Title

Shaping minds to action: An evaluation of the environmental influences of primary school students in an urbanizing community

College

College of Science

Department/Unit

Biology

Document Type

Article

Source Title

Environment, Development and Sustainability

Volume

17

Issue

3

First Page

641

Last Page

652

Publication Date

6-15-2015

Abstract

Environmental perspectives are shaped by both affective and cognitive domains of education. In the urbanizing municipality of Balanga City, the primary school students of its 19 public schools were reported to have a skewed perspective of the environment, equating the term to only the natural components of their surroundings. This does not prevent the students from being actively concerned about the environment, but their confusion is aggravated by the contrasting habits observed in their households to those taught in school. Education is only a limited means to help develop sustainable practices needed as the global community addresses the challenges brought by climate change so to determine how to further develop the environmental knowledge of primary school students in Balanga City, and the influences enumerated by the children of its public schools were studied. Based on the students’ response, their school and television provide the fundamentals for their understanding of the environment, but the social atmosphere in their homes causes the trivialization of the environmental information they acquire. The ease by which these students are compelled to let go of environment-friendly habits may be caused by the absence of a solid cognitive foundation of environmental science due to the integrated curriculum design for teaching science to elementary students and the lack of sufficient training of the teachers involved. Although reiteration and emphasis of learned environmental principles in school can also come from mass media, the forms the students are exposed to are local and subject to sensationalism. There is a lack of sufficient infrastructure needed to expose the students to global viewpoints and issues about the environment, while those with immediate family members overseas have limited avenues for sharing their external influences. Involving the family in environmental education is the key, together with proper training of faculty and a modification of how environmental science is taught, to create an effective system for the improvement of the environmental perspectives of the children of Balanga City. Though environmental education may rely on the linearity of communication, the meeting point of the social influences of these children should emphasize the values of environmental stewardship for them to ascertain the right perspectives toward the environment. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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Digitial Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1007/s10668-014-9551-8

Disciplines

Biology

Keywords

Environmental literacy--Philippines--Bataan; Children and the environment--Philippines--Bataan

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