ERIC Number: ED390541
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Moral and Ecological Reasoning about the Prince William Sound Oil Spill.
Kahn, Peter H., Jr.; Friedman, Batya
This study investigated children's moral and ecological conceptions and values about an actual, environmentally destructive accident, the large oil spill that occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1989. Sixty children from second, fifth, and eighth grades were interviewed on children's reasoning and understandings about the oil spill which caused extensive environmental harm. Questions focused on children's understandings and valuing related to the effects of the oil spill, children's morally obligatory reasoning about the oil spill, children's justifications, and children's conceptions of what it means to live in harmony with nature. The findings showed that the large majority of the children understood the oil spill negatively affected the local environments, it mattered to the children personally that harm occurred to the environments, and children distinguished between harm wrought to marine life by human activity and by other aspects of nature. The majority of children conceived of the harm caused to the shoreline as a violation of a moral obligation. Children in grade two less often generalized their prescriptive judgments compared to the children in grades five. Contains 41 references. (AP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ecological Perspective; Environmental Attitudes; Environmental Awareness; Environmental Ethic; Exxon Valdez Oil Spill; Oil Spills
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society (Berkeley, CA, June 1995). This research was supported, in part, by an Interdisciplinary Studies Council Grant (Colby College) and by the Clare Booth Luce Foundation.