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Educational Influences on Environmental Perception: A Semester Analysis of the New Ecological Paradigm Scale in Undergraduates

  • Zingler, Zoe
Publication Date
May 01, 2024
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
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This study evaluated the impact of a geography course, GEOG 181: Global Environmental Issues, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on students’ endorsement of the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) using a pre-course and post-course NEP scale survey. Analyzing paired responses (n = 40) through t-tests and z-scores, only four of 15 statements had statistically significant shifts observed for the entire sample. However, a targeted analysis of students initially possessing lower endorsement of the NEP—early deniers—revealed significant paradigm shifts post-course. While women initially showed stronger NEP endorsement, men demonstrated notable changes following the course towards endorsement of the NEP. Academic majors, whether environment-related or not, did not differ significantly in their shift towards NEP endorsement as both groups experienced statistically significant shifts. This suggests that course engagement may be particularly transformative for those initially resistant to environmental paradigms, with implications for tailoring environmental education strategies and studying the environmental worldviews of students when they enter their undergraduate careers.

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