Role of extra-curricular activities on students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward climate change, climate change adaptation and mitigation


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013

Student: ÖZLEM FATMA YILDIRIM

Supervisor: HANİFE AKAR

Abstract:

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of extra-curricular activities on developing students’ knowledge, attitude, and skills with regard to climate change, climate change adaptation and mitigation through a case study. This case study was conducted two school semesters; the first in the Spring academic year 2011-2012, the second in the Fall academic year 2012-2013. 18 Green Team Student Club members and two biology teachers from a private high school in Çankaya district in Ankara constituted the participants of the present study. Data were collected through both quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments with an emphasis on qualitative data for in-depth analysis; CLIMES Student Questionnaire, semi-structured pre/reflective/final interview forms and semi-structured observation form. Descriptive analysis of quantitative data were given by means of frequencies and percentages; while, qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis method. The findings revealed that the students lacked knowledge about climate change mitigation and adaptation, and also had misconceptions at the beginning of the case. Besides, although they were aware of climate change and willing to take actions, their pre-actions were limited to switching off lights, or turning off electronic devices when not in use. Through engaging in the extra-curricular activities, the Green Team Student Club members developed knowledge, attitudes, and skills with regard to climate change, climate change adaptation and mitigation. They learned new concepts and eliminated most of their misconceptions. Moreover, they became more willing to take action and also make other school stakeholders actively participate in climate change adaptation and mitigation processes. Finally, the results revealed that extra-curricular activities helped the students develop lifelong learning skills such as problem solving, research, and communication skills that they would need for climate change adaptation and mitigation.