Comparing environmental awareness of Hungarian students in high-schools with different socio-economical background
The importance of education for sustainable development and environmental sustainability (ESD) was acknowledged decades ago. Many studies investigated students' environmental awareness, but the majority are simple descriptive ones. Only few studies try to investigate efficiency of ESD in schools and the causal background that shapes students' environmental awareness. By means of questionnaires, environmental awareness of 845 students and their socio-economical background was measured in 13 Hungarian secondary schools. A pragmatic analysis was performed in order to explore which are the main factors, either student's background or school's background related factors, responsible for the huge variation observed in the environmental awareness of students. Different aspects of environmental awareness were investigated, such as self-declared behaviours (consumer habits, healthy food habits, thrifty habits, waste management) and environmental attitudes. In a preliminary study, teachers were also asked in detail on environmental education principles and the related infrastructural background in the schools. We found that aspects of environmental awareness are strongly determined by the students’ socio-economic background. Elaborated further analyses of schools’ environmental education principles (including eco-school title and practice) are needed to ascertain the effect of ESD on students’ attitudes and behaviours.
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