The purpose of this research is to consider the environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, of adults in Minnesota, and possible factors that influence environmental literacy. Specifically, this study is designed to: (1) measure the environmental literacy of Minnesota adults, (2) explore possible relationships between Minnesota adults' environmental literacy variables and their demographic, non-formal and informal learning, and (3) determine the relative contribution of demographic and learning variables for predicting environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.
This research was accomplished by conducting a secondary data analysis of The Third Minnesota Report Card on Environmental Literacy: A Survey of Adult Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior (Murphy & Olson, 2008). Phone interviews were completed between August and November 2007 with one thousand adults throughout Minnesota.
Findings indicated that for age, education, and income, there was a weak positive relationship with environmental knowledge, attitude and behavior scores. There was a significant effect for gender and environmental knowledge scores, with males receiving higher environmental knowledge scores than females. There was a significant effect for gender and environmental attitudes, and behavior scores as well, with females receiving slightly higher environmental attitude and behavior scores than males. After controlling for the effects of demographic variables on environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, non-formal learning participation appears to be a moderate contributor to both environmental knowledge and environmental behaviors. After controlling for the effects of demographic variables on environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, informal learning participation appears to be a slight contributor to environmental attitudes, and a moderate contributor to environmental knowledge and behaviors.
Overall, the results of this study suggest that participation in non-formal and informal education venues improved environmental knowledge, attitude and behavior models, providing evidence for the value and need for non-formal and informal environmental adult education venues.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2010. Major: Education, Work/Community/Family Education. Advisor: Dr. Baiyin Yang.1 computer file (PDF); ix, 129 pages, appendices A-D.
Digby, Cynthia Louise Barrett.
An examination of the impact of non-formal and informal learning on adult environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors..
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