Cognitive structures of university students about environmental education, climate change and consumption concepts

Özgül Keleş, Kenneth L. Gilbertson, Naim Uzun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine cognitive structures and the retention of knowledge about environmental education, climate change and consumption concepts. The field of Environmental Education is increasingly including both climate change and consumption in the context of sustainability. Thus, this research is investigating the construction of cognitive structures using all three concepts. The study group consisted of 52 students (28 females and 24 males) attending the University of Minnesota Duluth, USA. A word association instrument was used for data collection. In order to evaluate the study results, the responses given about the key concepts were examined in detail. A frequency table was constructed to show which words or concepts best represented each key concept included in the instrument. Based on our findings, a frequency table and associated concept maps were generated to indicate how cognitive structures were formed about the three concepts. The findings showed that respondents generated many ideas related to the key concepts presented in the instrument. However, respondents did not appear to see the broad environmental concepts as a network of related ideas. Implications for using the word association test in the classroom are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalAsia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching
Volume17
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Consumption
  • Environmental education
  • Word association test

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