Although researchers have identified correlations between specific attitudes and particular behaviors in the pro-environmental domain, the general relationship between young people’s development of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors is not well understood. Past research indicates that geographic context can play a role, while social factors such as age and gender can have a more significant impact on predicting attitudes and behaviors than formal education. Few studies have systematically examined the relationships between education and environmental attitudes and behaviors among youth in Hong Kong. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a study comparing secondary school students’ environmental attitudes and behaviors with age and related factors in two international schools and two government schools in Hong Kong. Students’ attitudes and behaviors were compared based on school type (curriculum), while the authors additionally compared the significance of social factors and attitudes on students’ behaviors.
Attitudes were measured using the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) and the NEP for Children (NEPC), the most commonly used, internationally standardized tools for investigating environmental attitudes and values of adults and young people for comparative purposes. The authors compared NEP/NEPC scores and student self-reported environmental behaviors using a short questionnaire.
No significant differences were found in attitudes or behaviors based on school type. However the authors did observe a significant effect of gender and age on students’ attitudes, and a significant correlation of student attitudes in the NEP with students’ self-reports regarding air conditioning consumption.
This study builds a foundation for cross-national studies and for evaluating the impact of curricula over time.
The authors wish to thank Tim Cheng and Monica Soong for assistance with translation. This research was funded by the Faculty of Education Research Fund, University of Hong Kong.
Jackson, L., Pang, M., Brown, E., Cain, S., Dingle, C. and Bonebrake, T. (2016), "Environmental attitudes and behaviors among secondary students in Hong Kong", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 70-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-10-2015-0004Download as .RIS
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