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ERIC Number: EJ941498
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Mental Models Research to Inform Community Outreach for a Campus Recycling Program
Olson, Lauren; Arvai, Joseph; Thorp, Laurie
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v12 n4 p322-337 2011
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of the state of knowledge of students and faculty on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus; identify relevant gaps in knowledge and misconceptions about recycling; and provide recommendations regarding how these gaps and misconceptions may be addressed through education and outreach. Design/methodology/approach: Using mental models analysis, the current state of knowledge possessed by students and faculty was compared with a comprehensive inventory of on-campus recycling procedures and opportunities. Findings: By combining data from individual mental models elicited from students and faculty members, an overall mental model that depicted the frequency with which subjects understood MSU-specific recycling concepts was developed. This composite model, and the accompanying statistical analysis, revealed important gaps--on part of both students and faculty--in understanding for several key recycling concepts that are relevant to established campus-based waste reduction practices. Originality/value: The mental models approach, which to the authors' knowledge has yet to be applied to campus sustainability initiatives, provides program managers and outreach specialists with a constructive and transparent opportunity to develop and deploy program information that builds on existing knowledge while also meeting the new information needs of key stakeholders. (Contains 2 notes, 2 tables, and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan