Articles and studies
Abstract: The motifs (notions and concepts, in their psychosocial sense,) that make up the ecological identity and the other components of identity have been studied for two decades in several countries. We present a preliminary set of those potential motifs of ecological identity formation that come from the Carpathian landscape and landscape-related symbols. The elements of ecological identity of an adult group of Hungarian citizens, namely public administrators from all over the country, interested in learning for sustainable development have been collected by exploring the details of their potential set of motifs with local natural environmental content. Correlations of these potential motifs with ecosystem services were examined as well. Potential or effective ecological motifs originating in the natural environment, in the local ecosystem of a group of adult learners were found to be mainly sensual notions. Old school or family excursions were also very common; as well as the fixation of imaginations and feelings belonging to memories of recreational sites. Well-known, frequently visited tourist sites are also reflected in ecological motifs. Concerning ecosystem services, the ecosystem elements that give an aesthetic sensation (namely, the cultural ecosystem services) are the most common and the strongest. Encoding and seriating this set of ecological motifs serve to design a structured survey in the future. The examination of potential or actual ecological motifs of ecological identity, their formation and fixation can provide another point of reference in all areas of sustainability education, especially in environmental education, in global education, but also in aesthetic and moral education.
Keywords: ecological identity; ecological motifs; local natural environment, cultural ecosystem services
Abstract: The importance of education for sustainable development and environmental sustainability (ESD) was acknowledged decades ago. Many studies investigated students' environmental awareness, but the majority are simple descriptive ones. Only few studies try to investigate efficiency of ESD in schools and the causal background that shapes students' environmental awareness. By means of questionnaires, environmental awareness of 845 students and their socio-economical background was measured in 13 Hungarian secondary schools. A pragmatic analysis was performed in order to explore which are the main factors, either student's background or school's background related factors, responsible for the huge variation observed in the environmental awareness of students. Different aspects of environmental awareness were investigated, such as self-declared behaviours (consumer habits, healthy food habits, thrifty habits, waste management) and environmental attitudes. In a preliminary study, teachers were also asked in detail on environmental education principles and the related infrastructural background in the schools. We found that aspects of environmental awareness are strongly determined by the students’ socio-economic background. Elaborated further analyses of schools’ environmental education principles (including eco-school title and practice) are needed to ascertain the effect of ESD on students’ attitudes and behaviours.
Keywords: education for sustainability; socio-economical background; eco-schools;
Abstract: The threat of psychotropic substances has been rising significantly in Hungary. Serious health problems arise not only from illicit drug use but also from tobacco and alcohol consumption. Although genetic predisposition determines the progress from recreational use to addiction, environmental factors are equally important. To find the best way of intervention, environmental factors should be taken into account. We studied the effect of environmental and demographic factors on illicit and legal drug consumption in a population reached via homepages and social media sites, using a questionnaire, filled out mainly by students and also reaching their relatives and acquaintances. Cannabis was the most frequently used illicit drug, and the usage of legal and illicit drugs correlated. Anti-smoking campaigns had not yet diminished the number of smokers, who were equally present in each age group, among wealthy and poor, both in rural or urban areas. Alcohol consumption was independent of wealth but not of the place of residence or education level, while drug consumption corresponded with the place of residence. Alcohol and drug, especially cannabis consumption are higher in urban than in rural areas. The majority of those who never tried them are just above the poverty line or have an average income. In conclusion, to increase the effectiveness of prevention programs the focus of National Anti-Drug Strategy 2013-20, should be broadened to include problems of both illicit and legal drug uses equally in different socioeconomic environments.
Keywords: illicit drug; legal drug; environmental factors;
Abstract: The type and nature of the environmental problems we are facing currently require an adaptive environmental education that is a lifelong learning process rather than a matter of formal schooling. The Magic Tower Science Career Orientation Center and Museum at the Eszterházy Károly University Eger has been committed since its foundation to promote lifelong learning, and establish, in general, an atypical, informal, and non-formal science educational culture in Northern Hungary. One of the target areas of the Tower are the current environmental issues faced by the humanity. In the recent years, the Tower has launched several self-paced and inquiry-based science programs that intended to raise motivation towards environmental sciences, and to create responsible individuals capable to identify environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take efficient action. These programs were aimed at audiences of different age and education level, ranging from preschool children, through secondary school students, to parents and non-specialized researchers. In the present communication, we summarize some of these activities, along with their achievements.
