Nordic Student Teachers’ Views on the Most Efficient Teaching and Learning Methods for Species and Species Identification

Irmeli Palmberg, Sirpa Kärkkäinen, Eila Jeronen, Eija Yli-Panula, Christel Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Teachersneed knowledge of species and species identification skills for teaching thestructure and function of ecosystems, and the principles of biodiversity andits role in sustainability. The aim of this study is to analyze Nordic studentteachers’ views on the most efficient methods and strategies to teach and learnspecies and species identification, and to find some trends about how welltheir views are reflected in a species identification test. Student teachers inFinland, Norway, and Sweden (N = 426)answered a questionnaire consisting of fixed and open-ended questions, and aspecies identification test. An analysis of variance, Chi-Square, and t-test were used for quantitative dataand an inductive content analysis for qualitative data. Results showed that outdoorteaching and learning methods are more efficient than indoor methods. Themajority of student teachers considered outdoor experiential learning withliving organisms as the most efficient teaching and learning method. Studentteachers who highlighted outdoor experiential learning and outdoor project workas their most efficient methods received significantly better results in thespecies identification test than the others. Field trips and fieldwork wereemphasized as the most important sources in schools and universities, while theInternet was the most important source among media. The student teachersunderlined teachers’ expertise in the form of in-depth understanding of subjectsand supervising skills for efficient teaching both outdoors and indoors.Therefore, teaching and learning of species and species identification as thepractical part of biodiversity and sustainability education is emphasized as anintegral part of teacher education programs.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Sustainability
  • biodiversity
  • Teacher professional development
  • species concept
  • teacher education

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