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Investigating potential of education for sustainable development program on preschool children’s perceptions about human-environment interrelationship

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2013
Cengizoğlu, Seçil
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of developed and implemented education for sustainable development (ESD) program on preschool children’s perceptions about human-environment interrelationship in line with deforestation, biological diversity and climate change which are the basic components of ESD. The sample of the study is comprised a class of 60-66 month-old eco-preschool children (N=18) living in Ankara, Turkey. For this study, a qualitative case study was conducted. The data were collected through drawings of children about “human-environment” and semi-structured interviews before and after the implementation. Implementation of the program included 14 activities (drama, art, play, science, language etc.) was completed over four weeks. Findings of the current study indicated that children’s perception about deforestation, biological diversity and climate change in line with human-environment interrelationship changed after participated in implementation. Before implementation, children did not perceive humankind as the part of environment, yet after attending activities, they put the human being in the center of sustainable development. Furthermore, participating in ESD program extends children’s points of views to associate relationship among deforestation, biological diversity and climate change with each other. An important finding was that children who participated in implementation gains the critical thinking ability and express their own solutions toward a sustainable future.