UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Teachers' perspectives of Ocean Literacy through an ethic of care Jackson-Drouin, Natasha


The world’s oceans face an uncertain future through human actions leading to environmental crises such as warming waters, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, mass extinction, and ecosystem collapse. Ocean education through ocean literacy is one approach to mitigate the consequences of our industrialized society by promoting awareness, connection, and caring for the ocean. This study sought to understand the perspectives of five teachers who experienced a module on ocean literacy through an ethic of care during an environmental education course. Nel Noddings’s ethics of care along with Peter Martin’s interpretations of her work within the context of environmental education provided a theoretical framework to guide the study. Qualitative research methods including structured interviews (surveys), semi-structured interviews, participant reflections, and research fieldnotes were used as data sources. By employing Miles and Huberman’s approach to thematic analysis, the findings were organized into three key themes which denoted how the teachers: (1) expanded their awareness of their relationship with the ocean; (2) increased their Ocean Literacy; and (3) increased their understanding of Ocean Literacy and the role of place in ocean education. Study findings indicated the teachers incorporated a growing awareness of their relationship with the ocean through reflection of past experiences. Recognizing the important role of companions and place was also an important contributor to their perspectives. This study’s findings have implications on how ocean education through ocean literacy, with an emphasis on an ethic of care can be framed in educational settings.

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