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04/22/15 Environmental education: theoretical and methodological aspects

UDC 378: 502/504

Vitebsk State Technological University, Vitebsk, Republic of Belarus

Two main problems can be distinguished in the implementation of the environmental education. On the one hand, ecology is an interdisciplinary science. The core of the environmental problems is a variety of reasons which are manifested in different chemical or biological processes. Taking into consideration the diversity and complexity of these reasons, traditional educational approaches do not provide the answer to the questions, determine the symptoms or suggest the ways of avoiding the problem. The second problem lies in the methods of teaching environmental knowledge. «Obvious» environmental problems in the physical, chemical and biological forms are quite understandable with the help of natural science analysis - this analysis is conventional in the science education. The problem is that this knowledge is theoretical and does not develop practice-oriented competence. Practice-oriented approach in the environmental education is realized only when the natural science basics of the environmental issues in the context of professional activity are determined. Tailored to the above mentioned factors strategies are defined as rational knowledge, which is integrated into the content of curricula and programs. Environmental education in this sense is effective only when it is transferred by the teachers of HEI, SVI and secondary schools.

In recent years, several TEMPUS-projects which focus on environmental issues have received the support. Partners from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine were involved in the implementation of these projects. Most of these projects were focused either on the development of individual disciplines or on the issues that are at the point of intersection of ecology and economy. Target priority was to reform the curricula of higher education. However, none of the TEMPUS-projects covering environmental issues in the context of a multi-level educational system has been realized so far. In connection with the aforesaid, the project «Environmental Education for Belarus, Russia and Ukraine», being implemented in vivo «VSTU» has the following objectives:

  1. to conduct the analysis of the existing curricula in the field of general and vocational education, identify weaknesses and shortcomings;
  2. to identify practice-oriented goals and corresponding educational technologies at the seminars within the didactics of environmental education and relevant topics in the field of environmental protection;
  3. to develop the overall concept of ecologically oriented advanced training courses and retraining programs for teachers of secondary and vocational oriented training institutions on the basis of the aforementioned tasks;
  4. to facilitate the implementation of the practice-oriented ecological competence principles in the field of educational and vocational oriented training;
  5. to facilitate the integration of the environmentally oriented educational content into a multi-level system of education of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, thereby supporting activities for the protection of the environment in the partner countries.

In order to promote, the proposed advanced training courses will be developed as remote. Besides, the modernization of the curricula based on the environmentally oriented concept developed in the framework of seminars both from the methodological point of view and in terms of content has been planned. EI «VSTU» has the necessary competencies for the development of a modern approach to the analysis of the interaction between industry and environment. In particular, one of the research areas of the University - research and development of new processes and equipment of industrial ecology and energy saving. The main problems to be solved according to the above direction - the physicochemical and biological eco-friendly technologies for the processing of solid combustible minerals, processing and recycling of organic and inorganic waste, development of technology and equipment for processing industrial waste. The University has organized the Department of labor protection and industrial ecology. The university has a scientific school in the field of ecology, natural resources, resource conservation, environmental management and protection in the emergency situations; postgraduate studies in the specialty 03.25.13 «Geoecology».

Competence of the University in the field of the industrial ecology is confirmed by the participation in the projects of the State program of the scientific research «Construction and Architecture», the Belarusian Republican Fund for Fundamental Research, the presence of Technopark EE «VSTU». Currently, the work on the participation in the state scientific-technical program «Natural resources and environmental risks» in the 2016-2020 is underway.

Semenchukova I., Vaseho V.

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