Environmental Education during and Post-COVID-19: Challenges and New Opportunities

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 7344

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental education is “a learning process that increases people’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and its associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, and fosters attitudes, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action.” (UNESCO & UNEP Tbilisi Declaration). Environmental education can take place in the formal education settings (schools and universities), and it can also occur informally with guidance from environmental educators, for example, citizen scientists. Different from other types of education, environmental education integrates field trips and sometimes laboratory classes into the teaching process.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented and multidimensional challenges to education systems and has had a particular impact on environmental education. Online or remote environmental education presents significant challenges, with new opportunities emerging simultaneously.  Students can no longer learn in the same ways as they did in the field, laboratory, and classroom, and they may struggle to adjust to virtual and asynchronous lessons. They also miss their social interactions with teachers and classmates. However, students also have more control over the lessons and may also enjoy the new-found flexibility of their learning. With new technologies, virtual field trips can provide students access to a variety of natural environments, with very little or no costs for travel and accommodation.

There is still a lack of information that looks broadly at the ways environmental education has adapted during the pandemic and what adaptions have been the most successful. Furthermore, it is important to explore which aspects of emergency remote teaching should remain in the next generation of environmental education in the post-COVID-19 era. This Special Issue is aimed at providing selected contributions on the advances made in the challenges and progress of environmental education both during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the post-COVID-19 era.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Field teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. Laboratory classes during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  3. The conducting of environmental science/engineering dissertations during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  4. Raising awareness of environmental problems during the COVID-19 pandemic
  5. Environmental citizen science;
  6. The incorporation of good lessons that have been learned during the pandemic and that can be implemented into environmental education in the post-COVID-19 era.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Hong Yang
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • environmental education
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • field class
  • laboratory class
  • online teaching
  • dissertation
  • environmental citizen science

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 2267 KiB  
Article
Aquaculture: How German Preservice Teachers’ Perception Interacts with Values, Knowledge, and Conceptions of Environmental Concern When Making Purchasing Decisions
by Michaela Maurer, Verena Pietzner, Holger Winkler and Corinna Hößle
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070665 - 29 Jun 2023
Viewed by 912
Abstract
Responsibly using resources is an essential goal of the 2030 agenda. An overall need for 180 tonnes of fish per year is pushing the limits of sustainable fishing. Teachers can focus on this topic to enhance the environmental awareness of sustainability issues in [...] Read more.
Responsibly using resources is an essential goal of the 2030 agenda. An overall need for 180 tonnes of fish per year is pushing the limits of sustainable fishing. Teachers can focus on this topic to enhance the environmental awareness of sustainability issues in learners (e.g., sustainable consumption, production, and supporting sustainable judgements). For this purpose, we developed a questionnaire on the topic of aquaculture using LimeSurvey and administered this survey to preservice teachers. The survey contained five open questions relating to aquaculture terms, a semantic differential with 14 adjective pairs that concern the interest in and usefulness of aquacultures; the environmental motives scale to determine the environmental concern of the teachers, and a self-developed set of items on systems—consumption knowledge, and social influence. Individuals in the target group (n = 158) indicated that they thought aquaculture products were rather useless and uninteresting, and they purchased them less. The results showed that the participants mostly correctly defined the aquaculture terms, but an overall understanding of system- and consumption-related knowledge, for example, was missing. Aquaculture seems to be associated more with profit than with nutrition or environmental concerns. We illustrate a possible barrier to the communication of less-familiar issues in society. Full article
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15 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Higher Education in a Post-Pandemic World
by Georgios Tsantopoulos, Evangelia Karasmanaki, Konstantinos Ioannou and Marina Kapnia
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12120856 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3612
Abstract
The pandemic caused major disruptions in academic life and led educational institutions to adopt online learning which is likely to leave its mark on post-pandemic higher education. The aim of this study was to contribute to the effort of overcoming the challenges of [...] Read more.
The pandemic caused major disruptions in academic life and led educational institutions to adopt online learning which is likely to leave its mark on post-pandemic higher education. The aim of this study was to contribute to the effort of overcoming the challenges of higher education during the fragile period of transitioning to the post-pandemic era. The objectives were to investigate undergraduate students’ experience during and after the pandemic and to identify the factors that affect their satisfaction with online and in-person learning. To meet these objectives, environmental students, recruited with multistage sampling, were administered questionnaires. Results showed that satisfaction with in-person learning was higher than online learning pointing to a preference for face-to-face modes of education. Although students were optimistic during the transition to the post-pandemic period, the pandemic caused students more stress over their studies than economic difficulties. Moreover, students’ satisfaction with online learning was mostly affected by their anxiety about their studies due to the pandemic, their demographic characteristics, and the type of information sources they used to obtain information about COVID-19. On the other hand, satisfaction with in-person learning was affected by information sources on COVID-19 and their parents’ occupation. Finally, students acknowledged the importance of protecting the environment and biodiversity in order to prevent pandemic outbreaks in the future. Full article
14 pages, 1978 KiB  
Article
Higher Education Institution beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic—Evidence from Romania
by Sofia David, Ludmila Daniela Manea, Florina Oana Virlanuta, Nicoleta Bărbuță-Mișu and Iulian Adrian Șorcaru
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100693 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the education system in Romania. The major objective of this study was to identify the challenges in higher education institutions beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study is based on a questionnaire-type analysis with 388 respondents (students from [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the education system in Romania. The major objective of this study was to identify the challenges in higher education institutions beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study is based on a questionnaire-type analysis with 388 respondents (students from different universities). Using the SEM-PLS method, we designed a conceptual model, which is based on seven latent variables: a resilient education system in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (SER); teacher–student, student–teacher, and student–institution communication (PS); logistical assistance from the educational institution (AL); adaptation according to knowledge-economy requirements (EC); online teaching–learning in higher education (API); a hybrid education model (EH); and digital skills and the integration of digital technology in institutions (ITE). We formulated seven hypotheses in order to test the strength of the correlation between the latent variables. Our research highlights a significant correlation between logistical assistance from the educational institution (LA) and teacher–student, student–teacher, and student–institution (PS) communication. Moreover, logistical assistance from the educational institution (LA) has a significant effect on the teaching–learning activity. Full article
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