Middle and high school students’ conceptions of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies

Research
TitleMiddle and high school students’ conceptions of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBofferding, L, Kloser, M
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Volume21
Issue2
Pagination275 - 294
Date Published2015/02/17/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsadaptation, climate change education, high school, middle school, misconceptions, mitigation
AbstractBoth scientists and policy-makers emphasize the importance of education for influencing pro-environmental behavior and minimizing the effects of climate change on biological and physical systems. Education has the potential to impact students’ system knowledge – their understanding of the variables that affect the climate system – and action knowledge – their understanding of behaviors that can impact the system. Research on climate change education has largely focused on system and action knowledge that address mitigation while overlooking equally necessary adaptive responses. This study used a pre/post-test format to identify aspects of middle and high school students’ climate system knowledge and action knowledge of both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. Results indicate that adolescents currently conflate climate change mitigation strategies with unrelated environmental problems far less than in previous surveys. However, students demonstrated limited understanding of adaptive responses to climate change. After engaging in an instructional unit on climate change, students expressed stronger system and action knowledge, but significant misconceptions remained that conflated mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2014.888401