• Integrating role-play with case study and carbon footprint monitoring: A transformative approach to enhancing learners' behaviour for a more sustainable environment

      Oliver, Simon P.; University of Chester (Look Acedemic Publishers, 2016-05-01)
      Educators have long used role-play to encourage a significant shift in learner perspective, and the social and cognitive benefits of this active learning tool are well documented. Although the use of role-play has been encouraged as a transformative approach to challenge the worldview of individual learners in the context of environmental education, the efficacy of its application as a direct means to enhance learners’ behavior towards the environment has not been previously investigated. In this study role-play simulations were integrated with case study to expose learners to some of the socioscientific issues that typically arise from environmental debate. Learners were separated into groups representing the interests of parties that typically negotiate environmental affairs in real world scenarios (conservationists, scientists, politicians, NGOs, stakeholders), and tasked with preparing role-play simulations using a variety of flipped learning techniques. Learners’ carbon footprints were monitored pre and post intervention, and CO2 emission scores were used as a proxy for their behaviour towards the environment. Five role-play simulations were run overall. These were integrated with case studies associated with fisheries issues, and climate change. Anonymous participant surveys indicated that learners responded positively to the intervention, and participants’ CO2 emission scores improved significantly (T1,59 = 2.723, p = 0.009). In the context of environmental sciences, learners that engage in the integrated role-play and case study approach may benefit from flipped learning techniques to prepare their simulations, and gain confidence from self-actualising moments of achievement when they realise an improvement in their environmental behaviour.