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Ecological science contributes to solving a broad range of environmental problems. However, lack of ecological literacy in practice often limits application of this knowledge. In this paper, we highlight a critical but often overlooked demand on ecological literacy: to enable professionals of various careers to apply scientific knowledge when faced with environmental problems. Current university courses on ecology often fail to persuade students that ecological science provides important tools for environmental problem solving. We propose problem-based learning to improve the understanding of ecological science and its usefulness for real-world environmental issues that professionals in careers as diverse as engineering, public health, architecture, social sciences, or management will address. Courses should set clear learning objectives for cognitive skills they expect students to acquire. Thus, professionals in different fields will be enabled to improve environmental decision-making processes and to participate effectively in multidisciplinary work groups charged with tackling environmental issues.
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- Ecological literacy and beyond: Problem-based learning for future professionals
Thomas M. Lewinsohn
José Luiz Attayde
Carlos Roberto Fonseca
Leonardo Ré Jorge
Gerhard E. Overbeck
Paulo Inácio Prado
Valério D. Pillar
Pedro L. B. da Rocha
Wesley Rodrigues Silva
Wolfgang W. Weisser
- Springer Netherlands