Reduced Field Work in Environment Based Education A Qualitative Approach in Secondary Education

Purnima Dehiwela


UN Decade Education for Sustainable Development (2001-2010), emphasisdevelopment of moulding the younger generation to appreciate the environment andsociety. The inquisitive learner with exposure to field work is encouraged be ameaningful learner and promote greater awareness and meaningful change in learner‟sinsight and attitudes towards the environment. This study investigates theimplementation of active learning within Environmental Education fieldwork in primaryschools. This paper describes the reason for recent trends in field work opportunities forstudents in environment based subjects such as Social Sciences (Geography andHistory), Environmental Science and Biology for secondary education in some of theschools in the Colombo District.

A literature review on Environmental Education, importance of field work andthe present education system of Sri Lanka was carried out to establish the base for thisstudy. Subject teachers who teach above subjects from fifteen different schools bothnational and international, were chosen for in-depth interviews.

The major finding of the study shows that many schools do not carry out anyfield work compared to the number of lessons taught in class, even if it means workingin the school garden. Only a few international schools carry out limited field workwhich is required for the course work. Lack incentives, unclear methods of teaching andresources are the key factors of the present trends.

Simple structural changes with creative ideas can be applied to facilitate suchissues in Environmental Education.

Key words: Environmental Education, Sustainability, Social Sciences, Fieldwork

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