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Dialogue based strategies in the teaching of environmental education in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
York, Univ., Ph.D., 2012
Abstract: The Mexican Ministry of Education (SEP) recognizes that teachers in general possess no training in environmental education or in strategies that facilitate participation amongst students. However, following the Mexican government approval of the Law of Environmental Education, in 2005, the inclusion of environment education in the elementary school curricula of Baja California Sur, Mexico, has become a priority. This study approaches this shortfall to consider the use of dialogic teaching as a strategy for increasing environmental awareness, whether if it can support children′s own sense of agency and whether it can successfully be incorporated into the permanent curriculum of Baja California Sur classrooms. The study takes a sociocultural approach drawing on the works of Vygotsky (1962, 1981), Barnes (1976, 2008) and more recently, Alexander (2008) and Mercer (2004, 2008). In particular, the study adapts the work of Mercer′s Thinking Together programme (2008) which was used to create a programme of work piloted in 7 schools, and as a theoretical foundation for the analysis of children′s′ recorded oral interchanges and written narratives. The research was conducted using a mixed methods approach to acquire and analyse qualitative and quantitative data. Its main focus is on the narratives produced by the children in the study as markers of improved environmental knowledge and awareness. The study also used reflexive researcher narratives following Clough (2002) and Denzin (2008) in which the researcher enters and acknowledges his own impact in the research environment, and explains this interaction to the reader through a narrative. The results were separated as quantitative and qualitative results. Quantitative data records significant gains in environmental knowledge indicators and in the count of dialogic and environmental keywords. Qualitative analysis records improvements in several aspects of the dialogue dynamics within the classroom, and in all the measured indicators.
Inhaltsverzeichnis :

List of Figures and Tables


Author Declaration


Literature Review

2.1 Environmental Education: A Brief Background
2.1.1 Environment and Sustainable Development: Concepts in constant construction
2.1.2 Environmental Education: An International Background
2.1.3 Historical Background of Formal Environment Education in México and England: A Comparative Analysis
2.1.4 Environment Education and the National Curriculum in Mexico
2.1.5 Environment Education and the National Curriculum in England
2.1.6. Environment Education: An Integrated Approach
2.2 The Need for an Integrated Pedagogical Approach
2.2.1 The Integration of Critical Pedagogy
2.3. Environment Education and Dialogic Teaching
2.3.1 Dialogic Teaching as a teaching method
2.3.2. Dialogic Teaching and Environment Education: Gaining Environmental Knowledge through Dialogue
2.4. Narratives and Dialogue-based Teaching
2.4.1. Narratives and Environment Education
2.4.3. Environmental Narratives and the construction of meaning

3.1 Study´s Background
3.1.1 The origins of this study
3.1.2. Research questions
3.2. Area of Study: The State of Baja California Sur
3.2.1. The region of La Paz
3.2.2. Main Environmental Problems in the Region
3.2.3 Enforced Environmental Policies
3.2.4 Educational system of the state Primary Education
3.3. Methodology
3.3.1 The complementary use of qualitative and quantitative methods Quantitative Paradigms Qualitative Paradigms Case Study as a Research Strategy
3. 3. 2. Reliability, replicability and validity of the study
3.4. The Pilot Study
3.4.2. Methods used during the pilot study Quantitative Methods Qualitative Methods
3.4.3. Adapting the Methods after the Pilot Quantitative Methods Qualitative Methods
3.5. The Main Study
3.5.1. Time Line of the Lesson Programme
3.5.2. Methods Quantitative Methods Demographic aspects of each school Questionnaires Keyword Count in Narratives Qualitative Methods Narrative analysis Analysed Categories Research Diary: Narratives written from the researcher´s point of view
3.5.3. Support methods Quantitative data support methods Qualitative Methods support methods
Quantitative Data

