How Does Environmental Education Affect the Environmental Attitudes?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Koji ABE , Faculty of Literature and Social Sciences, Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan
Hiroshi KOMATSU , Matsuyama University, Japan
Michio UMINO , Miyagigakuin Women's University, Japan
Previous studies have clarified three effects that promote a particular pro-environmental behavior:situational understandings, action costs, and norms.  We can assume, in addition, the general attitude toward environment which promote the behavior no matter what the behavior is: ecocentric attitude, anthropocentric attitude, and environmental apathy. The general attitude  are also assumed to be formed by education at school as well as that at home. This paper thus explains the effects of environmental education on some aspects of environmental attitudes. Moreover, it specifically explores the influence of attitude on pro-environmental behavior. To this end, we conducted a survey in Minamata, Japan in November 2010. Respondents are all 3rd-grade junior high school students and their parents in that city.
Our results are as follows: 1) Between parents and children, the correlation of attitudes toward the environment is weak; 2) the actions of families favorable to the environment and environmental study in school have a positive effect on ecocentric attitudes and the anthropocentric attitudes; 3) the pro-environmental actions of families, experiences in nature, and environmental study in school have a negative effect on environmental apathy; and 4) among the three environmental attitudes, ecocentric attitudes have a positive effect and environmental apathy a negative effect on pro-environmental behavior. Therefore, ecocentric attitudes are significantly improved and environmental apathy significantly reduced by experiences in nature, environmental study in a school, and the action of families.