How children think about nature
What is it about?
One of the most popular measures of ecological worldview, predicting environmental attitudes and behaviours, is the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale. Since the adoption of the scale for the use among children by Manoli, Johnson and Dunlap in 2007, it has been applied to measure children’s environmental attitudes across cultures. There is however some controversy about the cross-cultural applicability and the relevance of the NEP scale items.
Why is it important?
The aim of this article is to contribute to the research about environmental views of children from an anthropological view. In the case study, 59 voluntarily participating students aged between ten and 12 years were interviewed in order to learn about their understanding of the NEP items for children. Group discussions were carried out to discover divergent views on the items, followed by in-depth interviews with 15 pupils. The excerpts from these discussions suggest that children experience ambiguity in interpreting the items of the NEP scale. It is concluded that the effective interpretation of scientific facts requires more nuanced and context-specific approach. The author asks for more qualitative, critical probing in addition to the application of the NEP scale in order to get a fuller response and deeper understanding of environmental attitudes of children.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina
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