4.1. Demographic data of participant schools
4.2. Analysis of student questionnaires
4.2.1 Baseline indicators for classroom interaction prior to the study
4.2.2 Average level of global environmental interest before and after the study
4.2.3. Average level of local environmental awareness before and after the study
4.2.4. Average level of student perceived agency regarding environmental decision-making before and after the study
4.2.5. Average level of student involvement in environmental issues before and after the study
4.3 Questionnaire´s General Results
4.4. Analysis of Teacher Perceptions of the study
4.4.1 Teacher´s perceptions towards the study and its effects
4.4.2 Perceived level of replicability of the methods and strategies used through the lesson programme by part of teachers
4.5. Analysis of Keyword incidence in written narratives before and after the study
4.5.1. Environmental Key Words
4.5.2. Exploratory Talk Key Words and Constructions
4.6. Quantitative Data Obtained Through Support Methods: Perceived effect of the programme in other aspects of school life
Qualitative Analysis

5.1 First School
5.1.1. School Background
5.1.2. Qualitative analysis: audio recordings of oral interchanges
5.1.3. Meta-cognition: Making Talk visible
5.1.4. Teacher interviews prior to the programme
5.1.5. Student interviews prior to the programme
5.1.6. Teacher interviews after the programme
5.1.7. Student interviews after the programme
5.1.8. Analysis of Narratives
5.2. Second School
5.2.1 School Background
5.2.2. Audio recordings of oral interchanges
5.2.3. Teacher interviews prior to the programme
5.2.4 Student interviews prior to the programme
5.2.5. Teacher interviews after the programme
5.2.6. Student interviews after the programme
5.2.7. Analysis of narratives
5.2.8. Most Relevant Observations by Categories
5.3. Third School
5.3.1. School background
5.3.2. Analysis of Narratives
3.3.3. Most Relevant Observations by Categories
5.4. Fourth School
5.4.1. School Background
5.4.2. Analysis of narratives
5.4.3. Most Relevant Observations by Categories
5.5. Fifth School
5.5.1. School Background
5.5.2. Audio Recordings of Oral interchanges
5.5.3. Teacher interviews prior to the programme
5.5.4. Student interviews prior to the programme
5.5.5. Teacher interviews at the end of the programme
5.5.6. Student interviews at the end of the programme
5.5.7. Analysis of Written Narratives
5.5.8. Most relevant observations by category
5.6. Sixth School
5.6.1. Audio recordings of oral interchanges
5.6.2. Teacher interviews directed prior to the programme
5.6.3. Student interviews directed prior to the programme
5.6.4. Teacher interviews after the programme
5.6.5. Analysis of Narratives
5.6.6. Most Relevant Observations by Categories
5.7. Seventh School
5.7.2. Analysis of Written Narratives
5.7.3. Most relevant observations by category

6.1 Socioeconomic indicators of the schools in the study
6.2. The role of the teacher in the study
6.3. Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Results
6.4. Comparing Oral Recordings and Written Narratives: Considerations
6.5. Analysis of main indicators
6.5.1. Narrative structure
6.5.2. Dialogue
6.5.3. Point of view
6.5.4. Agency indicators
6.5.5. Presence and Type of Anthropomorphism
6.5. Other effects of the study in the classroom life
6.5.1. The conduct of participant children
6.5.2. Scores in Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Spanish
6.5.2 1. Natural sciences Mathematics and Spanish
6.6. Limitations and Considerations of the Study
6.6.1. Time restrictions
6.6.2. Practical and Technical limitations
6.7. Other considerations
6.7.1. Questionnaires
6.7.2. Interviews
6.7.3. Analysis and translation of narratives
6.7.4. Replicability considerations
6.7.5. Ethical Considerations

7.1. Do dialogue-based strategies facilitate environmental education ?
7.2. Can these strategies help foster a different approach to environmental education by part of the students ?
7.3. Can these strategies be successfully incorporated in the permanent school curricula of Baja California Sur classrooms ? 7.4. Considerations for future research


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