Grace, Marcus and Ratcliffe, Mary
The science and values that young people draw upon to make decisions about biological conservation issues.
International Journal of Science Education, 24, (11), . (doi:10.1080/09500690210134848).
The foundation for citizens’ understanding of conservation management is laid down in formal school education. This study sought the views of 12 conservation management experts, by interview, and 34 science teachers, using questionnaires, as to the essential underpinning concepts of biological conservation. Experts identified 45 biological concepts as contributing to a good understanding of conservation management, with the teachers emphasising ecological concepts at the expense of fundamental genetics. 15-16 year old pupils’ decision-making discussions (24) of two conservation scenarios were audio-taped to examine the actual use of biological concepts and values related to conservation management. Although pupils made use of several important biological concepts, values considerations were most noticeable. The findings suggest a conception of conservation management education which integrates concepts and values. Further examination of the optimum teaching strategy for this integration is desirable.
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