Environmental Literacy In Science And Society From Knowledge To Decisions Pdf

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Science, Technology, and Society pp Cite as.

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Science,Technology,Society,and the Environment Scientific Literacy for the Future

It is no coincidence that many of the Grand Challenges for Engineering National Academy of Engineering, —such as carbon sequestration—address environmental problems that were precipitated by human inventiveness and engineering achievements. Although we recognize our dependence upon environmental processes to provide essential resources and ecosystem services, such as food and air purification, our understanding of the interconnections between the environment and our technological activities has often been insufficient to predict technological impacts upon the environment.

As evidence mounts that our technological actions threaten the viability of ecosystems and public health e. EPA, a , it is imperative that all citizens improve their environmental literacy and technology assessment skills if we are to break this untenable cycle and make progress toward sustainability. As characterized by Excellence in Environmental Education: Guidelines for Learning K , a standards project of the North American Association for Environmental Education NAAEE, , environmental literacy refers to a unique combination of knowledge and skills that enables informed decision- making.

These essential attributes include knowledge of environmental processes and the environmental consequences of human action, inquiry and analysis skills, and an ability and commitment to act.

Without interdisciplinary understandings and assessment skills that stress the interconnectedness of the human-built and natural environments, teachers and students of technology will not be able to understand or assess how these systems interact and influence each other. As with most curricular change initiatives, the most critical need rests with the estimated , practicing technology teachers Dugger, who may not have had formal education related to these standards.

Unfortunately, practicing technology teachers have had few opportunities to build sophisticated levels of environmental literacy, especially within their formal science coursework. Only single occurrences of environmental, life, natural science, and biotechnology were evident in these survey results. This combined evidence suggests that practicing technology educators need professional development opportunities to enhance both their environmental and technological literacy.

EnviroTech was a web-enabled professional development project, which occurred in the spring of This document describes the results of EnviroTech in terms of the impact it had upon a cohort of 19 practicing technology teachers.

The mission of EnviroTech was to develop 1 understandings of environmental processes and systems; 2 skills for identifying, analyzing, and assessing the impacts of technology upon the environment; and 3 skills in the use of guided inquiry, an instructional strategy where teachers structure and scaffold the examination of problems and gaps in knowledge. The semester-long project facilitated guided inquiry into two essential questions:.

The adoption of CFLs is a fruitful technology assessment theme because it is conceptually rich in terms of the environment, timely Energy Independence and Security Act, , accessible to students, relevant to personal health and safety, and relevant to civic responsibility. It is the mercury within CFLs—an average of 4 mg per bulb Energy Star, —and the emissions of mercury from coal-fired electricity production—an estimated 0.

Mercury, like carbon, naturally cycles through the atmosphere to the soils and water through a process known as mercury deposition. Once back on earth, mercury can be transformed to methylmercury through microbial activity and bioaccumulate in fish and the animals that eat fish, including humans U.

EPA, b. These results may inform professional development providers about the efficacy of this distributed model and provide practicing teachers with instructional models that simultaneously address environmental and technological literacy goals.

As described below, the one-year EnviroTech project included four distinct phases. Several instructional materials—an instructional guide and a web-based tool for generating a force field analysis—were developed and provided to participating teachers. The instructional guide, Impacts of Technology on the Environment: Resources for Decision Making Rose, , employs life cycle assessment as a framework for teaching and learning. The document is arranged into background information for the teacher, 10 activity sheets for students, and worked examples.

A call for participation generated 26 applications from interested technology teachers; 19 teachers, including 6 females, completed the semester-long project. On a 3-point scale from no competence 1 to extremely competent 3 , the average rating for teaching others about environmental impacts of technology was 1. However, 18 of 19 teachers reported having formal educational experiences addressing technology assessment; the average competence rating regarding technology assessment was 2.

These minute webinars enabled synchronous audio and video communications among the hosting instructor, participating teachers, and three guest speakers who were experts in solid waste, environmental education, mercury pollution, and technology assessment. Webinar topics included life cycle assessment, guided inquiry, the mercury deposition cycle, recycling of lamps, hazardous waste collection systems, and forecasting.

All participating teachers planned and implemented a guided inquiry experience with their students, which also addressed the aforementioned essential questions. Sometime between April and June of , about students from 26 separate classrooms participated in EnviroTech inquiry activities.

As indicated in Table 1, the largest group of participants was the 10 teachers who delivered instruction to middle school students th graders. As one would expect from an inquiry approach to instruction, the nature of these teacher-planned instructional experiences was quite varied. Some classes documented their inquiry by producing videos or developing posters about the proper way to dispose of CFLs.

Others conducted a home or school inventory of lamps or surveyed parents, neighbors, and custodians to discover the disposal practices for mercury-containing lamps. Teachers invited guest speakers a lamp recycler and a physician into their classrooms or took students on a field trip to a fish hatchery to highlight mercury deposition and bioaccumulation in fish.

