International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education Abstracts


Corney, G. (1998) Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 90-105.
Boyd, W.E., Cullen, M., Bass, D., Pittman, J. & Regan, P.(1998) Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 106-121.
Geok-Chin,T., Kim-Eng Lee, C. & Chuan, G.K. (1998) Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 181-202.

Corney, G. (1998), Learning to Teach Environmental Issues
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 90-105

Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford, 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY, UK


This paper describes some aspects of a qualitative research study into the thinking and practice of student geography teachers in the teaching of environmental issues. The study links the areas of geographical and environmental education with teacher education and thus provides an example of research in an area of environmental education regarded as 'the priority of priorities' (UNESCO-UNEP, 1990). It begins with a description of the conceptual framework underpinning the study and moves to a summary of the research questions and design. It then presents examples of data which have been collected, with a commentary suggesting how at an early stage of analysis, tentative findings are emerging which may be confirmed or rejected as analysis proceeds. Articles about research are often written when data analysis has been completed, and concentrate on the findings of a study and their significance. This paper represents an intermediate stage in the process of research, representing the initial thinking which guided data collection, illustrating examples of the data collected, and providing a short commentary before the main stage of data analysis and interpretation is undertaken.

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Boyd, W.E.1, Cullen, M.1, Bass, D.2, Pittman, J. & Regan, J.3 (1998), A Response to Apparently Low Levels of Numeracy and Literacy Amongst First Year University Environmental Science Students: A Numeracy and Literacy Skills Survey
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 106-121

1School of Resource Science & Management, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW2480, Australia
2School of Geography, Population & Environmental Management, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
3Learning Assistance Unit, Information Services, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW2480, Australia


This paper describes a numeracy and literacy skills survey administered annually to approximately 200 first year environmental management students, a group traditionally considered weak in basic numeracy and literacy skills. The intention of the survey is to provide students with feedback regarding their numeracy and literacy skills levels, and thus the opportunity to take appropriate action where necessary. Additionally, the survey serves to inform teaching staff, thus providing them with opportunities of adjusting their teaching style. The survey boosts morale amongst student who are often under-confident of their basic numeracy and literacy skills. In reviewing the initial applications between 1995 and 1997, the survey appeared successful in meeting its objectives. However, after its initial trial, several changes in its design and, especially, administration were necessary, resulting in a revised version with a strong focus on student self- and peer-assessment. Most importantly, the survey evolved from being a skills assessment instrument to one which provides a core teaching function. In addition to assisting students to identify their own strengths and weakness, it now indicates to students what is required of them in the way of literacy and numeracy within their course work, and how their work is assessed by lecturers.

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Geok-Chin, T.1, Kim-Eng Lee, C.2 & Chuan, G.K.2 (1998), A Survey of Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour of Students in Singapore
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 181-202

1Ministry of Education, Kay Siang Road, Singapore 248922
2National Institute of Education, Singapore


The purpose of this study is to gather baseline data on the level of environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of secondary and junior college students in Singapore. For this purpose, an instrument of 55 items was designed and tested on a sample of 1256 secondary three (Grade 9) and junior college year one (Grade 11) students. The students' mean environmental knowledge score was 70.9%. The mean correct response rates for the environmental fact, concept and generalisation subtests were 68.0%, 68.8% and 78.0% respectively. The mean environmental attitude and behaviour scores were 66.0% and 70.5% respectively. When investigating the students' main source of environmental information, it was found that the students gained most of their environmental knowledge from out-of-school sources rather than from general education at school. The majority of the students (53.7%) indicated that they gathered most of their environmental information from the printed media (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media (radio and television). Only 30.7% of the students indicated that general education at school was their main source of environmental information.

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