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

TitleFrom researchers to primary school: dissemination of scientific results on the beach. An experience of environmental education at Nefza, Tunisia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsFanini, L, ElGtari M, Ghlala A, ElGtari M, 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.

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