Formation of ecological perception during the educational process
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011
Mambetkaziyev Yerezhep, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Mambetkaziyev Aidar, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Mambetkaziyeva Raushan, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Danilova Nina, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
At the present stage, the prospect of further development of human
society in terms of its relationship with nature has become the subject of
study and reflection not only for specialists of natural science, but also for
philosophers, sociologists, economists, engineers, technologists and other
representatives of humanitarian and technical sciences. This large-scale ecologization
of science, education and other spheres of human activity allows considering
ecology as a part of a general scientific perception. Today the main task of
the educational system is to develop this type of perception in proper time.
In general, perception is a complex, synthetic and integral
formation of social and individual consciousness, which is based on knowledge,
convictions, beliefs, attitudes, aspirations, hopes, values, standards and ideals.
There are four main components in the structure of the perception:
1. Cognitive component
This component is based on generalized knowledge (everyday,
professional, scientific knowledge, etc). It represents a specific scientific
and universal picture of the world, systematizing and generalizing the results
of individual and social learning, styles of thinking of a certain community,
nation or era.
2. Value regulatory component
It includes values, ideals, convictions, beliefs, standards and
directive actions. Value is the property of an object or phenomenon to satisfy
the requirements and desires of people. The system of human values includes
notions of good and evil, happiness and unhappiness, objective and purpose of
For example, life is the main value of a person, as well as his
security. At the same time, one of the purposes of perception is that a person
can be guided by certain social regulators. Consequences of sustained and
repetitive human’s assessment of his/her relationships with other people are
the social norms: moral, religious, legal, environmental, etc., governing the
daily lives of both the individual and society. They are more imperative and
obligatory than values. Standards are the means which connect significant
values of a man with his practical behavior.
3. Emotional-volitional component
To implement the knowledge, values and standards in practice it is
necessary to study their emotional-volitional aspect, to transform them into
personal opinions, convictions, beliefs, and to develop certain psychological
readiness to act.
4. Practical component
Perception is not just a generalization of knowledge, values,
beliefs and attitudes, but the real readiness of a man for a certain type of
behavior in specific circumstances. Without the practical component the
perception would have quite an abstract nature. Even if this perception directs
a person to contemplation, it still develops and promotes a certain type of behavior.
On the basis of previous material, we can define the perception as a
set of views, ratings and standards that detect attitude to the world and act
as guides and regulators of behavior. To move to the concept of ecological
perception it is important to consider the very concept of ecology. Literally
the term "ecology" means "the doctrine about the house".
This term was championed by Ernst Haeckel in the middle of 19th century and
originally it was mostly of biological content. Since then, the notion of
ecology increasingly expanded found application outside the natural sciences.
At the present stage ecology itself acquires the features of perception. Thus,
we achieve the concept of ecological perception that gradually overtakes all
spheres of our lives. Substantive core of this perception is the principle of
consideration of human and nature in their unity and interdependence.
Ecological perception is divided into two approaches to the problem of the
relationship between man and nature. According to the first approach, these
relationships are based on rules set by the person (anthropocentrism). The
second approach, believing a person to be a part of nature and considering the
common development of man and the environment, examines the development of
human society as part of the evolution of nature (ecocentrism). In other words,
human progress is made contingent upon the requirement to obey the laws of
Scientific and technological revolution erased the distinction
between these two approaches. Today, human destiny depends on natural forces as
well as the fate of nature depends on us. And since the current method of
interaction between man and nature is a deadlock, the future of mankind needs
to be associated with the normalization of this interaction through the
formation of ecological perception.
Formation of environmentally oriented perception and consciousness
is recognized by most scientists as the main way out of crisis. Along with
this, the nature conservation technologies are still of high importance.
However, these technologies have only auxiliary functions connected with
environmental ethics. The latter is understood as an ethical system that can
regulate relationships between a man and environment. We should teach future
professionals to be aware of all the negative influence of their actions in the
professional field on the world around us without justifying their actions
whatsoever. It is quite challenging task, but it can be solved by focusing on
the formation of ecological perception in the educational process. The laws
that govern nature and man are surprisingly simple, unified and understandable
to all. They were formulated in the form of the postulates by the American
scientist Barry Commoner in the middle of the XX century.
The first law. Everything is connected to everything else.
The law reflects the ecological principle of holism (integrity) and
based on the law of large numbers. This means that the living dynamics of
complex and branched ecological chains eventually forms a single complicated
system. In an abstract version this statement repeats a certain dialectical
materialist position on universal connection of things and phenomena; in a more
specific level it acts as an extension of the cybernetic nature.
The second law. Everything must go somewhere.
This law speaks of the necessity of a closed cycle of matters and
guaranteeing a stable existence of the biosphere. This is an informal
paraphrase of the fundamental physical law of conservation of matter;
The third law. Nature knows best.
The law has a double meaning. It appeals to get close to nature and
at the same time to be very careful with natural systems.
The fourth law. There is now such thing as a free lunch.
The law says that every new achievement is inevitably accompanied by
the loss of something old. This ecological law combines three previous laws. According
to Commoner, “the global ecosystem is a connected whole, in which nothing can
be gained or lost and which is not subject to over-all improvement, anything
extracted from it by human effort must be replaced. Payment of this price
cannot be avoided; it can only be delayed. The present environmental crisis is
a warning that we have delayed nearly too long”.
The consequence of these laws is everything happening today in the
modern world. In essence, they are based on fundamental physical and chemical
principles. Commoner laws lead to the realization that "the environment
knows no borders" and "thinking globally act locally". Threats
to the ecological and economic crisis are associated not only with the growth
of human impact on the environment and depletion of natural resources. These
threats are primarily the result of human disturbance to the basic laws of
nature. All the processes occurring in human society follow the processes of nature.
Hence it appears the need to use the philosophical aspects of environmental
ideology of the unity of man and nature, their relationship based on knowledge
of the laws of nature during any educational process.
Unfortunately, we do not consider this aspect while teaching. The
main disadvantage of the existing education system is the inability to give
extensive training to enable graduates to understand and solve problems
requiring a multidisciplinary approach. In this regard, the role of formation
of ecological perception in the learning process is increasing. The ecological
perception reflects a holistic understanding of the world and a synthesis of
various human activities, based on knowledge of properties of the biosphere.
The rapid development of mankind in the technical and consumer direction has
led to exclusion of life, nature and earth sciences by the sciences of
industry, commerce and banking. The purpose of knowledge and education is not
the life of society, people's health and desired sustainable development of
humanity, but the profit and business success. People are proud of their
scientific and technological progress, not noticing the irreversible processes
associated with the violation of stability (homeostasis) of the biosphere. For
this, according to the laws of nature, we have to pay public health and to
spend huge sums on health care. Improvements are only possible with a change of
consciousness. It is necessary to change direction in shaping the consciousness
of the younger generation to peaceful coexistence with the biosphere,
recognizing that it is infinitely wiser and stronger.
Here is one of the conclusions of the biosphere theory of a
prominent Russian scientist V.I. Vernadsky: "... humanity, social systems,
the structure of scientific knowledge and the scope of equipment and
technologies are in unity with the environment. Change of any component sooner
or later affects the state of the whole system. Ecology provides a specific
disclosure of the methodological idea of the unity of man and nature, vision
and understanding of the relationship of man and nature on a planetary
Ecological education (from preschool to university) should be seen
as the ideology of the educational process as a whole, with main task to form
an "ecological perception".
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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011