Environmental Literacy of Peruvian Middle School Graders and Their Teachers of Private and Public Schools
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CitationHuaman-Pastorelli, Sandra. 2020. Environmental Literacy of Peruvian Middle School Graders and Their Teachers of Private and Public Schools. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractWith a world population of 7,000 million people, limited natural resources, and pollution that grows day by day in an exorbitant way, we need to learn to live together in a sustainable way and the most efficient way is through environmental education focusing on the goal of Sustainable Development 4 (SDG 4), "quality education". That is why, we must take action responsibly based on the understanding that what we do today may have implications in the lives of people and the planet in the future. Therefore, this research with the purpose of determining the relationship between environmental literacy in general and its dimensions (awareness, knowledge, attitude, skill and action) of students and their teachers through a structured questionnaire (Instrument for assessing Peru's environmental literacy - Pelat) surveyed 1396 students (645 in fifth grade and 751 in sixth grade) and 33 teachers (16 in fifth grade and 17 in sixth grade) from 18 schools (11 public and 7 private) in 7 UGEL of metropolitan Lima, capital of Peru. The primary data was analyzed using a descriptive-correlational design.
It was found that 78% and 74% of 5th and 6th grade students respectively have a medium level of environmental literacy, there being a significant mid-level relationship between fifth and sixth grade students. In addition, it was found that 81% and 76% of teachers in grades 5 and 6 respectively have a high level of environmental literacy, with a significant high-level relationship between teachers of both grades. Regarding the hypotheses, all have been accepted, the general hypothesis being tested, since there is an asymptotic (bilateral) significance that is less than the level of significance used, which proves that there is a significant relationship between students' environmental literacy of 5th and 6th grade of primary school and that of their teachers.
The study has provided reference data at local and regional level where there are few studies to date. Therefore, it recommends that the Peruvian Environmental Education Environmental Plan should include a means to finance environmental education efforts and help schools locate, write and apply for grant opportunities. It is essential that an environmental education component be added to the curriculum standards required for all public and private schools in Lima at all grade levels. It must ensure that students have experience in biological, physical and social sciences; have experiences outside the classroom to provide them with opportunities to participate in projects and research; and finally strive to develop environmental managers. At the local level, it is recommended that all school districts establish an environmental program. The help of the state environmental literacy plan and adequate funding will help ensure the success of the program.
At a minimum, each school must have a science lab and access to an outdoor classroom to improve student learning in environmental education. Schools have the potential to use resources more efficiently and can become producers of their own power through collaboration and grant opportunities. The most important reason to become a green school is for the school itself to act as a teaching tool and serve as a model of environmental sustainability for the community. Finally, each school offers in-service training for all teachers on the environmental education curriculum. The training should include experience in the use of facilities and materials for the teacher to acquire skills with various teaching tools and methods. Training should be provided locally as part of the development time of teaching staff.
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