional knowledge. .Students are gathered into the ecology laboratory where they organize and analyze their data in order to create a presentation to the other groups. In addition, students explore the relationship between man and the uses of plants. Finally, students understand the need to preserve the traditional knowledge associated with plants and develop positive attitudes and values towards the environment. 4. Expression – Evaluation. Students participate in artistic activities and in activities of creative expression. At this time, the program is also evaluated.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 6
  • To
  • 13

Vegetable gardens: Reflection, Collaboration, Action

Greek

Cyprus

This one-day program involves participation in a series of activities theoretically and practically directed. It is organized in such a way as to support the understanding of environmental concepts and issues while hooking the students into a fascinating educational adventure. Mission The students receive their mission by other students complaining about the tasteless and odorless vegetables they eat and thus the students decide to create a vegetable garden at the environmental centre. The student’s mission is to help with the caring of the vegetable garden found at the centre and to expand the vegetable garden of CYCERE’s by developing their own section within the vegetable garden. 2. Research, experiment and discover The students are asked through their research to collaborate in experiential activities and experiments as to give an answer to questions such as: What vegetable species should we plant in our garden? What soil is more appropriate for planting? Why is it important for vegetation to be found on the ground? How is a plant developed? What are the plant’s development stages? Planting and caring of the garden The students are asked to think about the caring required by a vegetable garden (watering, digging, removal of weeds, fighting plant diseases) and to take care of CYCERE’s garden. In addition, they are asked to decide through a debate if they will use some chemical substances for fighting the plant diseases (conventional agriculture) or if they will avoid the use of such substances (organic agriculture). Reflection The students return back to the Biology lab where the tree of veggie-wishes is presented. Each student receives a vegetable-shaped paper and is asked to write down thoughts, impressions and suggestions regarding the development of a vegetable garden. Afterwards, each group presents their thought and hangs the paper on the tree of veggie-wishes. After finishing this activity, the students participate in a quiz. Action Before returning back to school, the students are asked to think whether they would like to develop a vegetable garden at their school / house and to justify their opinion. Through this program, the cultivation of research skills through in situs observation, the conceptual comprehension and the environmental awareness of the students regarding the development and conservation of a vegetable garden are promoted through a holistic approach and experiential learning. The methodological approaches implemented are intertwined with the principles and the philosophy of Environmental Education and the Education for Sustainability also promoting group work and collaboration.

Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

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  • 9
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  • 14

Earthkeepers

Greek

Cyprus

The Earthkeepers program begins with an invitation from a mysterious character known as the E.M., inviting the students to visit the CYCERE (Earthkeepers Training Center) in order to become Earthkeepers. A few weeks later, students arrive in order to spend three days at the CYCERE Exploring the natural environment, students learn basic ecological concepts and try to earn the four K.E.Y.S. needed in order to become Earthkeepers. Knowledge Through a sequence of four activities, students understand that all of the things necessary for life can be found in an appropriate balance upon the Earth – sun, air, water and soil. They also learn that the flow of the sun energy and the materials recycling are responsible for the existence of all the life – including us. As the training continues, students become aware of the interdependence of everything as well as that everything we do effects many other parts of the systems of life. When students complete the four activities, they receive the K key (Knowledge). With this key, they open the first box (K box) in order to find out the first secret meaning of E.M. Experience Students through a sequence of activities, derive catalytic sensory experiences that transform the unfamiliar natural world in a familiar and intimate world by changing the perspectives of the participants and involving them directly with nature. Completing these activities participants receive the key E (Experience), in order to open the second secret box and learn the second secret meaning of E.M. When students get the first two keys then they become Apprentice Earthkeepers. However, the program has not been completed yet because the activities of students continue both at their schools and homes, in order to receive the other two keys remaining, the Y key and the S key. Students through understand now that they are responsible for the protection of our planet – they have become now into Earthkeepers