Presenting the conceptual schema of sensory environmental education (SEE): an approach towards sustainability

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Planning, Management and Environmental Education, Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Planning, Management and Education, Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

The level of senses involvement plays an important role in the level of environmental learning. This point of view has led environmental education (EE) theorists to propose a model of EE entitled sensory environmental education (SEE) which emphasizes involving the five senses of learners as much as possible in the teaching-learning processes of environmental issues. The aim of the present study was to present the conceptual schema of “SEE” in order to give coherence to the facts, descriptions, analyses, interpretations, criticisms and lived experiences of teachers and student teachers in this field. The approach to research was qualitative, and its method was phenomenology. The criterion sampling method and the stopping point of the research were to achieve “the theoretical saturation limit” and “maximum diversity” which led to semi-structured interviews with 12 teachers and 13 student teachers. After transcribing the interviews, 570 basic themes, 31 organizing themes and 9 Global Themes were counted. The results indicate that the organizing themes were “epistemology and philosophical thinking”, “ethical foundations”, “network of internal relations affecting the EE”, “network of external relations affecting the EE”, skills to communicate with nature”, “organization”, “planning”, “rules and regulations in the process”, “evaluation of the teacher in the process”, “the role of the teacher”, “the role of the facilitator”, “the role of the experimenter”, “knowledge-information supports of the teacher/facilitator”, “Teacher/facilitator research supports”, “Educational objectives”, “Educational content”, “Media and equipment”, and etc. The findings were supported by direct quotations to clearly and fully reflect the views of the interviewees.

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