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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department of Biology Education - Prof. Dr. Franz X. Bogner

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Maurer, M; Bogner, FX: How Freshmen perceive Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), PlosOne, 14(1), e0208910 (2019) [Link]

Concepts of 464 university freshmen towards Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) were analyzed. Responses were classified into seven main categories: ‘ecological aspects’, ‘ecological problems’, ‘economical aspects’, ‘social aspects’, ‘environmental attitudes’, ‘environmental behavior’ and ‘education’. Analyses of sustainability concepts show a large discrepancy between EE and ESD, whereby the latter includes an additional sub-group: ‘the next generation aspect’. Labeling individual sources of EE in a retrospective assessment identified the family as the most important source of knowledge, followed by media, school and outreach. Further differences were detected between students’ self-perception and their ideal conception of environmental behavior, by using the scale Inclusion of Nature in Self (INS). Only some EE statements produced higher (unfulfilled) expectations ‘economic aspects’, ‘environmental behavior’ and ‘ecological problems’. In contrast fewer (unfulfilled) expectations were observed in the categories of ‘education’ and ‘ecological aspects’.

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