Secondary school students’ interests, attitudes and values concerning school science related environmental issues in Finland

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    This paper explores the relationship between students’ interests in environmental issues, attitudes to environmental responsibility and biocentric values in schoolscience education. The factors were investigated within the framework of threemoderators: gender, school and residential area of the school. The survey was carried out using the international ROSE questionnaire with ninth-grade students (N = 3626) from 68 schools. Likert-type items were categorised with explorative factor analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance was used to study the importance of the moderators. There were significant correlations between the attitude and value factors. Interest and attitude were also significantly correlated, but the correlation between interest and value was negligible. Girls’ attitude was significantly more positive and their biocentric value stronger than those of the boys, while in terms of interest, the gender difference was small. The effect of residential area was negligible, but there were significant differences between schools in all the factors studied. A school’s own environmental projects and participation in programmes linked to environmental education or education for sustainable development was suggested to enhance students’ interest in environmental issues. The role of interests, attitudes and values in teaching environmental issues are important fields for future research in science, environmental and sustainability education.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Education Research
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)167–186
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fields of Science

    • 516 Educational sciences

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