This paper addresses student-teachers' ability to read nature in a woodland habitat before and after a 10-week ecology course. Reading nature is our definition of the ability to observe, describe and explain basic ecology in the field. Data consists of field-based pre-course and post-course interviews followed up by metacognitive interviews where students analyse their own learning. A bi-dimensional coding scheme is adopted to examine the range and development of students' ability to read nature. Students find it important to know the ecology of a few key species and they recognize the importance of having learned the language of ecology - ecologish - helping them to describe and discuss ecology. Students generally recognize the excursions as key learning situations in ecology education but they give different reasons for finding excursions so important. This variation will be elaborated in the paper together with the implications for teaching ecology.
- Pedagogik (50301)