Educators have a great responsibility to raise the awareness of the generations that grow up in the face of the global environmental problems caused by the changing world. Children learn from their teachers and often imitate them through modelling. For this reason, it is necessary to give good environmental education to teacher candidates during the pre-service training process, taking into account the target audience they will be dealing with in the future. It is of great importance to reveal how these trainings affect the environmental awareness of teacher candidates in terms of developing an effective environmental education. In this study, it is aimed to examine the attitudes and views of pre-school teacher candidates who have or did not receive environmental education towards environmental awareness. For this purpose, mixed (quantitative and qualitative) method was used in the research. In the study, 163 pre-service teachers studying in the Preschool Education Program of the Faculty of Education of Sinop University constitute the study group. In the quantitative dimension of the study, the "Ecological Citizenship Scale" developed by Karatekin and Uysal (2018) was used to measure attitudes towards environmental sensitivity. The scale consists of 4 sub-factors: “participation”, “sustainability”, “responsibility”, “rights and justice”. An interview form consisting of open-ended questions was used to collect the qualitative data of the study. According to the findings, it was seen that the scores of the pre-school teacher candidates regarding the right and justice dimension in their attitudes towards the environment were higher than the other dimensions. In addition, it was determined that there was no significant difference in the scores obtained by the pre-service teachers from the scale applied, according to the status of taking or not taking environmental education courses. The majority of the participants see the environmental education course given as insufficient and state that it would be more effective to carry out these trainings in practice. In this context, the necessity of reconsidering environmental education courses both in terms of content and application dimension emerges.
Ecological citizenship, environmental education, preschool education, teacher candidate, attitude.