Assessing Ocean Literacy in a sample of Italian primary and middle school students

Giulia Realdon (1,2,3), Athanasios Mogias (2,4), Sandra Fabris (3), Giuliana Candussio (3), Chiara Invernizzi (1) & Eleonora Paris (1)
(1) School of Science and Technology, Geology division - UNICAMearth group, University of Camerino, Italy. (2) EMSEA ? European Marine Science Educators Association. (3)Associazione Scienza under 18 Isontina, Italy. (4)Laboratory of Environmental Research and Education, Department of Elementary Education Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece. Corresponding author e-mail: giulia.realdon@unicam.it


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3301/ROL.2019.59         Pages: 107-112

Abstract

Despite the rise of Ocean Literacy (OL) movement at the beginning of 2000s, ocean sciences remain a neglected topic in school curricula of many countries, including Italy. This study investigates ocean-related knowledge and opinions in a sample of 351 primary and secondary school students of North Eastern Italy (4th, 5th and 8th grades) by means of structured questionnaires, before and after a teaching intervention aimed at promoting higher education and careers in the maritime sector. Students demonstrated a moderate level of knowledge and positive opinions about their relationship with the marine environment, as well as some misconceptions about the connectedness of all seas, the origin of half of atmospheric oxygen from the sea and the global dimension of water cycle. After the teaching intervention, primary school students' scores evidenced a significant improvement, while secondary school results showed minimal change. This difference could possibly be attributed to differences in teaching organisation between primary and secondary schools. This is the first investigation on OL among Italian students, and is part of a larger project carried out by EMSEA (European Marine Science Educators Association) in three Mediterranean countries.

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