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How Environmental Values Predict Acquisition of Different Cognitive Knowledge Types with Regard to Forest Conservation

Department of Biology Education, Z-MNU (Centre of Math & Science Education), University of Bayreuth, NW-1, D-95447 Bayreuth, Germany
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Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2188; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072188
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
We describe a student-centered, hands-on conservational program designed to alter adolescent environmental values and cognitive knowledge. The values (defined as sets of attitudes towards nature conservation) were measured using the 2-MEV scale (Two Major Environmental Values: Preservation, Utilization). Pre-existing knowledge levels and subsequent cognitive learning (short-, medium- and long-term) were scored on the basis of the three knowledge dimensions (system knowledge: Sys, action-related knowledge: Act and effectiveness knowledge: Eff). Two hundred and seventy-one 6th to 8th graders, unaware of the testing schedules, completed our questionnaires two weeks before (T0), immediately after (T1), six weeks after (T2) and six months (T3) after participation in our nature and wildlife conservation program module. The linear mixed effects model (LMM) was used to analyze the relationships of cognitive knowledge with Preservation and Utilization: high Preservation scores predicted high overall pre-knowledge for all three knowledge types. High Utilization scores correlated with low pre-knowledge scores for all knowledge types. For Preservation, this positive relationship remained constant at all testing schedules. Utilization and knowledge acquisition correlated negatively in both the short (six weeks) and long terms (six months). Students scoring high on Preservation knew more, learned more, and forgot less in the short term than the low scorers. Students scoring high on Utilization briefly added cognitive knowledge immediately after the intervention, though this disappeared again in the short term. Educators are advised to build upon existing values and adjust their teaching on nature conservation issues accordingly. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental values; nature conservation; cognitive knowledge model; preservation and utilization (2-MEV); student-centered hands-on module environmental values; nature conservation; cognitive knowledge model; preservation and utilization (2-MEV); student-centered hands-on module
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thorn, C.; Bogner, F.X. How Environmental Values Predict Acquisition of Different Cognitive Knowledge Types with Regard to Forest Conservation. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2188. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072188

AMA Style

Thorn C, Bogner FX. How Environmental Values Predict Acquisition of Different Cognitive Knowledge Types with Regard to Forest Conservation. Sustainability. 2018; 10(7):2188. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072188

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thorn, Christine, and Franz X. Bogner 2018. "How Environmental Values Predict Acquisition of Different Cognitive Knowledge Types with Regard to Forest Conservation" Sustainability 10, no. 7: 2188. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072188

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