ECOSYSTEM DIDACTICS (PREFIT - AREA D)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide the scientific basis that results from the evolution of the ecological thinking and research in environmental sciences, as a prerequisite for training of teachers that will transmit knowledge on the use and conservation of natural resources and management of altered environmental processes.
At the end of the course the student is expected to be able of:
- knowing the structure and functioning of both natural and anthropized ecosystems
- analyzing fundamental topics of general ecology
- aquiring tools to make informed decisions and plan actions aimed at protecting the environment and the correct management of natural resources
- applying the acquired knowledge to the development of teaching modules
- guiding pupils in the analysis and assessment of environmental problems of different complexity with methodological rigor.
The attendance of the course will benefit from the knowledge of basic ecology concepts, theories and investigation methods.
Course contents summary
Based on scientific findings in the ecological and environmental fields, the course deals with educational paths and educational activities on subjects of great relevance (environmental sustainability, biodiversity protection, climate change effects, human impacts, ecological and environmental requalification, etc.), which have important consequences on the evolution of ecosystems and on everyday life.
The course adopts a "blended" modality, with an integrated use of different educational formats. In particular, the introductory and final part of the course (about 20% of the total) consist of lectures and discussion of case studies, while 15 teaching units (about 80% of the total) are provided in e-learning mode or as classroom lectures. The teaching units are listed below:
- What is an ecosystem?
- Cycles of matter
- Environmental sustainability
- Ecosystem services
- The economic evaluation of ecosystem services
- Climate change and ecosystem responses
- Biodiversity and ecosystem functionality
- Indices and indicators
- Ecosystems and economy: the environment and the economic development
- The water resource
- The soil resource
- The lentic ecosystem
- The river ecosystem
- The forest ecosystem
- Ecosystems with marked anthropogenic impacts.
Smith T.M., R.L. Smith. 2017. Elementi di Ecologia. 9^ edizione. Pearson Italia. Mondadori.
Galassi S., I. Ferrari, P. Viaroli. 2014. Introduzione all'ecologia applicata. Dalla teoria alla pratica della sostenibilità. CittàStudi, 270 pp.
Quaderni Habitat Ministero dell’Ambiente
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Most of the course is provided in e-learning mode. The part in attendance mainly concerns practical activities on the development of teaching modules, analysis of case studies, exercises with use of indicators, preferably through group discussion. The teaching is carried out through seminar activities held by the academic staff and experts.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam is organised in a written test and the design of a teaching unit.
The written test is composed of questions on topics covered during the course. Each question has a different score, which is clearly indicated on the answer sheet, up to a maximum of 20 points.
The student must also prepare a multimedia presentation on a teaching activity related to a topic assigned by the teacher, followed by discussion. The maximum score that can be acquired is 15 points.
The overall vote results from the sum of the two tests. The exam is passed with a score of at least 18; score greater than or equal to 32 corresponds to 30 cum laude.