Perception of space among children studying their local grasslands: Examining attitudes and behavioural intentions

Garrard, G and Eilam, E 2017, 'Perception of space among children studying their local grasslands: Examining attitudes and behavioural intentions', Sustainability (Switzerland), vol. 9, no. 9, 1660, pp. 1-17.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Perception of space among children studying their local grasslands: Examining attitudes and behavioural intentions
Author(s) Garrard, G
Eilam, E
Year 2017
Journal name Sustainability (Switzerland)
Volume number 9
Issue number 9
Article Number 1660
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
Abstract The study examined children's perception of space in the context of place-based education. It investigates: the cognitive attitudinal dispositions involved in perceiving space as 'empty'; and, how students' attitudes toward one grassland site inform their attitudes and behavioural intentions when applied to similar spaces which are spatially and temporally remote. A group of urban primary students participated in a four-month environmental education program in which the students were immersed in a local grassland reserve through repeated visits and learning about grasslands. Data collection included surveys and a focus group activity concerning future neighbourhood planning. The results indicate that the children perceived as 'empty' spaces which were un-built, lacked human activities, or were un-identified on a map of the area. Students presented negative attitudes toward 'empty spaces' and were inclined to 'fill' them. In regard to future planning of their neighbourhood, high consistency was found between the students' positive attitudes and their intentions to preserve the studied grassland site. This alignment between attitudes and behavioural intentions became disentangled when applied to remote sites at future times. While attitudes remained positive, behavioural intentions were willing to forsake grassland sites. The implications of the findings to environmental education are discussed.
Subject Environmental Education and Extension
Conservation and Biodiversity
Keyword(s) Attitudes
Environmental planning
Place-based education
Space perception
DOI - identifier 10.3390/su9091660
Copyright notice © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
ISSN 2071-1050
Additional Notes Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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