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ERIC Number: EJ1066665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0095-8964
Undergraduate Understanding of Climate Change: The Influences of College Major and Environmental Group Membership on Survey Knowledge Scores
Huxster, Joanna K.; Uribe-Zarain, Ximena; Kempton, Willett
Journal of Environmental Education, v46 n3 p149-165 2015
A survey covering the scientific and social aspects of climate change was administered to examine U.S. undergraduate student mental models, and compare knowledge between groups based on major and environmental group membership. A Knowledge Score (scale 0-35, mean score = 17.84) was generated for respondents at two, central East Coast, U.S. universities (n = 465). Elements of student mental models examined include environmental issue confusion, skepticism, and self-reported understanding. This study finds that students frequently confuse climate change with other environmental issues, and that a substantial majority of students do not have an understanding of climate change that closely matches the scientific model. These misconceptions extend to their understanding of mitigation actions. Environmental group membership is shown to be a greater determinant of climate change knowledge than enrollment in a science major.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A