The Blue Planet Earth Systems Approach (BEPESA) For The Study Of Water Related Systems
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O. Ben-Zvi-Assaraf, N. Orion & D. Ronen
The blue planet earth systems approach (BEPESA) for the study of water related systems O. Ben-Zvi-Assaraf1, N. Orion2 & D. Ronen3 1The Science Teaching Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel 2The Science Teaching Department, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel 3Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Department of Environmental Hydrology & Microbiology, Israel Abstract This paper calls for an environmentally-oriented program that is based not only on environmental education towards awareness, but a program that helps develop environmental insight and understanding. The Israeli chapter of the IHP and the Israel National Commission for UNESCO present the Blue Planet Earth Systems Approach (BEPESA). The main goal of BEPESA, presented here, is to encourage junior-high school students to develop system-thinking as a basis for environmental literacy. BEPESA is an earth system-based curriculum package focusing on water-related issues in an environmental context. It has been applied and tested in Israel since 2000 in association with cognitive-based research that disclosed unusual positive results. High order thinking skills, such as system thinking skills, can indeed be taught at the junior high-school level, leading to considerable gains in students' reasoning and abilities. Furthermore, students involved in the learning process through knowledge integration activities, scientific inquiry, and with a concrete connection with the outdoor learning environment, achieved meaningful improvement in their systems-thinking skills. Keywords: system thinking, earth science education, sustainable development. 1 Introduction In the 21st century, our contact with and understanding of natural aquatic environments has become an issue of paramount importance for sustaining and
system thinking, earth science education, sustainable development.