ERIC Number: ED432463
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Moral Voices in Environmental Education: The Relationship to Gender and Gender Orientation.
Britner, Shari L.
The purpose of this study was to determine if the moral voices of care and justice, as described by C. Gilligan (1982), would be expressed in the solutions to environmental dilemmas selected by 7th grade students. A further goal was to determine if those voices were differentially expressed by girls and boys, and if that difference was related to gender alone or to gender role orientation. The Environmental Dilemmas Measure of Moral Orientation Survey presented 281 urban school students with 9 environmental dilemmas and 2 response items, each resulting in 18 items and 2 subscales, one designed to measure the care orientation in response to environmental situations, the other designed to elicit the justice orientation. Results showed that the three-item care scale was strongly associated with the female participants in the study, lending support to the extension of Gilligan's theory into the area of environmental science. When controlled for gender role orientation, the association of the care voice with sex was eliminated. The feminine gender role orientation was the stronger determinant of the care voice for the participants of this study. Environmental education is being integrated into an increasing number of science curricula. If consistent gender differences are found in the evaluation of environmental dilemmas, it will be important for educators to be aware of these differences so that they can teach to each student's strengths, and consider them when designing programs and assessments. Contains 46 references. (CCM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: American Association of Univ. Women Educational Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).