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How Should We Teach Nature Protection? Self-Determination and Environmental Attitudes

Title data

Baierl, Tessa-Marie ; Bogner, Franz X.:
How Should We Teach Nature Protection? Self-Determination and Environmental Attitudes.
In: Education Sciences. Vol. 13 (2023) Issue 4 . - 353.
ISSN 2227-7102

Project information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Environmental attitudes are supportive for learning about the environment and for pro-environmental engagement. The question, then, is how to strengthen and establish environmental attitudes. Based on a sample of 429 middle and high school students, we investigated the effect of self-determination-based motivation on environmental attitude. While high levels of self-determination (i.e., intrinsic motivation) positively affected pro-environmental attitude (β = 0.40), low levels of self-determination (i.e., external regulation) negatively affected attitude (β = –0.31). Our data further pointed to a distinct trajectory of self-determination and inclusion of nature throughout adolescence (high scores for 12-year-olds that decline to a minimum around 15–16-years old); a trend that has already been shown for environmental attitude. Such a dip might help derive teaching recommendations in environmental education, e.g., by supporting high scores in time to attenuate a decline. Further teaching recommendations include strengthening students’ self-determination through their basic needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness).

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: environmental attitude; motivation toward the environment; science motivation; self-determination; basic needs; autonomy; relatedness; competence
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Former Professors > Chair Didactics of Biology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Franz Xaver Bogner
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 370 Education
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2024 06:05
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 06:05