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

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
Pagination275 - 294
Date Published2015/02//
ISBN Number13504622
Keywords*Original 959, 1AWB, 2WAC, adaptation, climate change education, CLIMATE change mitigation, CLIMATIC changes -- Study & teaching, EFFECT of human beings on climatic changes, environmental education, ERRORS, high school, High school students -- Attitudes, Include, Include AWB, Include WAC, middle school, MIDDLE school education, MIDDLE school students -- Attitudes, misconceptions, mitigation, R1 FINAL INCLUDE, Round 2 Include RRP, Round 2 Review 2 RRP, Round1 Include, Round2 Include WAC, SECONDARY education, STUDY & teaching
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.
Short TitleEnvironmental Education Research