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TitleAnalysing the theme of pollution in Portuguese geography and biology textbooks
Author(s)Tracana, Rosa Branca
Ferreira, Cláudia
Ferreira, Maria Eduarda
Carvalho, Graça Simões de
KeywordsEnvironmental education
Sustainable development
Textbook analysis
Environmental education (EE)
Issue date18-Sep-2008
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
CitationRosa Branca Tracana, Graça S. Carvalho, Cláudia Ferreira & Maria Eduarda Ferreira (2008) Analysing the Theme of Pollution in Portuguese Geography and Biology Textbooks, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 17:3, 199-211, DOI: 10.1080/10382040802168289
Abstract(s)Environmental Education has been seen as a basic tool to contribute to the change of conceptions, values, and attitudes. Textbook analysis is a major element in the evaluation of how the educational goals (at the legislative level of national programmes) are implemented at the school level. The aim of the present study was to analyse the progression of the topic Pollution along the 12 years of Portuguese primary and secondary schools, since the 1st year (5/6 years old) up to the 12th school year (16/17 years old), giving special attention to the “Impact on humankind”, “Economic consequences”, “Social risks”, “Aesthetic values” and “Ethical, moral and cultural motivations”. Results showed that: i) the planet is seen as a resource for humankind instead of a resource shared with other living beings; ii) it is given a stronger reliance on technologies in sustainable development rather than to changes of individual and social behaviour; iii) it is conferred unlimited trust in science and technology solutions instead of using the principle of precaution. This study shows that a change of textbooks is recommended in order to give more emphasis to the human role in solving the pollution problems and contributing to improve pupils’ citizenship.
Publisher version
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:CIEC - Artigos (Papers)
DCILM - Artigos (Papers)

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