Ecological socialization - as joining the Man to rational, social and individually justified norms of interaction with nature and its protection – nowadays is not only the task of “bringing up” the younger generation but also an obligatory requirement for every child, teenager and adult of our country as well. And if at school and other educational institutions it is somehow carried out, its implementation at more mature ages leaves much to be desired.
In our research on the problems of ecology and tourism at Lake Baikal the local settlers of Sludyanka town and its neighboring villages were interviewed: “Is there any system of ecological education for grown-ups outside educational institutions?”. The results of the poll were as follows (N=more than 1000 people):
Such a system exists - 17,5%;
Exists in a fragmented way -31,9%;
Does not exist, although it is necessary - 45,9%;
Does not exist, and unnecessary -1,8%;
Difficult to answer or no answer - 2,6%.
As they say, no comments.
Considering the system of ecological education connected with Lake Baikal, one should not forget that the traditional fields of many educational institutions will interact with such social institutions as mass media, governmental structures, public organizations, political parties, etc. Therefore, it is important to analyze the elements of ecological socialization and to see the connections of its aspects in different ways. I would like to examine the aspects of ecological consciousness and behavior, which must permeate all kinds of socialization and upbringing at every age level.
Legal socialization implies:
knowing international documents where Baikal is presented as the world natural heritage and “the object” of ecological protection;
knowing Russian laws on the environment and, first of all, the Russian Federation law “On Lake Baikal”, understanding some special features of legal documents, which result from Russian and international legislation and can be accepted on the level of state and municipal bodies in Baikal region;
being certain that it is necessary to legally regulate nature management in the region of Lake Baikal, obedience to the respective laws;
understanding of social and, of course, scientific premises of nature protection laws;
acknowledgement and approval of legal consequences of ecological law violation in Baikal region (especially of poaching control and unauthorized use of nature’s “gifts”);
supporting legal initiatives of various organizations and people in the field of nature protection and taking the initiative yourself.
At present, one of the most significant aspects of ecological socialization is knowledge and understanding of the legal and administrative responsibility resulting from the violation of laws about nature. First of all, here belong such laws on natural life of Baikal as:
law on the pollution of water, air and natural territories;
on the pollution of the lake with substances harmful for people’s health and for its ecological resources;
deliberate destruction, damage or spoiling nature objects taken under state protection;
illegal fishing or other sea-hunting industry (especially during the spawning period);
cruel treatment of animals;
illegal wood cutting;
forest destruction (intentional or careless) as a result of making fire;
intentional pollution of wood lands, etc.
Economic socialization implies:
understanding that economic and ecological issues are connected, for example, in terms of the idea of economic ecology and ecological economy concerning specific kinds of economic activities in Baikal region;
realising how damaging nature may influence the well-being of present and future generations;
knowing ecological aspects of your enterprize’s economic activity while producing goods or recycling wastes;
mastering ecological skills while doing your job;
understanding economic criteria for efficient nature management assessment;
participation in practical nature protection activities: collecting litter in polluted areas, planting trees, putting waste bins in the areas of tourism and recreation;
Being economical with natural resources.
Aesthetic education presupposes:
being able to see and value the beauty of nature;
getting aesthetic pleasure from the perception of natural objects;
need for activities in the nature according to beauty laws;
being able to make colorful compositions from natural materials;
promoting aesthetic attitude towards Baikal nature.
Patriotic education implies:
knowing the history of the native land and the traditions of human transformation of the natural habitat (both in positive and negative senses);
being aware of environmental public and political organizations activity;
promoting the values of Russian nature;
building the sense of pride for the uniqueness of Baikal region nature;
participation in the actions of local environmental organizations;
comprehension of the fact that ecological activity is closely connected to other important regional and national problems;
trying to involve new residents of the region into environmental activities.
Hygiene and health:
knowing how the natural world influence of on men’s health (climate, weather conditions, etc.);
understanding how natural agents influence people’s condition;
knowledge and well-grounded use of "people’s medicine» to strengthen your health;
using natural sites as places for recreation and physical development;
promoting the necessity of environment protection and improvement to keep people healthy.
Having considered the aspects of ecological socialization in different spheres of people’s life, I can say that they make up only a part of this socially significant job. Any sphere described above can be expanded and detailed with the help of specific knowledge, skills and abilities of different subjects of socialization. In this regard, it is necessary to underline the role of educational disciplines and, accordingly, people teaching ecological socialization. It’ll be efficient only if:
every teacher is well aware of the ecological potential of his field of knowledge, his subject, its specific sections and topics;
the methodological system of presentation of this knowledge has been worked out during the teaching course, and the accent is put on the activity and independence of the learner himself;
they worked out the criteria that allow us to check the level of the students’ knowledge of the discipline environmental "components" and to give them basis for self-testing;
introducing environmental knowledge and skills, teachers need to make interdisciplinary connections to show how the potentials of each discipline harmoniously interact with each other making their necessary contribution to the overall environmental socialization process.
The result of environmental education and socialization is a personality "returned" to nature with its thoughts and feelings. ”Returned” doesn’t imply "going back to caves" but it means “reached beneficial unity and harmony with the environment at a new stage of development”. Such a person keeps in balance nature in himself and in the outer world.
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