Environmental Education Programs and their Impact on Dyslexic and Non-dyslexic Primary School Students’ Knowledge of Environmental Problems

By Maria Dimakopoulou, Yota Xanthakou, Nikos Andreadakis and Maria Kaila.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Summary - Dealing with modern environmental problems require, among other things, exhaustive transcription of laypeople’s and especially young people’s knowledge and attitudes regarding these problems, in order to reach relevant conclusions and plan appropriate actions. During the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of Environmental Education Programs (EEP) that are implemented in Greek schools. These programs aim, on the one hand, at the sensitization of students as far as environmental problems are concerned and, on the other hand, at the establishment of institutions and methods promoting Environmental Education. Through Environmental Education Programs, all students, regardless any special needs or characteristics they might have, are called to acquire and develop knowledge and skills that will help them play an active role in society and dynamically contribute to the promotion of sustainable development (Rauch, 2002; Huckle, 2001; Palmer et al., 1998).

The present study aims at assessing the effect of school, through the provided school knowledge and the attendance of students in environmental programs, in dyslexic and non-dyslexic students’ amount of environmental knowledge. The present research, which is part of a larger study, took place in 2007, in Greek Primary Schools, and the participants were 122 students aged between 11 to 12 years old, 61 of which were dyslexic and 61 non-dyslexic. The aim of the present study, is on the one hand to examine whether participation in Environmental Education Programs in schools, has an impact on dyslexic and non-dyslexic students’ amount of knowledge about environmental problems, and on the other hand to explore any differences between dyslexic and non-dyslexic students in the way their participation in Environmental Education Programs affects their knowledge on environmental issues.
For the implementation of the present study and the collection of data, we used semi-structured interviews, accompanied by relevant pictures, in order to facilitate dyslexic students’ comprehension of the material (Cohen, Manion & Morisson, 2000).
Data analysis showed that participation in Environmental Education Programs seems to result in the increase of both dyslexic and non-dyslexic students’ environmental knowledge.

Keywords: Dyslexic Students, Special Education, Knowledge, Environmental Education Programs (E.E.P.), Greek Primary School

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp.97-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 545.109KB).

Maria Dimakopoulou

PhD Candidate, Department of Pre-school Education and Educational Design, University of the Aegean, Athens, Attiki, Greece

Mrs. Maria Dimakopoulou is currently working on her PhD thesis at the Faculty of Primary Education, University of Aegean and she has accomplished her MΕd in Environmental Education (University of the Aegean). Her research interests are within the area of Special and Environmental Education, with particular reference to the ways in which institutional practices can be developed to enhance educational opportunity and entitlement for children described as experiencing special educational needs. Specifically, she has published research studies on students’ knowledge and attitudes toward environmental problems and the education of pupils with learning disabilities and dyslexia.

Prof. Yota Xanthakou

Assistant Professor, Department of Education, University of the Aegean, Athens, Attiki, Greece

Yota Xanthakou is Assistant Professor at the University of the Aegean. She is an expert in Creative Learning and Teaching, in the analysis of children’s drawing and also in issues of School Refusal and School Failure. She is author of five books and several articles in Greek and international journals. Perhaps her most characteristic work is her monograph Creative Problem Solving, which is to be published in English. She is co-editor of the series “Creativity” with Professors Frank Monks and Maria Kaila.

Nikos Andreadakis

Assistant Professor, Department of Education, University of Crete, Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Nikos Andreadakis is Assistant Professor University of Crete, Department of Primary Education. Expert in Educational Research and Evaluation Recherché interests: Methodology of Educational Recherché, Evaluation and accreditation, life long learning, School failure, Effective teaching and effective school. He has published three books and many articles in Greek and international journals.

Maria Kaila

Professor, Department of Education, University of the Aegean, Athens, Attiki, Greece

Maria Kaila is Professor at the University of the Aegean and Vice Rector (1997-2003), Chair of the Greek Psychological Association (2003-2005) and sits on the Committees of several international networks (PRERUDE, INRUDA, BSUN). She is an expert in issues of Universities, University Research and Sustainable Develorment, Evaluation, and also in the field of School Refusal and School Failure. She is editor of the series “Text in Education” and “Creativity”, with Professor Guy Berger and Lecturer Helena Theodoropoulou (in the former series), as well as Professor Franz Monks and Assistant Professor Yota Xanthakou (in the latter series). She is the author of six books and she has published a number of articles and chapters in international journals and volumes.

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