The importance of connection to nature in assessing environmental education programs
Environmental education imparts knowledge and creates experience to change beliefs, attitudes – and most importantly – behavior. What are the deep motivators of human behavior? Theory and research suggest that feeling connected to someone or something motivates protective and self-sacrificing behavior. This paper reviews the large body of research demonstrating that connectedness to nature is an important predictor of environmentally responsible behavior. We review past research on self-reported behavior, then summarize new research from our lab that demonstrates a link between connectedness to nature and actual conservation behavior (electricity use). We conclude that promoting connectedness to nature should be a goal for environmental education programs, and should therefore be an important part of any assessment.
Frantz, C.M. and F.S Mayer. June 2014. "The importance of connection to nature in assessing environmental education programs." Studies in Educational Evaluation 41: 85-89.
Studies in Educational Evaluation
Record for C. Frantz. Additional record for S. Mayer: https://digitalcommons.oberlin.edu/faculty_schol/3676/
Connectedness to nature, Assessment, Environmentally responsible behavior, Electricity use, Environmental education