ERIC Number: EJ826881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Attitudes of Interior Design Students towards Sustainability
Ruff, Caimen Leigh; Olson, Margot A.
International Journal of Technology and Design Education, v19 n1 p67-77 Mar 2009
To measure attitudes toward environmental issues, interior design students responded to a four-part survey: demographics, ecology, sustainability, and comments. The ecology section was composed of modifications of questions from the New Ecological Paradigm Scale (Dunlap et al. "Journal of Environmental Education," 9:10-19, 2000). The researchers composed the items in the sustainable section to reflect perceptions related to the use of sustainable products and solutions in interior design scenarios. Although the ecology and sustainability survey results exhibited great variability, responses to individual items mostly averaged towards the more pro-environmental and pro-sustainability sides of the scales. While average scores on the ecology section of the survey showed the respondents as a group to be moderately pro-environmental, most items revealed a considerable amount of undecided ratings and quite a few students who perceived the environment to be somewhat invincible. The data also indicated a discrepancy between what students think they know (sustainability section) and what the students actually reveal in their open-ended answers (comments section). The survey results imply that educators, who themselves are likely to be pro-environment, cannot merely assume that their students share the same values and attitudes. Beginning instruction with explanations and examples of sustainable methods and products will not be sufficient to communicate the delicate balance between Human use of resources and Nature's ability to replenish. Design educators need to set the stage for sustainability rather than just assume that students will embrace the concept. Hopefully, more research studies will inspire others to evaluate their own students' feelings about the environment.
Descriptors: Interior Design, Student Attitudes, Environmental Education, Ecology, Sustainable Development, Student Surveys, Teaching Methods, Technology Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A