ERIC Number: EJ964825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Students' Reasoning about the Future of Disturbed or Protected Ecosystems & the Idea of the "Balance of Nature"
Ergazaki, Marida; Ampatzidis, Georgios
Research in Science Education, v42 n3 p511-530 Jun 2012
This paper is part of a larger study that aims at highlighting students' interpretations of the idea of the "Balance of Nature", as well as its use in their reasoning about the future of an ecosystem, in order to subsequently develop a learning environment that might promote a reconsideration of its validity and usefulness. Our focus here is particularly set on whether and how non biology-major students use this idea when making predictions about (a) the future of an ecosystem that is supposed to have suffered a human-driven disturbance, and (b) the future of an ecosystem that is supposed to be protected against such disturbances. Administering a questionnaire of 12 items--4 of which concern us here--to 61 1st-year educational sciences students at the University of Patras, we traced--among others--their reasoning about (a) the future of three ecosystems (forest, sea, lake), supposed to have suffered different human-driven disturbances (fire, oil spill, new population introduction), and (b) the future of a protected forest ecosystem of a national park. According to our findings, most of the students found it very likely for a disturbed ecosystem to fully recover its initial state--mainly due to a "recovery process" or inherent "recovery mechanisms"--showing a strong belief in an extremely resilient "Balance of Nature". Moreover, most of them appeared to believe that if human-protected, an ecosystem will be in a continuous "balance", while very few were skeptical enough to claim a non-predictable future for it.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Parks, Ecology, Universities, College Science, Foreign Countries, Scientific Concepts, Validity, Prediction, Interdisciplinary Approach, Undergraduate Students, Questionnaires, Feedback (Response), Educational Environment, Science Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece