Sixth Framework Programme logoCitizens and governance in a knowledge-based society

New Perspectives for Learning - Briefing Paper 65

Biology, health and environmental education
for better citizenship

This is an initial Briefing Paper of the project that started in October 2004

Context of the Research

The development of the knowledge-based society creates new opportunities for European citizens to become more aware of health and environmental issues that affect them and others. But, does this promote better citizenship? Is current practice and policy in biology, health and environmental education encouraging better citizenship?

The aim of this project is to clarify and improve understanding of how different aspects of citizenship, including emotional and social dimensions, are promoted or could be promoted through Biology, Health and Environmental Education. It will identify relevant challenges that European education systems face whilst aiming to maximise their efficiency within a knowledge-based society.

This will be achieved by analysis of different conceptual and methodological approaches used in various countries in order to reach a common working practice. This large transnational study involves nineteen countries from Europe (Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom) Middle East (Lebanon), and Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Tunisia) representing comparative geographic regions with different economic and political systems, lifestyles and quality of life.

Key Issues

The project is conducting an analysis of: -

This will aim to identify the relevant challenges that the educational systems have to face and compare the values held by people in the different countries over issues like evolution or sexuality teaching - in different social contexts and with different dominant religions. This will lead to recommendations as to how new methods of teaching these topics may contribute to the reduction of problems related to sexism, racism, fatalism and other health and environmental issues.

Further Information

The full title of the project is: “Biology, health and environmental education
for better citizenship”. The final report is due in 2007.

This is a Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP). The maximum EU financial contribution to this project will be 1 million Euro for a total duration of 36 months.

Research Institutions

Universidade do Minho, Portugal
Université Claude Bernard-Lyon 1, France
Universitaet Bayreuth, Germany
Université Montpellier 2, France
Ist Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy
University of Cyprus, Cyprus
University of Tartu, Estonia
Libaneese University, Lebanon
Faculté des Sciences de Bizerte, Tunisia
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
National Institute of Public Education, Hungary
Vilnius University, Lithuania
University of Malta, Malta
Uniwersytet Marii Curie – Sklodowskiej, Poland
Babes-Bolyai University Cluj, Romania
Universite des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene, Algeria
Ecole Normale Superieure – Marrakech, Morocco
Universidade Pedagógica – Faculdade de Ciências Naturais e Matemática, Mozambique
École Normal Supérieure , Senegal

Contact Person

Mrs. Graça Simões de Carvalho
Universidade do Minho
4710-229 Braga

Tel. +351 253 601238/55
Fax +351 253 601255/616684

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Last updated 28 June 2007