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An investigation into the environmental knowledge, attittudes and behavioural intentions of elementary school students

Curtin University of Technology, Science and Mathematics Education Centre.
Publication Date
  • Elementary Students
  • Children'S Environmental Attitude
  • Environment
  • Cheaks.
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Geography


This study was designed to find out elementary students knowledge about the environment, their attitudes towards helping the environment and what they actually have done to help the environment. Specifically, during the northern spring of 2002 all grade-4 and grade-5 students in one public elementary school in Miami-Dade County, Florida were administered the Children's Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Scale (CHEAKS) instrument. In 2002, some students in both grade levels interviewed each other in pairs to determine why they answered the way they did on the CHEAKS instrument. In the interviews, students discussed what they had been taught in school, compared to what they had learned outside of school that was related to the environment. The following year, during the northern spring of 2003, all grade-4 and grade-5 students in the same elementary school were given the CHEAKS instrument. Students at the elementary school were also asked questions which they answered in writing. These included: Which questions on the survey did you feel were difficult?; what do you remember learning about environmental education in school, at home or elsewhere? In addition, some gifted grade-6 students, who attended the nearby middle school and other grade-6 students who were in heterogeneous ability classes also responded to the CHEAKS instrument.

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