Science & Education

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1039–1053 | Cite as

Towards a Critical Re-Appraisal of Ecology Education: Scheduling an Educational Intervention to Revisit the ‘Balance of Nature’ Metaphor

  • Tasos HovardasEmail author
  • Konstantinos Korfiatis


The ‘Balance of Nature’ metaphor is a pervasive idea in ecology. However, the scientific community acknowledged during the last decades that equilibrium conditions are rare, while disturbance events are not uncommon. We suggest that the exclusive teaching of the ‘Balance of Nature’ metaphor produces cultural, scientific and learning misconceptions about the structure and function of nature. We outline an exemplary educational intervention for high school students to exhibit that the use of computer simulations could serve important educational goals in ecology and environmental education, such as the liberation of the concept of ‘balance’ of its metaphysic burden, the comprehension of the dynamics and the systemic nature of ecological processes and the appreciation of the mutual relation between society and nature.


Protected Area High School Student Environmental Education Target Domain Source Domain 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Primary EducationUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus

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