Systemic ecological illiteracy? Shedding light on meaning as an act of thought in higher learning

Research
TitleSystemic ecological illiteracy? Shedding light on meaning as an act of thought in higher learning
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPuk, TG, Stibbards, A
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Volume18
Issue3
Pagination353 - 373
Date Published2012/06/01/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsconcept definitions, ecological literacy, meaning and thought, systemic ecological illiteracy
AbstractResearch on ecological literacy often takes for granted that participants understand, and can construct the meaning within, the complex concepts involved, simply because they are able to use the appropriate terminology in a ‘fluent’ manner and/or can select the correct option on multiple choice tests. In this study, and in the larger two-year study it is part of, a trend has been unearthed regarding the ecological literacy of university students entering into a Bachelor of Education program. An analysis of the meaning contained in participant definitions has revealed that the vast majority of teacher candidates, graduates of many different universities, are unable to explain the meaning of key integrating ecological concepts at even a minimal level of maturity, alluding to a possible systemic problem. The findings, though preliminary, suggest that until we inquire into the meaning that teachers possess for key concepts rather than accepting fluent but shallow use of these concepts, we may be taking too much for granted.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2011.622840