Student teachers’ conceptions about species identification and the relationship of biodiversity to sustainable development

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

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning

Sammanfattning

Introduction: Human wellbeing is depending either directly or indirectly on biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide. The ability to identify species is important to understand the concepts of biodiversity and sustainability. Biodiversity is a rather unknown concept to students and adults. Many students feel that being able to name organisms is not important to them and they have little interest in learning identification skills.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to clarify student teachers’ (N=425) interest in and conceptions of the importance of species identification and the relationship between biodiversity and sustainable development.

 

Methods:  

        - The data was collected by using a semi-structured questionnaire with fixed and open questions. The questionnaire consisted of background questions, a species identification test and open and fixed question about species identification skills, biodiversity and sustainable development. The categories for analyzing the open answers were developed by using an inductive content analyze method. The open answers were discussed in the research group and triple-checked for a high reproducibility. The main categories of conceptions were emotional and aesthetic, cognitive, pragmatical, ecological, conservational, professional, educational, idealistic negative, contradictory and no views.

 

Results: Student teachers explained their interest in plants and animals in a pragmatic way. Cognitive and no views where used to explain the importance of species identification today and in the future. Few students had a professional view. The relationships between species identification and sustainable development were described with cognitive views with almost equal amount of knowledge and conservational reasons. The relationship between biodiversity and sustainable development were explained with cognitive and no views.

Conclusion: Many student teachers felt that species identification skills are not important today because of easy access to web based information. They also argued that it is less important for people living in cities to know species. Students felt that the reduction of species is not a problem for them, but a task for future generations. This point of view could affect their willingness to teach identification skills to their pupils in the future. Most students that had ecological views identified biodiversity like diversity between species and did not include all three aspects of biodiversity. The student teachers’ views of the interconnection between biodiversity and sustainable development are limited. Many did not understand the meaning of the words. Species are very important part of ecosystems and their decreasing trends jeopardize also human wellbeing. During the teacher education, it is important to develop student teachers ability to recognize that plants and animals are central in preservation of biodiversity and for a more sustainable future.

OriginalspråkEngelska
StatusPublicerad - 2015
Evenemang8th World Environmental Education Congress – WEEC 2015 Gothenburg, Sweden, 29th of June - 2nd of July 2015 -
Varaktighet: 1980-jan-01 → …

Konferens

Konferens8th World Environmental Education Congress – WEEC 2015 Gothenburg, Sweden, 29th of June - 2nd of July 2015
Period80-01-01 → …

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