From researchers to primary school: dissemination of MEDCORE scientific results in Nefza, Tunisia
Authors: Mohamed El Gtari°, Adnene Ghlala°, Traki El Gtari-Chaabane§, Lucia Fanini* (°Partner 7; §School "El Jomhouria", Nefza, Tunisia; *Partner1)
The results obtained within the MEDCORE project about sandy shore ecosystems were used for environmental education at primary school level, in order to disseminate an updated scientific information starting from local level. The final aim was to give local people a tool to improve the understanding of their own environment. Such kind of knowledge and interest about the resources and the problems related to a given scenario, is needed to achieve the responsible use of the sandy beach resources.
We involved schoolchildren because, as a matter of fact, they can experience at the same time the traditional knowledge of the relatives continuously updated through time (local experience), and the standardised school programs (general experience).
The local public school "El Jomhouria" (i.e. The Republic) in Nefza was involved in the dissemination project. Researchers and teachers planned the following jointed activity.
Education on the beach
A field trip to Zouaraa beach (Nefza, Tunisia), which has been studied by scientists for many years (UE projects MECO and MEDCORE) was organised. The total amount of participants was: 5 teachers and 86 schoolchildren (8-11 years).
The aim of such activity was to identify key concepts related to the beach-dune ecosystem, to analyse their perception and finally to discuss and integrate the emerging information with that coming from scientific knowledge. Indirectly, observations in nature were possible on the beach-dune ecosystem. Topics of the activity were:
Definition of the beach-dune environment (abiotic and biotic);
Relationships between ecological components of the beach-dune system;
Internal and external features acting on a beach;
Human behaviour on a beach and different human impacts.
A test was performed and submitted to children before and after the activity in order to evaluate the effects of the experience.
Results are still under analysis, following the general idea that we have to limit compartmentalisation in knowledge and its diffusion, attempting to link data with the environment and the environment with people who live in.
This activity is proposed as a standard to be applied in different contexts:
~ Activité didactique effectuée avec les élèves de l'école primaire "La Republique" de Nefza, Tunisie (in French) (.pdf file, 24 KB)
The Director of the school El Jomhouria, Mr. Mokhtar Menjli
The teachers Mr. Noureddin Romdhani, Mr. Mohsen Habboubi, Mr. Ismael Ezzammali and Mrs. Mabrouka Souaihi