30 SES 03 A, Developing and Measuring ESE/ESD Learning Outcomes
When monitoring the long history of instruments for environmental attitude measurement, the Two Major Environmental Value model (2-MEV) with its two higher order factors: Preservation (PRE) and Utilization (UTL) has repeatedly and independently been confirmed. PRE assesses preferences towards conservation of nature and the environment, whilst UTL measures preferences towards utilization/exploitation of nature. The latter, however, does not yet include the positive aspects of benefitting from the (enjoyable) use of nature. Consequently, besides the established 2-MEV-battery, additional items from an “Appreciation of Nature” (APR) scale were applied to an Irish sample of 289 secondary school students (age: M = 14.3 years). Responses to the altogether 30-item battery were applied on an oblique rotation by using the Promax procedure: UTL and PRE appeared as orthogonally related factors, APR correlated to PRE with 0.283. Based on loading scores, the item number for each subscale was further reduced to make the analysis more manageable in educational outreach sites; on those sites, where completing questionnaires may well be quite unpopular, they are very much needed for planning and fine-tuning educational programs.
Utilization of nature, however, may provide a somewhat ambiguous attitudinal preference, as an exploitative utilitarian preference and an appreciative usage of nature includes quite different ways of seeing nature. For the study of Bogner and Wiseman (2006), for example, the attitudinal objects: environment and nature were regarded similarly: The exploitative Utilization of natural resources is part of the environmental attitudinal space as appreciation for nature and appreciation for environmental protection are regarded as two separate attitude sets. Nevertheless, appreciation of nature signals a contrasted vision to the utilitarian domain, which still is a predominant focus for educational interventions. With the intention to sensitize pupils towards more protective environmental behavior and to identify (and avoid) disastrous anthropogenic interferences, educational programs frequently focus on efforts to reduce impact and to encourage strategies avoiding over-exploitive use of our planet (e.g., Bogner 1998a, 1999; Bogner & Wiseman 2004). Although such strategies pointing to exploitation are unveiling the truth behind all the economic for-ever-growth visions, adolescents are frequently disgusted by such approaches. Consequently, such moves increasingly have been shown as not supporting individual behaviors (e.g., Bissinger & Bogner 2017): Kaiser, Oerke & Bogner (2007), for instance, pointed to some negative correlations even when promoting ecological behavior was the only intention of an intervention. Consequently, badmouthing exploitative utilization preferences seems to be followed by the expected ecological behavior when controlling for preservation (Kaiser 2006; Kaiser et al. 2005). By contrast, the appreciation of nature may offer a positive correlation to more ecological behavior (Kaiser et al. 2010; Brügger et al. 2011). Appreciation of nature may offer a pathway synonymous with a positive disposition to gratifying experiences of nature in natural settings: People who appreciate nature seem to develop better preferences and to favor environmental protection (Nord et al. 1998).
The present study focusses on examination of the relationship of Appreciation to the established factors of the 2-MEV higher order factors: Preservation and Utilization. Thus, the study’s objectives were three-fold: (i) to examine the potential independence of three factors out of a simultaneously applied questionnaire, (ii) to define the factors including its relationships, (iii) to reduce the item number as much as possible without losing reliabilities and validities (in order to facilitate its applicability to outreach educational programs).
289 secondary school Irish students, 203 males, completed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire during regular school schedules. Ages ranged from 13 to 18 (mean 14.3). The questionnaire consisted of the usual demographic items, of 20 items of the 2-MEV scale (Wiseman & Bogner 2003; Kibbe et al. 2014; Bogner & Wiseman 1999, 2002, 2006) and of 15 Appreciation items of Brügger et al. (2011) and Kaiser et al. (2014). The 2-MEV’s items were taken from Kibbe et al. (2014), as the items’ wording was repeatedly further simplified due to widely usages all over the world (currently 28 language version are known). The appreciation measure was taken from the original study of Brügger et al. (2011). However, a factor-analyzed approach was applied instead of the originally favored a Rasch-analyzed testing approach in order to avoid two different analyses measures and thus facilitate its better applicability at outreach facilities. For the very same reason, the 7 highest loading items on each higher order factor were selected. The response pattern followed a 5-point Likert scale (1 = I totally disagree, 5 = I totally agree): A nature-oriented person would, therefore, score high in Preservation and Appreciation, but low in Utilization. Analyses were conducted using IBM SPSS Statistics 21. An initial factor analysis of all applied items yielded three subscales (APR, UTL, PRE) (the initial PCA scores are not shown here): the 7 highest loading items of each subscale were combined and again subjected to a factor analysis yielding a clear three factor structure. In general, PCA was applied as the structures factor had been repeatedly approved regarding the 2-MEV during the long line of studies (e.g., Bogner & Wiseman,1999; Bogner et al. 2015).
