Marcus, Grace and Mary, Ratcliffe
Making decisions about biological conservation issues in peer group discussion.
Psillos, D., Kariotoglou, P., Tselfes, V., Hatzikraniotis, E., Fassoulopoulos, G. and Kallery, M. (eds.)
Science Education Research in the Knowledge-Based Society.
Dordrecht, The Netherlands,
Kluwer Academic Publishers.
An understanding of biological conservation is an essential component of sustainable development education, and the basis of this understanding is laid down in formal school science education. This study explores the value of group discussion, and the use of biological concepts and personal values among 15-16 year old pupils, while making decisions about two conservation scenarios. Most pupils modified their solutions to the problems as a result of peer group discussion. Preliminary findings indicate that there are some highly relevant biological concepts, particularly those relating to genetics, energy flow and nutrient cycling, which pupils do not regard as important in making decisions about conservation, and these need to be more explicitly linked together in the curriculum. Values considerations were more noticeable than biological concepts, and the findings suggest a conception of conservation management education that integrates concepts and values.
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