Nordic-Baltic student teachers’ identification of and interest in plant and animal species: the importance of species identification and biodiversity for sustainable development

Irmeli Palmberg, Ida Berg, Eila Jeronen, Sirpa Kärkkäinen, Pia Norrgård-Sillanpää, Christel Persson, Rytis Vilkonis, Eija Yli Panula

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Sammanfattning

Knowledge of species, interest in nature, and nature experiences are the factors that

best promote interest in and understanding of environmental issues, biodiversity and

sustainable life. The aim of this study is to investigate how well student teachers

identify common local species, their interest in and ideas about species identification,

and their perceptions of the importance of species identification and biodiversity for

sustainable development. Totally 456 student teachers for primary schools were tested

using an identification test and a questionnaire consisting of fixed and open questions.

A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to get a more holistic

view of students' level of knowledge and their preferred learning methods. The student

teachers' ability to identify very common species was low, and only 3 % were able to

identify most of the tested species. Experiential learning outdoors was suggested by

the majority of students as the most efficient learning method, followed by experiential

learning indoors, project work and experimental learning. They looked upon the

identification of plants and animals as 'important' or 'very important' for citizens today

and for sustainable development. Likewise, they looked upon biodiversity as 'important'

or 'very important' for sustainable development. Our conclusion is that teaching and

learning methods for identification and knowledge of species and for education of

project-based methods in authentic environments.

biodiversity and sustainable development should always include experiential and

OriginalspråkEngelska
TidskriftJournal of Science Teacher Education
DOI
StatusPublicerad - 2015

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