The adolescents’ age group expects positive approaches to be more meaningful, not because this cohort is not responsible at all for any environmental implementation, but because this age-group has a more optimistic view of the world. Not only commercial advertising follows this principle but also EE/ESD research strongly supports this view as well, negative advertising may lead to less effective outcomes as the personal vulnerability of adolescents to bad outcomes seem not to exist (NRC 2001). Positive approaches to help and care for nature will much better prepare the way to spread good messages and eventually lead to (more) positive perceptions and to the adoption of pro-environmental behavior. Firstly, a mere demonizing of exploitative behavior does not prevent exploitation as adolescents are not yet in the position to make big decisions. Secondly, environmental threats are not caused by adolescents and thus confronting them with disasters for which they are not personally responsible may turn contra-productive. However, supporting appreciation for nature through gratifying experiences in natural environments seems to be the most promising direction. Positive approaches including the inclusion of nature appreciation might more strongly affect adolescents’ pro-environmental behavior (Roczen et al. 2014). Moreover, a representative Finnish sample clearly showed besides others that prosocial experience as an enhancing variable better supports individual ecological behavior (Uitto et al. 2015). Education needs to aim at achieving a sustainable, positive enhancement of attitudes in a pro-environmental direction. Speaking of pro-environmental attitudes, we mean attitudes which may lead to actions that either prevent or reduce harm to the environment or that may even benefit the environment. Educators may intuitively have already known this relationship when they consistently integrated affective nature experiences into their programs. The present study may substantially help educators in their educational efforts.
Selected citations (due to space limitations) Boeve-de Pauw, J. & van Petegem P. (2011). The effect of Flemish eco‐schools on student environmental knowledge, attitudes, and affect. International Journal of Science Education, 33(11), 1513-1538. Bogner, F.X. & Wiseman, M. (1999). Towards Measuring Adolescent Environmental Perception. European Psychologist, 4, 139-151. dx.doi.org/10.1027//1016-9040.4.3.139 Bogner, F. X. & Wiseman, M. (2002). Environmental Perception: Factor Profiles of Extreme Groups. European Psychologist, 7(3), 225–237. doi.org/10.1027//1016-9040.7.3.225 Bogner, F. X. & Wiseman, M. (2006). Adolescents’ attitudes towards nature and environment: Quantifying the 2-MEV model. Environmentalist, 26(4), 247–254. doi:10.1007/s10669-006-8660-9 Borchers, C., Boesch, C., Riedel, J., Guilahoux, H., Quattara, D. & Randler, C. (2013). Environmental education in Cote d’Ivoire / West Africa: extra-curricular primary school teaching shows positive impact on environmental knowledge and attitudes. International Journal of Science Education, 4/3, 240-259. doi:10.1080/21548455.2013.803632 Brügger, A., Kaiser, F.G. & Roczen, N. (2011). One for all? Connectedness to nature, inclusion of nature, environmental identity, and implicit association with nature. European Psychologist, 16, 324-333. Dunlap, R.E., Van Liere, K.D., Mertig, A.G. & Jones, R.E. (2000). Measuring Endorsement of the New Ecological Paradigm: A Revised NEP Scale. Journal of Social Issues, 56/3, 425–442. Johnson, B. & Manoli, C. (2008). Using Bogner and Wiseman’s Model of Ecological Values to measure the impact of an earth education programme on children’s environmental perceptions. Environmental Education Research, 14(2), 115–127. Kaiser, F.G. (2006). A moral extension of the theory of planned behavior: Norms and anticipated feelings of regret in conservationism. Personality and Individual Differences, 41, 71–81. Kibbe, A. Bogner, F.X. & Kaiser, F.G. (2014). Exploitative vs. appreciative use of nature – Two interpretations of utilization and their relevance for environmental education. Milfont, T. L. & Duckitt, J. (2004). The structure of environmental attitudes: A first- and second-order confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(3), 289–303. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2004.09.001 NRC (2001). Adolescent Risk and Vulnerability: Concepts and Measurement. National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Board on Children, Youth, and Families. Washington (DC), National Academies Press. Rokeach, M. (1968). Beliefs, attitudes, and values. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Uitto, A., Boeve-de Pauw, J. & Saloranta, S. (2015). Participatory school experience as facilitators for adolescents’ ecological behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 43, 55-65. Wiseman, M. & Bogner, F.X. (2003). A higher-order model of ecological values and its relationship to personality. Personality and Individual differences, 34(5), 783-794.
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