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Protocol

Evaluating the Public Climate School—A School-Based Programme to Promote Climate Awareness and Action in Students: Protocol of a Cluster-Controlled Pilot Study

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Center for Preventive Medicine and Digital Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany
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Division of Pediatric Epidemiology, Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg, University of Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany
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Department of Management, EBS University of Business and Law, 65375 Oestrich-Winkel, Germany
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Klimabildung e.V., 44787 Bochum, Germany
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Institut Futur, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
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Center for Technology and Society, Technical University of Berlin, 10553 Berlin, Germany
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Psychologists for Future e.V., 55411 Bingen, Germany
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Department of Social, Environmental and Economic Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Koblenz Landau, 76829 Landau, Germany
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Center for Economic Education, Department of Economics, Ruhr University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hongyun Si, Guangdong Wu and Ge Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138039
Received: 14 May 2022 / Revised: 23 June 2022 / Accepted: 23 June 2022 / Published: 30 June 2022
Introduction: School-based programmes may promote knowledge and skills required to address climate change and better health and well-being in adolescents, yet evidence of their effectiveness is limited. In preparation for evaluating the Public Climate School, a school-based intervention to promote climate awareness and action in adolescents, we conduct a pilot study intended to assess procedures for participant recruitment, retention, and data collection, data quality issues and to provide preliminary parameter estimates to guide sample size calculations. Methods and analysis: This unblinded, cluster-controlled pilot study targets students in twelve classes from grades seven to thirteen in German public schools. Seven and five classes were allocated to the intervention and waitlist control arms, respectively. The intervention consisted of (1) live lessons on YouTube, (2) climate-related challenges of the day, (3) workshops and (4) peer exchange sessions. Waitlist control classes participated three weeks later. Measures included the proportion of students completing baseline and follow-up surveys, a comparison of baseline characteristics between students in the retained subsample and those lost to follow-up, proportions of students completing online and paper–pencil-based surveys and problems during data collection based on information reported by teachers. Data quality was assessed as proportions of missing data, associations between missingness and sociodemographic measures using logistic regression models and basic psychometric properties of scales including ceiling effects and internal consistency. Intentions to reduce one’s ecological footprint, the primary outcome, and all secondary outcomes for effect estimation were assessed one week pre- and post-intervention from November to December 2021 using items adapted from internationally used instruments and will be investigated using generalised linear mixed models and intention-to-treat analyses. Conclusions: The pilot study will lay the methodological groundwork for a large-scale cluster-randomised effectiveness and process evaluation of the Public Climate School. If proven effective and rolled out more broadly, the Public Climate School has the potential to contribute meaningfully to national climate mitigation and adaptation efforts by reaching a substantial share of adolescents in public schools, including those traditionally less involved in climate action. View Full-Text
Keywords: education for sustainable development; climate change; planetary health; self-efficacy; collective efficacy; risk perception; behavioural intentions; pro-environmental behaviour; climate anxiety education for sustainable development; climate change; planetary health; self-efficacy; collective efficacy; risk perception; behavioural intentions; pro-environmental behaviour; climate anxiety
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eichinger, M.; Bechtoldt, M.; Bui, I.T.M.; Grund, J.; Keller, J.; Lau, A.G.; Liu, S.; Neuber, M.; Peter, F.; Pohle, C.; Reese, G.; Schäfer, F.; Heinzel, S. Evaluating the Public Climate School—A School-Based Programme to Promote Climate Awareness and Action in Students: Protocol of a Cluster-Controlled Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 8039. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138039

AMA Style

Eichinger M, Bechtoldt M, Bui ITM, Grund J, Keller J, Lau AG, Liu S, Neuber M, Peter F, Pohle C, Reese G, Schäfer F, Heinzel S. Evaluating the Public Climate School—A School-Based Programme to Promote Climate Awareness and Action in Students: Protocol of a Cluster-Controlled Pilot Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(13):8039. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eichinger, Michael, Myriam Bechtoldt, Inga Thao My Bui, Julius Grund, Jan Keller, Ashley G. Lau, Shuyan Liu, Michael Neuber, Felix Peter, Carina Pohle, Gerhard Reese, Fabian Schäfer, and Stephan Heinzel. 2022. "Evaluating the Public Climate School—A School-Based Programme to Promote Climate Awareness and Action in Students: Protocol of a Cluster-Controlled Pilot Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 13: 8039. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138039

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