School Students' Conceptions about Biodiversity Loss: Definitions, Reasons, Results and Solutions

Kilinc A., Yesiltas N. K. , Kartal T., DEMİRAL Ü., EROĞLU B.

RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION, vol.43, no.6, pp.2277-2307, 2013 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11165-013-9355-0
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2277-2307
  • Keywords: Biodiversity, Biodiversity loss, Conceptions, School students, BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, ATTITUDES, KNOWLEDGE, SCIENCE, PUPILS, IDEAS
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Environmental degradation stemming from anthropocentric causes threatens the biodiversity more than ever before, leading scholars to warn governments about the impending consequences of biodiversity loss (BL). At this point, it is of great importance to study the public's conceptions of BL in order to identify significant educational implications. However, a review of the literature reveals a relatively small body of research about the public understanding of BL. In this qualitative study, we thus strived to elicit Turkish school students' conceptions about BL using a written questionnaire including open-ended questions with respect to the definition of biodiversity as well as reasons for, results of and solutions to BL. The sample consisted of 245 school students in a relatively small city. A two-staged content analysis was run on the responses. The results showed that school students most commonly preferred species-focused definitions of biodiversity and understood BL through such various conceptual patterns as, 'balance of nature', 'forest', 'global warming', 'hunting' and 'indirect conservation'. At the end of the paper, the possible educational implications and future perspectives were discussed.