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Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 4; doi:10.3390/educsci7010004

Is Subjective Knowledge the Key to Fostering Sustainable Behavior? Mixed Evidence from an Education Intervention in Mexico

1
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
2
Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation, Leuphana University, Lüneburg 21335, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Brody
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 24 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Environment and Education)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4175 KB, uploaded 24 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Educational interventions are a promising way to shift individual behaviors towards Sustainability. Yet, as this research confirms, the standard fare of education, declarative knowledge, does not work. This study statistically analyzes the impact of an intervention designed and implemented in Mexico using the Educating for Sustainability (EfS) framework which focuses on imparting procedural and subjective knowledge about waste through innovative pedagogy. Using data from three different rounds of surveys we were able to confirm (1) the importance of subjective and procedural knowledge for Sustainable behavior in a new context; (2) the effectiveness of the EfS framework and (3) the importance of changing subjective knowledge for changing behavior. While the impact was significant in the short term, one year later most if not all of those gains had evaporated. Interventions targeted at subjective knowledge will work, but more research is needed on how to make behavior change for Sustainability durable. View Full-Text
Keywords: behavior change; Educating for Sustainability; environmental education; knowledge domains; sustainability science; waste behavior change; Educating for Sustainability; environmental education; knowledge domains; sustainability science; waste
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Link: http://hdl.handle.net/2286/R.I.36936
    Description: The data, as CSV files as well as the R Scripts for the analysis are available from the Arizona State University Digital Repository.

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Redman, A.; Redman, E. Is Subjective Knowledge the Key to Fostering Sustainable Behavior? Mixed Evidence from an Education Intervention in Mexico. Educ. Sci. 2017, 7, 4.

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