Nature and biodiversity conservation, Socio-scientific thinking


Project spanning over four months

Learning objectives:

The learning objectives align with Hadjichambis and Paraskeva-Hadjichambi’s (2020) EEC model and the Education for Environmental Citizenship (ENEC) environmental outcomes: 

a) to devise meaningful solutions to existing environmental problems, prevent new ones and address their structural causes, 

b) to adopt practices in line with environmental duties and rights, 

c) to develop active and critical engagement/civic participation initiatives, 

d) to promote practices of inter-/intra-generational justice.

Description of the learning process and activities:

The learning intervention presented here is documented in the research paper by Hadjichambis et al. (2022), where the authors apply and evaluate concernan intervention based on the Environmental Citizenship (EEC) pedagogical model.

The sequence of activities (not required to be linear) aligns with the EEC Pedagogical stages. It can be duplicated/adapted by anyone interested:

  • Inquiry: during the inquiry stage, the students visit a selected site and collect data from the field where an environmental problem has arisen. In the researchers’ study, the problem was that a casino resort would be established in a protected wetland inhabited by endangered species.
  • Planning: once on site, the students investigate the local stakeholders’ perspectives (e.g., scientists, students, politicians, government representatives, and the wider community) to grasp the different insights around the given socio-environmental issue.
  • Civic participation: the students work collaboratively, in groups of 4-5 people, to form propositions based on science, which they disseminate with campaigns to the local community. 
  • Networking and sharing in scales: expanding beyond that, the students collaborate and form networks with other teachers, classmates, experts, and community members to further disseminate the work. 
  • Sustain environmental and social change stage: they adopt social media and press communication practices to sustain their impact.
  • Evaluation and reflection: finally, the students evaluate the approach with the teacher's support.

Other organisations involved:

Cyprus Centre for Environmental Research & Education (CYCERE).
Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport & Youth (MOEC).
Local, urban high school, which is not disclosed for anonymity purposes.

Resources required:

Specific material utilised for the given activity is not mentioned, nevertheless, for those wishing to replicate it, material can be designed and tailored to specific needs and requirements. 

More information required:

Hadjichambis, A. C., Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, D., & Georgiou, Y. (2022). Evaluating a novel learning intervention grounded in the education for environmental citizenship pedagogical approach: A case study from Cyprus. Sustainability, 14(3), 1398.

Hadjichambis, A.C. Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, D. (2020). Education for environmental citizenship: The pedagogical approach. In Hadjichambis, A.C., Reis, P. & Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, D. (Eds). Conceptualizing environmental citizenship for 21st century education (pp. 237–261). Springer.

Hadjichambis, A.C.; Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, D. Environmental Citizenship Questionnaire (ECQ) (2020). The development and validation of an evaluation instrument for secondary school students. Sustainability, 12, 821.

Other remarks:

The pedagogical model can be applied in primary and secondary education settings. The researchers used the “Environmental Citizenship Questionnaire” (ECQ) developed and validated for secondary school students by Hadjichambis and Paraskeva-Hadjichambi (2020).

This learning intervention outlined here can align with the OTTER Labs model. The inquiry stage can serve in place of the “orientate” step; the planning stage aligns with the “discover” step; the following three stages namely civic participation, networking and sharing in scales, sustain environmental and social change, align with the “make an impact” step; the final evaluation and reflection stage with the “reflect” step.