“I will not shy back “

“The teacher education programme in Biology allows me to look at nature from entirely different perspectives. Over the course of my studies, I caugth biophilia, which is quite common among nature lovers. It resulted in new hobbies such as birdwatching, microscopic examinations, botanical and zoological outdoor excursions for species identification and participating in lectures.

I feel that in times of climate change and the resulting loss of biodiversity, future teachers bear even greater responsibility to heighten awareness of the way we humans interact with our planet. My challenge as a future teacher will be to get future generations excited about biological phenomena and offer them opportunities for discovering their love of nature.

The current semester question “How can we protect biodiversity?” highlights how important the discourse on nature conservation is for science, politics and society. To me, the well-known motto “You can only protect what you know” represents the core of protecting biodiversity. For example, do you know the endangered turtle dove, which is native to Austria and has been named the bird of the year 2020? You may know it as a symbol of love, peace or hope. But have you ever seen one? You can only answer this question, if you know what this type of dove actually looks like. It is absolutely worth googling the turtle dove – it is an extremely gorgeous bird. What I am trying to say is that we are currently experiencing an alienation from our immediate environment.

As a future teacher, I can try to slow down this process to ensure that species such as the endangered turtle dove regain our attention. Sustainability and resource efficiency will concern us in the future and I will not shy back from discussing these issues in my biology classes.” – Florian Bayer

Florian Bayer is studying teacher education in Biology and French at the University of Vienna.

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