Exploring Turkish preservice teachers' mental models of the environment: Are they related to gender and academic level?

Ahi B., Balcı S., Alisinanoğlu F.

Journal of Environmental Education, vol.48, no.3, pp.182-195, 2017 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00958964.2016.1267102
  • Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Education
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.182-195
  • Keywords: DAET, drawing, environment, mental model, preservice teacher, qualitative analysis, STUDENTS, KNOWLEDGE, CONCEPTIONS, IDEAS
  • TED University Affiliated: No


© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.The current study aimed to establish Turkish preservice teachers' mental models of the environment and to determine the relationship these models have with gender and grade level. The study group comprised 463 Turkish preservice teachers from primary school education and preschool education departments. The data from the study were collected from drawings made by the participants. The drawings were evaluated using the Draw-an-Environment Test Rubric (DAET-R). The results of the study revealed that preservice teachers provide only superficial and scientifically deficient descriptions of the environment and that they constructed their mental models by perceiving the environment not as a unity of systems but as an object. On the basis of the findings, which showed that many preservice teachers do not include humans in their drawings, or draw biotic factors without other elements, it was concluded that preservice teachers perceive the environment as “nature” only. Although no statistically significant difference was found between females and males with respect to their mental models, significant differences occurred between second-year and fourth-year students and between third-year and fourth-year students, in favor of second- and third-year students.