By: Noor Eszereen Juferi
Photo: Marina Ismail
Serdang, February 25 - Faculty of Forestry, University Putra Malaysia (UPM) has launched a book on the use of interpretation as a teaching method, focusing on environmental education.
The book, written by two lecturersfrom the faculty, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Manohar Mariapan and Dr. Evelyn Lim Ai Lin,was derived from the resultsinthe previous ‘Mengkaji Keberkesanan Program Pendidikan Alam Sekitar dalam Mempengaruhi Hubungan Manusia-Hidupan Liar di Kalangan Murid-Murid Sekolah Menengah’research.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Manohar, said the book provides an introduction to the use of persuasive interpretation as a communication tool that can be used in teaching environmental education as well as various subjects in schools.
"The EROT (enjoyable, relevant, organized and thematic) interpretation model is used in the process of planning and designing the environmental education programmesto influence students in supportingwildlife conservation efforts through their involvement as environmental education programmes promoters in schools,"he said.
He added, interpretation technique is a method practiced in most developed countries,especially in the field of natural area recreation, toaffect the visitors’behavior ingetting involved in conservation efforts.
"This book is the first attempt to introduce the use of interpretation as a method in teaching environmental education to educators," he said about the book that won the gold medal in the Invention, Research and Innovation Exhibition (PRPI) organised by the university last year.
Dr. Manohar said the uniqueness of the book also highlights on the emotion influences in the teaching and learning process that enables the delivery of information to become more meaningful and relevant to students.
"The book’s cover has an important interpretation elementsthrough the use of the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch to enrich the experience and ensure that the information delivered has meaning to the audience.
"In the context of this book’s cover, all the senses should be used to detect, identify and observe the prayingmantis in determining and understanding the survival of its habitat and ecological balance," he added.
His colleague, Dr. Evelyn Lim said a series of experiments were carried out at several locations in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak from 2012 to 2014.
"A total of 600 secondary school students have proved that the use of thisteaching and learning process has become more relevant to students," she said.
The book was published by Faculty of Forestry,UPM,in collaboration with Education Ministry and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)for school teachers.
Meanwhile, the book was launched by Education Deputy Director (Education Policyand Development), Education Ministry, Dato'Khairi Awang at the Sultan Idris Shah ForestryEducation Centre (SISFEC), UPM on February14.
At the launch, the first Education Coordinator Workshop for teacherswas organised through the MNS Nature Club Project (Projek Kelab Pencinta Alam MNS)to promote the use of interpretation as a new dimension in the learning environmental education process in schools. - UPM
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