Keywords: science centers; inquiry-based learning; lifelong learning; environmental education;
Abstract: Learning means a lot more than meeting the school curriculum. Only a small part of it can be done in classrooms, it includes lots of additional activities outside of school. Present-day Hungarian public education is traditionally knowledge-driven. Learning normally does not include field activities, even though these extracurricular field activities are the ones giving the pupils a chance to observe the natural phenomena in their natural place and to understand what they learned through their experiences. In some areas that are particularly important in today's educational system, like environmentally conscious education or sustainability education, the field activities would be especially important. They are also needed to understand the connections, the problems and the possible solutions between nature and society. For this purpose institutions and devices that are able to aid the learning process are needed. Borbála nature trail that we designed presents the industrial history of the once thriving industrial city, Salgótarján and it is a perfect place for field activities. The theme of the nature trail can be inserted into the curriculum at several places, including environmentally conscious education at the topic of man-made environment and it can also be found among the topics of sustainability education.
Keywords: Salgótarján, nature trail, industrial history, interactive booklet
Abstract: Many industrial process produce different kind of sludge as by-product. Those various sludge-types can contain heavy metals or other valuable or reusable elements (as rare-earth metals). Our aim is to determine the accumulation rate of these elements in the plant-tissues and establish the phytoremediaton potential of the plants. Laboratory experiment was conducted in seedling growth tests with various mixtures of red mud, converter sludge and different soil-type-peat mixtures. White mustard (Sinapis alba) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) seeds were applied for the experiments. According to these tests we determined that among the mixtures the most capable ones were the red mud mixed with slightly saline or slightly acidic brown forest soils. In case of the converter sludge, mixtures with chernozem and loess soil showed the best results for germination. The presence of the used sludge-types could stimulate the germination of seeds and the growth of plumules of plants, however the results are highly depends on the type of the soils. The results highlight the importance of seedling tests in determining the phytoextraction possibility when using industrial waste materials, such as the tested sludge-types.
Keywords: red mud; converter sludge; plants; germination; bioremediation
Abstract: There is no life without water on the Earth. With the climate change the water cycle will also change. Some regions will be affected seriously. Although Hungary is a water rich country, we have to be aware of our water resources, as most of them is not renewable. Facing to the global warming we recognized the anomalies in the precipitation of the last decades. As, a geography teacher we have several themes during our course in which we can speak about water related problems. But we must prepare and sensitize our student regarding their water usage. Water will be more precious in the closer future. We examined how the water appears in the thematic lessons during the Hungarian geography courses from the elementary to university level. We found a lot of themes in which we can introduce them to become environmentally conscious. Regarding water related problem we found that water footprint is a good tool to involve our students into challenges. On its website www.waterfootprint.org, where is a lot of educational tool as well. Our pupils found it very interesting and useful.
Keywords: water, Hungarian education, geography, water footprint; Introduction
Abstract: While people need to have significantly growing scientific knowledge about plants, there has been a decrease in student education about and interest in botany over the same period. According to the state of the world plant 2017 report from 2016, 1730 plant species are new to science and one from five plant species is endangered with extinction (See the State of the World's Plants Reports, Kew). Considering these facts, it is clear that the botanical knowledge in dynamic learning and teaching topics as well as the critical review of the knowledge elements are very important for the young generation. Within environmental education the elements in school materials (textbooks, experimental textbooks) are examined, which develops plant recognition skills and local or global botanical knowledge. In this article the results of a content analysis are summarized, which extends to the exploration of plant species in the currently most frequently used textbooks, in the 7th, 8th, 10th, 11thor in the 12th Hungarian primary and secondary school classes. This work also demonstrates the value of the plant species appeared in these applied textbooks, and even the rate of the categorized elements most importantly the protected species. Earlier works: The history of methods teaching Biology from the early childhood, The emergence of biodiversity concepts or concept related elements in the Hungarian Biology curricula.
Keywords:plant species; textbooks; Biology education