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ERIC Number: EJ993844
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Environmental Education for Behaviour Change: Which Actions Should Be Targeted?
Boyes, Edward; Stanisstreet, Martin
International Journal of Science Education, v34 n10 p1591-1614 2012
One aim of environmental education is to enable people to make informed decisions about their environmental behaviour; this is particularly significant with environmental problems that are believed to be both major and imminent, such as climate change resulting from global warming. Previous research suggests no strong link between a person's general environmental attitudes and knowledge, and his or her willingness to undertake pro-environmental actions, so this study focuses on some "specific" issues. Using survey methods to produce quantitative data about students' beliefs concerning the usefulness of specific actions and their willingness to adopt them, novel indices have been constructed that indicate the potential of education to increase students' willingness to undertake those actions. The findings imply that altering a student's belief about certain issues will have little effect on their willingness to act. This can be because most students, even those with only a weak belief in the efficacy, are prepared to take action anyway. Conversely, it can be because a majority, including those convinced about the efficacy, are not prepared to take action. Education about such actions, where there is only a weak link between believed effectiveness and willingness to act, may be ineffective in terms of changing practice, because other factors such as social norms and situational influences dominate. For such actions other strategies may be required. For another set of actions, however, the benefits of education in changing practice seemed more positive; increasing recycling, reducing the use of artificial fertilisers and planting more trees are examples. (Contains 8 figures and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A