I have a long term research interest in geographical
education (Åhlberg 1977, Åhlberg & Ahoranta 2002
and Åhlberg, Kaasinen, Kaivola & Houtsonen 2001, Houtsonen
& Åhlberg 2001a and 2001b). Geographical education is
along with biological education
an important field by which both Education
for Sustainable Development and Environmental
Education can be promoted.
Geography and biology have a common area of Biosphere.
Both geography and biology are interested in all the other geospheres:
Lithosphere, Hydrosphere and Atmosphere. The difference is that
biology is interested in those other spheres as preconditions, as
media for life. Geography is interested mainly from viewpoint of
planet Earth as a home of humankind. All environmental problems
concern at least one, and mostly all of these geospheres (Park 2001).
Naaem, Loreau and Inchausti (2002, 3) estimate, that "hundreds
of thousands tons of elements and compounds" are moved by biosphere
between the hydrosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere every year.
They continue: "It is this biogeochemical activity that determines
soil fertility, air and water quality, and the habilitability of
ecosystems, biomes and ultimately the Earth itself".
I have introduced three new quality tools (Improved
Concept Mapping, Improved
Vee Heuristics and ARRA or Analysis of Reasoning,
Rhetorics and Argumentation) to monitor and promote geographical
education Åhlberg & Ahoranta 2002 and Åhlberg, Kaasinen,
Kaivola & Houtsonen 2001).
Åhlberg, M. 1977 Elämänikäisen
biologisen ja maantieteellisen kasvatuksen teorian kehittelyä
[Towards a theory of lifelong biological and geographical education].
Licenciate Thesis. University of Helsinki. Department of Education.
Åhlberg, M. & Ahoranta, V. 2002. Two improved
educational theory based tools to monitor and promote quality of
geographical education and learning. International Research in Geographical
and Environmental Education 11(2) 119 - 137..
Åhlberg, M., Kaasinen, A., Kaivola, T. &
Houtsonen, L. 2001. Collaborative knowledge building to promote
in-service teacher training in environmental education. Journal
of Information Technology for Teacher Education 10(3), 227 - 238.
Houtsonen, L. & Åhlberg, M. 2001a. OECD-ENSI-Finland
-project: Knowledge Forum for collaborative knowledge building in
Environmental Education. Poster presented at the Annual Conference
of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British
Geographers. January 2 - 5, 2001. University of Plymouth, England.
Houtsonen, L. & Åhlberg, M. 2001b. Collaborative
learning for teachers in the ENSI environmental education project:
case study climate change - use of knowledge forum group ware software
to amplify the inherent risks. Teoksessa Innovative practices in
geographical education. Proceedings of International Geographical
Union, Commission of geographical Education. Helsinki Symposium.
University of Helsinki, Finland. August 6 - 10, 2001, 140 - 144.
Naaem, S., Loreau, M & Inchausti, P. 2002. Biodiversity
and ecosystem functioning: the mergence of a synthetic ecological
framework. In Loreau, M., Naaem, S. & Inchausti, P. (Eds.) 2002.
Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Synthesis and perspectives.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3 - 11.
Park, C. 2001. Environment. Principles and applications.
Second edition. London: Routledge.