Title

The importance of connection to nature in assessing environmental education programs

Abstract

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.

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

6-1-2014

Publication Title

Studies in Educational Evaluation

Department

Psychology

Additional Department

Environmental Studies

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/j.stueduc.2013.10.001

Notes

Record for C. Frantz. Additional record for S. Mayer: https://digitalcommons.oberlin.edu/faculty_schol/3676/

Keywords

Connectedness to nature, Assessment, Environmentally responsible behavior, Electricity use, Environmental education

Language

English

Format

text

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