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Inovacije u nastavi - časopis za savremenu nastavu
2016, vol. 29, iss. 4, pp. 72-86
article language: English
document type: Original Paper
doi:10.5937/inovacije1604072V


Environmental impact of consumerism from the perspective of the social, environmental and scientific education
University of Belgrade, Teacher Training Faculty

e-mail: zorica.veinovic@uf.bg.ac.rs

Abstract

Overconsumption is the root of almost all environmental issues, while modern generations already live at the expense of the future ones. Incorporating the effects of consumerism in school instruction is a possible way of preparing the children for the role of 'sustainable' consumers, which is one of the key roles in a sustainable society. The paper looks at the aspects of the present and prospective approaches to this issue relative to the instruction of the Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE) in primary schools. Theoretical analysis and scientific study of the issue resulted in a definition of a system of categories of the key competencies arising from the causality between consumerism and environmental issues and reflecting the characteristics of education for sustainable development. In addition, it was concluded that the selected requirements were adapted to suit the specificities of the school subject and the age of the children. The defined framework was a starting point for the evaluation of the quality of the current approach to the effects of consumerism on the environment in the school subjects World around Us and SESE. The results of a segment of the empirical research, carried out by testing the students' knowledge at the end of the first cycle of mandatory education in Serbia, are also presented in this paper. The respondents demonstrated selective knowledge of the facts, as well as deficiencies in understanding and application of the knowledge pertaining to the causality between the consumerism and environmental issues. The identified problem reflects not only the quality of the SESE curriculum, but also the quality of instruction which depends on how well the primary school teachers are informed about this topic. The test results confirmed indirectly the other results obtained in a wider research which included the curricula and the primary school teachers. The paper also offers possible solutions to the identified problems.

Keywords

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