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How French Students Meet the Environmental Challenges?

Résumé : Whilst the science education for the 21st century is meant to foster an engagement and an understanding of science in society and environmental problems, there is a need to examine those aspects and issues that are relevant (major issues, role of scientists and experts, role of the future...). However, little attention was paid to these concerns in the curriculum. Yet, young people’s views of the future reflect the sociopolitical concerns of the time (Hicks, 1996). In the present article, the purpose is to document to what extent students do agree with the statements about some environmental challenges (pollution, overuse of resources, global changes of the climate, future...) with a data from a questionnaire-based study involving students attending secondary school in France. This study forms part of a wider international survey, the Relevance of Science Education (ROSE) project, based at the University of Oslo. Our result show that French students are interesting in learning about pollution of water and air, but are not interesting in learning about practices that limit the effects of pollution and pesticides. Students seem to be unaware of the causal chain that is at the origin of pollution. Lange (2012) ensures the contribution of science partially to equip the citizen for democratic deliberation within particular contexts. However, environmental knowledge can be uncertain. This doubt maintains the democratic potential of the environmental issues, arousing controversies which are the lifestyle choices and the choices of society. Given these findings, we have to help students to build a relationship to the environment, more relevant on social and personal level, with more informed and located knowledge. A relationship renewed between humans and environment based on integrated designs of the future.
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Faouzia Kalali. How French Students Meet the Environmental Challenges?. International journal of environmental & science education , Look academic publishers, 2017, 12 (10), pp.2327-2346. ⟨hal-02392786⟩

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