Biology Teachers’ Conceptions about Nature and Environment - Two Fundamental Concepts of Education for Sustainable Development


  • Gregor Torkar



environment, nature, biology teacher, concepts, Education for Sustainable Development


Education for Sustainable development (ESD) is an important strategy in achieving environmental improvement. Educators, such us biology teachers, have an important role to play. This article explores biology teachers’ conceptions and ideas about nature and environment, two basic conceptions in ESD. The study involved 105 biology teachers working in primary schools in Slovenia. The participating biology teachers completed a word association questionnaire. The analyses of the data show that the dominant conception of biology teachers concerning nature is biophysical. Nature is seen as non-human environment used by humans only as place of sport, recreation, beauty, quietness and rest. Dominant dimensions of environment are biophysical dimension, dimension of destruction and technostructure dimension. Environment is seen as place more dominated by human activities, infrastructure and consequences of pollution and degradation. Some similarities in teachers’ conception of nature and environment indicate conceptual confusion. Some teachers obviously think that the concept of environment is identical with that of nature.


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Original Research Paper

How to Cite

Torkar, G. (2009). Biology Teachers’ Conceptions about Nature and Environment - Two Fundamental Concepts of Education for Sustainable Development. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 52(1), 61-68.

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