ERIC Number: EJ910665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Students' Perspectives on Worldwide "Greening" of Tertiary Education Curricula
Aighewi, Isoken T.; Osaigbovo, Ulamen A.
Research in Science Education, v40 n5 p625-637 Nov 2010
Several scholars have suggested the introduction of an environmental literacy requirement into the curricula of Non-Environmental Science disciplines in tertiary institutions of the world as a "greening" strategy for fostering global environmental stewardship necessary for enhancing understanding and collaboration in tackling the major environmental risks facing our global village today. However, there is no study on students' opinion on this issue. This study was therefore initiated to 1) evaluate the opinion of undergraduate students on the introduction of a worldwide environmental literacy into the curricula of Non-Environmental science majors as a graduation requirement; and 2) identify any possible demographic differences in opinions among the student subjects polled. We sought the opinion of 800 undergraduates from African, North American and European universities on the subject and 99% responded. The result showed that a majority (67%) of them supported the worldwide environmental literacy requirement and those already trained were significantly (P less than 0.0001) more likely to support it than those untrained. Students from developing countries were significantly (P less than 0.0001) more likely to support it than those from developed countries; similarly students in the Arts' disciplines were more likely to support it than Non-Arts' students as a group. However, no significant differences were observed between students from Francophone versus Anglophone countries; Social Sciences versus Non-Social Sciences majors and between Education versus Non-Education majors. Some similarities were observed between the opinion of university-age students in this study and 15-year old secondary school students from two major international surveys (Research on Science Education-ROSE, and Program for International Student Assessment-PISA) on science education; further studies comparing these two categories of students is suggested. The need for all professionals to be literate about the science of their surroundings was the most identified reason for supporting the literacy requirement by the students polled. The results of this study thus provide evidence of support by students in the on-going paradigm shift towards "greening" the curricula of tertiary institutions and thus reinforces its implementation by leaders of academe and policy makers worldwide.
Descriptors: Education Majors, Undergraduate Students, Environmental Education, Opinions, Social Sciences, Graduation Requirements, North Americans, Science Education, Secondary School Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; North America