From researchers to primary school: Dissemination of scientific research results on the beach. An experience of environmental education at Nefza, Tunisia

TitleFrom researchers to primary school: Dissemination of scientific research results on the beach. An experience of environmental education at Nefza, Tunisia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsFanini, L, ElGtari M, Ghlala A, El Gtari-Chaabkane T, Scapini F
JournalOceanologia
Volume49
Issue1
Pages145 - 157
Keywordsenvironmental education, Local stakeholders, Mediterranean coastal zone, primary school, Sandy beaches
Abstract

Within the framework of the MEDCORE project on the ecology and management of Mediterranean coastal areas we decided to include the local dissemination of scientific results in Tunisia. The involvement of a local public school, and the joint work of local teachers and of local and international researchers, was chosen as a dissemination method because of the role of the school as an educational centre and the natural interest and curiosity characterising the schoolchildren. As the subject of the experience of dissemination a beach-dune system was considered suitable because of it was near, familiar and easy to reach, and also because of the economic importance of such environments, which generate considerable income as a result of tourists frequenting them. In environmental education, however, less emphasis is placed on this particular environment. A test performed before and after a school trip to the beach showed an increase in knowledge among children about beach-dune systems. Correlations between the gender and background of the children with their previous knowledge and information acquired from the field experience were analysed, and found to be not significant. All the children were equally receptive to environmental issues, regardless of their gender or background (urban/rural environment). One of the main results obtained through this experience is the effectiveness of sharing knowledge with local people, as stakeholders of study sites. The next step in the process of disseminating scientific knowledge for the benefit of the local community should be to examine its possible long-term effects. © 2007, by Institute of Oceanology PAS.

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