Science teachers as ESD educators: an outdoor ESD model for developing systems thinking skills

Karaarslan, Güliz
The main purpose of this thesis is to explore how science teachers could become Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) educators. The study was conducted in five stages which are: gap analysis, developing systems thinking skills measurement tools, designing an outdoor ESD course, conducting a pilot study, and conducting the main study. Through gap analysis, systems thinking was found out to be a required competence for science teachers to become ESD educators. In the second stage, twelve systems thinking skills were determined and a series of qualitative data collection tools were developed and adapted. The third stage included designing an outdoor ESD course to develop the pre-determined systems thinking skills of pre-service science teachers. The pilot study in the fourth stage was carried out for the purposes of assessing the validity and the reliability of the tools, measuring the current state of systems thinking skills of the pre-service science teachers, and piloting the outdoor ESD course. In the final stage, the main study was conducted to develop systems thinking skills of eight pre-service science teachers through the outdoor ESD course. The results revealed that outdoor ESD course holds an important potential to develop systems thinking skills of pre-service science teachers. Development of the skills were found to be dependent on the individual differences and complexity among the skills. In conclusion, this study aims to make unique contributions to both science education and ESD literature by offering an outdoor ESD model to educate pre-service science teachers for a sustainable future.


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Citation Formats
G. Karaarslan, “Science teachers as ESD educators: an outdoor ESD model for developing systems thinking skills,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.