- to support the acquisition of systemic knowledge of the fundamentals of ecology, its basic concepts, principles and processes, and the role of man in the environment, and of the interrelationships and feedback mechanisms between ecosystems and social systems;
- to support the ability to obtain, process and interpret adequate information on global and local environmental crises, to analyze and enforce appropriate multi-level solutions (individual and society; technological, ecological, educational) and to develop / support sustainable patterns of behavior based on them, thus providing input to the NCC and sustainable development ";
- to support the development of thinking and conceptual structure and metacognitive skills related to thinking, and to integrate ecological knowledge and knowledge of the development of thinking into everyday teaching supporting environmental awareness as a general competence;
- to interpret knowledge about self-regulation and motivation (incl. self-determination theory) in the context of environmentally conscious behaviors.
Brief description of the course
The subject covers key ecological concepts and approaches, such as ecological levels and organizations, ecological factors, population regulations, positive and negative feedback mechanisms in population dynamics, complex systems and cycles, adaptation and evolution, evolution, species relationships, matter and energy cycles. All the topics covered are linked to social processes and human activities through practical examples. It also addresses the role of man in ecosystems, man as part of the ecosystem, and opens the background to conflict situations that have led to global environmental problems and the need for a concept of sustainable development in society. For all ecological concepts, the common / misconception of why they have developed and how to support conceptual development in these concepts is purposefully analyzed. The nature of the language-mediated environment, the development of thinking and the role of spoken mediation in the creation of a unique environment for people are discussed; the meaning of language as a way of perceiving the environment, including the importance of the development of concepts and linguistic mediation in the context and example of the emergence, understanding and solution of environmental problems. Behaviors related to the human environment are understood in relation to self-regulatory knowledge and self-determination theory.
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
- recognizes living and non-living nature as a self-organizing integrated system;
- recognizes man as a biological being as part of a complete ecosystem;
- is able to explain the feedback mechanisms existing in the environment and the interactions between the ecosystem and human activities;
- understands the peculiarities of the language mediated environment;
- recognizes the role of thinking and the development of thinking operations in the development of a unique environment (and its problems) for people;
- analyzes the concepts of ecology from different levels of development of thinking and is able to design learning situations that support conceptual development, including the ability to teach a topic running through the National Curriculum “Environment and Sustainable Development”;
- makes sense of environmental problems in the context of knowledge in the field of self-regulation and motivation.
Mihkel Kangur, Liisa Puusepp, Grete Arro, Triin Ulla