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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Is it all in the books?: An analysis of the content and scope of 12 environmental science book.
Zeitschriftenausgabe (-> Ref.Nr):
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
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Conducts an analysis of the content and scope of textbooks in environmental science, and discusses what to do about possible shortcomings. In almost all introductory courses, teachers and students make use of textbooks. One may therefore safely assume that the content of these books reflects somehow what is thought to be relevant to the teaching and knowledge of environmental sciences. Scope and content may therefore represent what is considered to be the core curriculum, at least in the eyes of the editors and writers of these books. The analysis is confined to 12 textbooks published over the last five years, of which ten are in the English language, paying most attention to those widely used. Important research questions were: What perspective do the books take? Is their scope clearly depicted? How are environmental problems defined? What are the major issues and concepts dealt with? How are they structured? What is left out and/or missed? None of the books examined takes a disciplinary stance. In nearly all, chooses a thematic approach, with strong emphasis on Earth as a living system, and on the human-environment interrelationship. There is a rather strong overlap in themes and concepts used, suggesting the existence of a shared ″body of knowledge″, which is quite promising when striving after a core curriculum. Social and societal aspects come relatively late on the stage, mostly in the second or third part of the books, when implementation of measures is at stake. In several textbooks, environmental problems are taken as problems formulated and defined by natural scientists. Interdisciplinary methodology does not get proper attention.
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