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Political literacy in research’s relating environmental education and science teaching

Grant number: 13/10947-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 19, 2013
Effective date (End): December 12, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education - Specific topics in Education
Principal Investigator:Luiz Marcelo de Carvalho
Grantee:Luiz Marcelo de Carvalho
Host Investigator: Ralph Levinson
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of London, England  

Abstract

This study aims to analyze theses and dissertations carried out in Brazil and in The United Kingdom, focused on Environmental Education and Science Education, which explore aspects of political literacy. This project is related to three other more comprehensive research projects: "Environmental Education in Brazil: the analyses of academic production - Theses and Dissertations", carried out by the research group "The environmental themes and the educational process" in Brazil, "Political Literacy as a component of science teacher training: opportunities and challenges for practice", which we are carrying out in collaboration with Dr. Ralph Levinson, from the Institute of Education of the University of London, supported by The British Academy, and a third one, which analyzes papers from Brazilian and English journals dealing with the relationships between Environmental and Science Education. The comparative analyses of the meaning making process about the relationships between "Environmental Education", "Science Literacy" and "Political Literacy", present in the researches on Environmental Education being developed in Brazil and in The United Kingdom, besides revealing nuances about the state of the art in environmental education in these countries could provide significant elements for ongoing projects and cooperation between these two research groups. We take as starting point the assumptions that have guided the ongoing researches being developed in collaboration with the Institute of Education of the University of London, which explore the relationship between environmental education and natural sciences teaching, and those assumptions that have guided the studies on the "state of art" of Environmental Education in Brazilian this study, particularly, we objective to investigate the meaning making process of "political literacy" that come out in the analysis of Theses and Dissertations on Environmental Education, considering, especially, the appropriation by the authors of concepts such as "citizenship" and "democracy". Considering this general research objective, we can point out some questions that will guide the investigation: in which institutional spaces and academic context are the researches on Environmental Education that explore the relationships between pedagogical practices and political literacy being conducted. In which extent do these contexts offered opportunities to, or, on the other hand, impose limits to the meaning making process about these questions? In other words, in which extent the traits we can identify today in the researches on Environmental Education were shaped by these contexts of production? Have the different educational context been focused in the researches? Which are the recurrent themes and which problems have been privileged by researchers working on environmental education and "political literacy"? Which objectives and theoretic methodological backgrounds have been pointed out? Considering these questions and the objectives of the research, the data collection and analysis will be conducted considering two perspectives which are, at the same time, particular and complementary: the contents analysis and the analysis of the meaning making process in a very particular discursive genre, the theses and dissertations in environmental education and in natural science education, which, in certain way, have the environmental questions as research focus. (AU)

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