Primary school teachers' awareness of, and motivation to teach, environmental education in two European countries
This study was initiated by an interest in discovering how, if at all, primary school teachers in two European countries perceive and practice environmental education. The thesis describes the historical development of the term 'environmental education', it discusses the main themes of environmentalism today, it refers to the global scene of policies and practices for environmental education, it addresses the status of environmental education in England and in Greece and finally it presents and discusses the conduct and results of an empirical study. The study was undertaken with a sample of primary school teachers in England and in Greece, whose commitment to environmental education was unknown. It follows a qualitative approach based on a semi-structured interview together with some quantitative elements of analysis. The results of the study reveal that even though teachers support education ABOUT the environment, they are not aware of on-going and historic developments in environmental education. Furthermore, they do not have efficient training in environmental education and they lack information about it and about appropriate methods of teaching it. They exhibit anthropocentric rather than ecocentric approaches to environmental issues and also they hold technocentric beliefs concerning the environmental literacy of today's society. Similarities and differences among the English and the Greek teachers emerged from the data collected. These are discussed in terms of the national curriculum of both countries, in terms of international documents, in terms of the type of support offered and how such support is utilised by teachers. The thesis concludes with recommendations concerning the school curricula of both countries and with recommendations for fiirther research.