Navigating through ocean literacy gaps: an analysis of elementary school textbooks in Croatian education

Published: Feb 2, 2024
science curriculum marine education textbooks ocean literacy principles content analysis primary school formal education Adriatic Sea

Ocean literacy (OL), defined as understanding the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean, is crucial for protecting marine ecosystems and resources. This study analysed the integration of ocean literacy principles (OLP) and concepts in Croatian elementary education. The content of textbooks for grades 1-8 across subjects like Nature, Biology, Geography, Chemistry, and Physics was examined. In total, 7,520 pages across 55 textbooks were analysed. The results revealed that, although all seven OLPs were present, numerous concepts were absent or only partially addressed. Discrepancies with the recommended Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence were identified, particularly in lower grades. The findings highlight gaps in incorporating ocean sciences topics into formal education. Enhanced inclusion of OL principles and concepts across subjects and grades would provide students with comprehensive knowledge about the ocean, empowering future generations to make informed decisions and take responsible actions regarding ocean sustainability and conservation. The findings highlight the necessity for collaboration among ocean scientists, educational specialists, and policymakers to incorporate OL into curricula and textbooks, thereby enhancing students’ understanding of ocean sciences.

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