21 July 2024
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Citizen Science: A Gateway to Conservation for Children

In a recent study conducted by Dr. Bethan Stagg from the University of Exeter and Professor Justin Dillon from UCL, it was found that access to gardens and citizen science projects at school can play a significant role in promoting pro-conservation behavior among children. The study, published in the Journal of Biological Education, highlights the importance of offering children the opportunity to engage in authentic scientific ecological work and gardening activities.

The Impact of Ecological Gardens on Children

According to Dr. Stagg, ecological gardens provide valuable opportunities for children to observe ecological interactions in-depth, fostering empathy towards living organisms and increasing interest in the natural environment. Active engagement with plants through gardening and planting activities has been shown to be particularly effective in raising awareness about plants and their importance in the ecosystem.

Challenges and Recommendations for Educators

The study also points out some challenges in implementing pedagogic gardening practices in schools, such as teachers’ low horticultural knowledge and lack of time for training. To address these barriers, the research suggests including more gardening-related content in teacher training courses. Additionally, the study recommends that teachers opt for citizen science projects that align with students’ interests and capabilities to ensure lasting engagement.

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Empowering Teachers and Students for Conservation

To further support educators in teaching ecology and conservation, the study proposes that teacher memberships of ecology professional societies could enhance their confidence and provide valuable support networks. Moreover, incorporating citizen science participation into curriculum content and assessment can be a powerful strategy to ensure student engagement and diligence in data collection.

Citizen science and gardening activities have the potential to inspire a new generation of conservationists by fostering a deep connection with nature and promoting a sense of responsibility towards environmental stewardship. By providing children with hands-on experiences in ecological gardens and citizen science projects, educators can instill a lasting passion for conservation and enable them to make meaningful contributions to safeguarding our planet’s biodiversity.

Links to additional Resources:

1. https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/ 2. https://www.citizenscience.gov/ 3. https://www.conservation.org/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Ecological gardens, Citizen science, Conservation

Eco Garden (disambiguation)
Eco Garden is an ecological wetland park in the Maldives. Eco Garden may also refer to: Eco Gardens Lucknow, Ecological gardens in Lucknow city.
Read more: Eco Garden (disambiguation)

Citizen science
Citizen science (similar to community science, crowd science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, participatory monitoring, or volunteer monitoring) is research conducted with participation from the general public, or amateur/nonprofessional researchers or participants for science, social science and many other disciplines. There are variations in the exact definition of citizen science, with...
Read more: Citizen science

Conservation is the preservation or efficient use of resources, or the conservation of various quantities under physical laws. Conservation may also refer to:
Read more: Conservation

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