Upper Prmery Science Carrcolem and .Studentse Envlronmental Awareness Ttitudes and Practices: the Case af Alamta Urnan and Rural Schools

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose 0/ this study was to examine the extent of inlegralion 0/ EE in upper primmy school natural science clirriculum and to analyze the level ql slue/ems ' envirol1l11enla/ awareness, altitude and behavioral actions. To achieve the purpose, the EE {hemes were examined in planned, practiced and learned curriculums by employing a descriptive case sluely research design. The data co/lecling instruments were: document analysis, observation checklists, interview guiele questions, criteria referenced lests, environmental attitucle & behavioral scales. For this study fwa schools in each of urban Gnd rural werec/os were seleCled randomly then equal number of students were selected in the sample schools. The total numbers 0/ respondents were 240 grade eight students & 12 natural science teachers. The slUdems were selec/ed by stralified random sampling technique but teachers were taken by available sampling technique .. For dala analysis both qualitative & quantitative methods were used and for statistical analysis both descriplive & in/erential statistics were employed. The results of the study revealed that, though allempts were made to inlegrale EE in planned curriculum documents of Ihe Ihree natural sciences, the extem of;,,;egralion of the three dimensions of EE (i.e. education about, in andfor /he environment) were notfollnd proportional because Ihe documents were found focl/sing on integration of cognitive component of EE than the psychomotor and affective componenlS of EE. Particularly, the ultimate goal of EE that is education for the environment was found ignored in chemistlY and physics documents and given vefY lit/Ie room in biology docllments. In addition to this school practices' for the integration of EE dimension were found worse than the responses found in the docwnenl , because teachers' awareness and competency to apply methods pertinent to EE teaching learning process were found to be low for that they had neilher trained nor oriented how EE could be incorporaled and taught in the classroom instructions. Moreover, school facilit ies and other educational activities were not supplementing the EE teaching learning processes. Students' were found having vefY low environmental awareness because {heir cumulative mean value was below 50 percent (47.47%). With regard to environmental awareness students had shown dispariO' in residence location, parenl lileracy level and school type but their variation by sex and age lvere insignificant. Generally, urban school &Iiterate parent background students were found having relatively beller environmental awareness than rural & illiterate parent background students In addirion to (his, witholft significant difference by location, se""(, age and parent literacy level all students' enVirOI1lJk , :tal altiwdes were found to be posilive 10lVards utilizing the environment, moderate toward appreciating the environment & negative towards protecting the environment. On Ihe other hand, without significant difference all students' environmental behavioral actions (participations for solving environmental problems) werefound to be poor and environmentally unfriendly practice. In addition to this EE knowledge of students was found to be a negative prediclorfor studenls' altitude towards utilizing the environment; a positive predictor for students' altitude towards protecting and appreciating the environment but ilwas not found as a significant predictor for students' environmental behavioral actions. The total contribution of the independent variables (informal sources of EE) to students' environmental knOlvledge, allitude and practices wasfound to be low. That is, theforlllal source ofEE that were integrated il1 the curriculum documents and instructionalproceses were considered as major source of EE of students. From the above findings, the general conclusion drown was that integrated EE in documents, practices, and their learning outcomes were not found effective & in line with the national intentions of EE for pril11wy schools . Finally, based on Ihe findings and conclusions the recommendations given were: the need for local &regional level cooperation & concerted effort among curriculum developers, teachers, teacher training institutions, other environmentally aclive stakeholders slIch as health, agriculture etc so as to achieve their common 6)(11 EE; strengthening qf teachers pre-service and in service programs of EE; and strengthening of informal sources £E such as media, club andfamily