Evidence from pretests provides insight into how EnviroTech teachers supported environmental literacy within their classrooms. Data were analyzed using SPSS Pretest percentages indicated low preexisting understandings on environmental and technology items, including items related to the transformation of mercury into methyl mercury, mercury deposition, retorting, energy efficiency of lamps, and the reason for replacing incandescents with CFLs.

Positive gains, albeit more modest, were seen for other items, including those which measured environmental understandings, such as the transformation of mercury into methyl mercury through bacterial action, the mercury deposition cycle, and bioaccumulation. To probe directly at the teaching practices advocated by the EnviroTech project, teachers were also asked to identify the frequency that they used guided inquiry, experimentation, forecasting, decision-making techniques, and life cycle assessment.

To better gauge the impact of EnviroTech, items on the posttest asked teachers to think toward the future, and indicate how likely they would be to use these practices with their students. As shown in Figure 2, average reported intentions ranged from likely to extremely likely for all instructional strategies, including guided inquiry, experimentation, life cycle analysis, decision techniques, and community-based learning. We need to engage learners in the pursuit of these answers and let them know that we are counting on them to do their best to help find solutions.

By asking students to gather the data that they use to base their decisions, instructors give their students the chance to discover, question, and analyze, all of which are higher-level thinking skills. Responses from the pretest indicated that opportunities to build environmental literacy within technology courses are inconsistent. The most elaborate expressions occurred within the energy theme. Teachers indicated that they compared alternative and traditional sources of energy, addressed the impacts of extracting and converting energy to produce electricity, and focused students upon energy efficiency.

Within the environmental issues and systems category, most descriptions were undeveloped with only general references to ecosystems and ecology. Only single references were made to such important environmental issues as deforestation, acidification , and over-population ; no explicit references were made to interdependence of systems, food chains , or bioaccumulation. Nine items asked teachers to indicate how frequently teachers required students to address sustainability concepts when designing or assessing products.

Teachers were asked to state their level of agreement to nine general statements about relationships among the environment, technology, and society. Given the self-selected nature of participation in EnviroTech, participants may have been predisposed toward these issues. In regards to the purchase and disposal of CFLs, however, evidence indicates that the EnviroTech project impacted personal decision-making.

The final items on the posttest asked teachers to identify the most and least effective elements of the EnviroTech project and the webinar format. In regards to the distributed webinar format, teachers overwhelmingly appreciated the ability to participate in a discussion with people from across the U. However, technology teachers may be ill-prepared, lacking the pre-requisite knowledge and skills they need to integrate environmental concepts and processes into their curriculum and teach technology assessment skills.

The EnviroTech project—with its use of distributed webinars, semester-long engagement, and local implementation of guided inquiry projects—demonstrated a viable model for addressing these professional development needs. EnviroTech focused teachers and their students upon a single contemporary consumer decision adoption of CFL vs.

Prior to starting the project, participating technology teachers reported narrow examples of environmental concepts and teaching strategies used to help students learn how to assess the impacts of technology on the environment. Teachers reported strong commitments to implement a broader range of instructional strategies e.

Although these teachers strongly agreed that examining the impact of CFLs and fluorescent lamps on the environment is a meaningful context by which to meet Standards 5 and 13 of STL ITEA, , it is clear that achieving these standards will require much more focused efforts from curriculum developers, researchers, teacher educators, and others who deliver professional development experiences to technology teachers.

Assessing technology requires sophisticated understandings of the environment and technology, as well as the inquiry and mathematical skills that enable learners to analyze and predict potential impacts.

We need to test promising pedagogies that weave together multidisciplinary knowledge sets and engage students in authentic assessment tasks.

Life cycle analysis, forecasting, and data-driven decision-making—such as force field analysis—are powerful tools for assessing the impact of technology on the environment. We still have much to learn about how and when to use these analysis tools in a technology classroom. An examination of lighting choices, coal-fired electricity generation, and the mercury deposition cycle is but one example of how we could simultaneously enhance the environmental and technological literacy of teachers and their students.

But the important outcome is that we develop both the skills and will to make environmentally-sound, better-informed decisions about the technology we adopt, design, use, and discard. Mary Annette Rose arose bsu.

Daughtery, M. A changing role for technology teacher education. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 42 1 , Dugger, W. The status of technology education in the United States: A triennial report of the findings from the states.

The Technology Teacher, 67 1 , Energy Independence and Security Act of Public Law Frequently asked questions: Information on compact fluorescent light bulbs CFLs and mercury. Standards for technological literacy: Content for the study of technology. Reston, Virginia: Author. McAlister, B. Are technology education teachers prepared to teach engineering design and analytical methods?

North American Association for Environmental Education. Excellence in environmental education--Guidelines for learning K National Academy of Engineering. Grand challenges for engineering. Rose, M. Impacts of technology on the environment: Resources for decision making. Technology assessment: A graduate course to build decision-making skills. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Climate change indicators in the United States.

Environmental effects: Fate and transport and ecological effects of mercury. Universal Access Toggle Universal Access. EnviroTech: Enhancing Environmental Literacy and Technology Assessment Skills Mary Annette Rose Introduction It is no coincidence that many of the Grand Challenges for Engineering National Academy of Engineering, —such as carbon sequestration—address environmental problems that were precipitated by human inventiveness and engineering achievements. Students will develop an understanding of the effects of technology on the environment.

Students will develop the abilities to assess the impact of products and systems. ITEA, Without interdisciplinary understandings and assessment skills that stress the interconnectedness of the human-built and natural environments, teachers and students of technology will not be able to understand or assess how these systems interact and influence each other. EnviroTech Mission and Goals EnviroTech was a web-enabled professional development project, which occurred in the spring of

Science, technology, society and environment education

It is no coincidence that many of the Grand Challenges for Engineering National Academy of Engineering, —such as carbon sequestration—address environmental problems that were precipitated by human inventiveness and engineering achievements. Although we recognize our dependence upon environmental processes to provide essential resources and ecosystem services, such as food and air purification, our understanding of the interconnections between the environment and our technological activities has often been insufficient to predict technological impacts upon the environment. As evidence mounts that our technological actions threaten the viability of ecosystems and public health e. EPA, a , it is imperative that all citizens improve their environmental literacy and technology assessment skills if we are to break this untenable cycle and make progress toward sustainability. As characterized by Excellence in Environmental Education: Guidelines for Learning K , a standards project of the North American Association for Environmental Education NAAEE, , environmental literacy refers to a unique combination of knowledge and skills that enables informed decision- making. These essential attributes include knowledge of environmental processes and the environmental consequences of human action, inquiry and analysis skills, and an ability and commitment to act. Without interdisciplinary understandings and assessment skills that stress the interconnectedness of the human-built and natural environments, teachers and students of technology will not be able to understand or assess how these systems interact and influence each other.


Environmental Literacy in Science and Society: From Knowledge to Decisions · Abstract · Citations () · References (1) · Recommendations.


Environmental Literacy: Knowledge for a Healthier Public

Science, technology, society and environment STSE education , originates from the science technology and society STS movement in science education. This is an outlook on science education that emphasizes the teaching of scientific and technological developments in their cultural, economic, social and political contexts. In this view of science education, students are encouraged to engage in issues pertaining to the impact of science on everyday life and make responsible decisions about how to address such issues Solomon, and Aikenhead, The STS movement has a long history in science education reform, and embraces a wide range of theories about the intersection between science, technology and society Solomon and Aikenhead, ; Pedretti Over the last twenty years, the work of Peter Fensham, the noted Australian science educator, is considered to have heavily contributed to reforms in science education.

Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Scholz Published Political Science, Sociology. List of boxes Overview Roadmap to environmental literacy Part I.

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Science is the greatest collective endeavor. It contributes to ensuring a longer and healthier life, monitors our health, provides medicine to cure our diseases, alleviates aches and pains, helps us to provide water for our basic needs — including our food, provides energy and makes life more fun, including sports, music, entertainment and the latest communication technology. Last but not least, it nourishes our spirit. Science generates solutions for everyday life and helps us to answer the great mysteries of the universe. In other words, science is one of the most important channels of knowledge. It has a specific role, as well as a variety of functions for the benefit of our society: creating new knowledge, improving education, and increasing the quality of our lives.

The recently opened North River Sewage Treatment Plant, which stretches eight blocks along the Hudson River, was doing a poor job of processing about million gallons of raw sewage daily. Residents were concerned about the foul smells coming from the plant, and parents complained that their children were suffering from respiratory problems. The community knew it needed help, but it also needed something else: information on the exposures it was facing, on the health effects of those exposures, and on the courses of action open to the people. WE ACT , it had taken the first step toward cultivating just that sort of environmental literacy. But the learning is still going on. Nada Hamade, a research associate at the NIEHS center, estimates that since partnering, WE ACT and the center have educated at least 60, people from the Northern Manhattan area about environmental health issues through a variety of means—youth meetings, conferences, forums, leadership training, and outreach campaigns.


Environmental Literacy in Science and Society: From Knowledge to Decisions. By Roland W. Scholz. Cambridge University Press: New York.


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Environmental and Ocean Literacy and Standards Mainstreaming Environmental Education — The North American Association for Environmental Education is involved with efforts to make high-quality environmental education part of all education in the United States and has initiated the National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education. Science-Technology-Society in the Science Curriculum. From Knowledge to Decisions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Following a period of spontaneous development, there has been a convergence on goals and curriculum practices.

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Environmental Literacy in Science and Society: From Knowledge to Decisions

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