DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM “ENVIRONMENTAL FAIRY TALES” FOR THE PUPILS OF PRIMARY AND LOWER-SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND THE EVALUATION OF ITS EFFECTIVITY
Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem (CZECH REPUBLIC)
This paper aims to introduce the design, implementation and evaluation of an educational program for primary and lower-secondary school pupils with the intentional use of elements of environmental education and peer teaching. The program was focused on sorting as well as preventing waste, recycling, issues related to growing oil palm, or acidification of oceans. It was designed by the pupils of the “Eco-school” of the Bishop Grammar School Bohosudov, who also implemented the program for the pupils of primary and lower-secondary schools in their school. (Eco-school is the largest international environmental program in the world with 16,000,000 pupils from 49,000 schools and 64 countries participating). The program was performed for pupils of six primary and lower-secondary schools, where also all the research data was collected. The pupils gained information from the field of sustainable development and environmental education through other forms and methods than they had been used to – we used a pleasant, but for the pupils new method of project teaching and we made use of the advantages of peer teaching by grammar school pupils, not adults. The program was arranged into different stations including activities which were age-appropriate to the respondents.
The environmental program is called “Environmental Fairy-tales” and in an entertaining and interactive way, it focuses on sorting, as well as preventing waste, recycling and issues related to growing oil palm or acidification of the oceans. At each of the eight stations the respondents were read out a famous fairy-tale, which was adapted by the grammar school pupils to include ecological theme, afterwards the respondents fulfilled interesting and entertaining tasks but also discussed the individual issues. The program was performed for 164 respondents in total between the ages of 9 and 13 with the most strongly represented group being 10 to 11 year-old pupils. The participants were chosen from the Czech Republic, Ústí nad Labem Region.
This paper presents the evaluation of the program's effectiveness, the reflection of the bases and the evaluation of the benefits to pedagogical practice. To measure the level of knowledge and skills, a pre-test and a post-test were used. The content of the tests was identical, containing 7 multiple-choice questions, where respondents circled assumed correct answers. 1 point was added for each correct answer, no points were subtracted for incorrect answers. The data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis.
Statistically significant effect of the program on the knowledge and skills of pupils was found. There was no evidence of gender impact on the values found, nor was there a statistically significant difference in the knowledge shift between schools. The use of teaching methods, the change of environment, as well as the use of pupils as teachers, probably influenced the knowledge shift. A sample of the program can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY6OlXS7DbQ .