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Title: Primary School Teachers' Conceptions of Environment: A Comparison Between Australia and France
Contributor(s): Quinn, Frances  (author)orcid ; Clement, Pierre (author)
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: Both Australia and France are similarly developed countries with comparable egalitarian societies but differ in some issues such as energy generation, agricultural and mining history, GMO cultivation, immigration. Both countries have implemented Education for a Sustainable Development (ESD) in their respective education systems. This paper explore primary teachers' conceptions of the environment, and how these relate to the broader national socio-scientific differences. Using the questionnaire of the European research project Biohead-Citizen, we compared, by multivariate analyses, conceptions of 98 Australian and 272 French primary school teachers. The Australian teachers' conceptions significantly differ from those of French teachers, mainly being more pro-GMO, more anthropocentric and believing more that some animals can feel happiness. The most anthropocentric and pro-GMO conceptions are correlated with more belief in God, practising religion, and trusting more in private than in public institutions, for schools, for health services and pensions. They also agree more with the propositions: "It is for biological reasons that women more often than men take care of housekeeping", "Ethnic groups are genetically different and that is why some are superior to others" and "There are too many foreigners in my country: the government should limit immigration". Some hypotheses are proposed to interpret these differences, such as resistance to GMOs in France and Australia's immigration history. The greater endorsement in the Australian sample of values against equality between men and women, or among ethnic groups, is more difficult to explain, but may possibly relate to education or to characteristics of the local sociopolitical contexts.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: ESERA 2011: 9th biannual conference of the European Science Education Research Association, Lyon, France, 5th - 9th September, 2011
Conference Details: ESERA 2011: 9th biannual conference of the European Science Education Research Association, Lyon, France, 5th - 9th September, 2011
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the ESERA 2011 Conference: Science learning and Citizenship (Strand 8: Environmental, health and Informal-Outdoor Science education), p. 1-5
Publisher: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA)
Place of Publication: online
Field of Research (FOR): 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education
130105 Primary Education (excl Maori)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
930299 Teaching and Instruction not elsewhere classified
930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication
School of Education

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