Awareness, Knowledge, And Attitude About Environmental Education: Resp

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Cruz Lasso de la Vega, Rodrigo Melchor
Environmental Education; Awareness; Knowledge; Attitude; High School
thesis / dissertation description
Over the last 30 years, environmental education has been part of the curriculum in Southwest Florida public schools. Curriculum objectives, such as, environmental attitude, knowledge, and awareness (AKA), have been investigated in the literature as ways to improve the overall behavior of future citizens toward the environment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the aforementioned objectives among the following groups: environmental specialists, high school instructors, high school students, and the parents of the corresponding students in three Southwest Florida counties during the 2003-2004 school year. An instrument was developed to measure the groups' levels of awareness, knowledge, and attitude as well as their levels of self-efficacy. The returned surveys represented responses from: 27 environmental specialists, 15 high school instructors, 224 high school students, and 222 parents. This study found statistically significant differences among the groups regarding the levels of awareness, knowledge, and attitude as related to environmental issues. The environmental specialists scored highest for all AKA components as compared to the lowest levels presented by parent awareness, parent attitude, and high school student knowledge. In addition, factors such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and preference of leisure activities resulted in differences among the groups regarding their levels of environmental AKA. This study supports the evaluation of AKA levels among participants as an appropriate approach to the evaluation of environmental curriculum objectives. In addition, the study suggests a simplified measurement of AKA as an attempt to unify the parameters measured by numerous instruments found throughout environmental education literature. The results of this study may assist environmental specialists, instructors, and school districts in the evaluation of environmental education curricula.