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Ambio. 2015 Mar;44(2):154-62. doi: 10.1007/s13280-014-0539-2. Epub 2014 Jun 28.

Ecological literacy and beyond: Problem-based learning for future professionals.

Author information

1
Departamento de Biologia Animal, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP, 13083-970, Brazil, thomasl@unicamp.br.

Abstract

Ecological science contributes to solving a broad range of environmental problems. However, lack of ecological literacy in practice often limits application of this knowledge. In this paper, we highlight a critical but often overlooked demand on ecological literacy: to enable professionals of various careers to apply scientific knowledge when faced with environmental problems. Current university courses on ecology often fail to persuade students that ecological science provides important tools for environmental problem solving. We propose problem-based learning to improve the understanding of ecological science and its usefulness for real-world environmental issues that professionals in careers as diverse as engineering, public health, architecture, social sciences, or management will address. Courses should set clear learning objectives for cognitive skills they expect students to acquire. Thus, professionals in different fields will be enabled to improve environmental decision-making processes and to participate effectively in multidisciplinary work groups charged with tackling environmental issues.

PMID:
24973054
PMCID:
PMC4329131
DOI:
10.1007/s13280-014-0539-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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