Module 15


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Summary of Main Points Raised
by Hungerford and Volk

Research into environmental behaviour does not bear out the validity of the linear model for changing behaviour as represented in Figure 1.

Intention to act is the major single factor that will result in environmentally responsible citizenship. Intention to act is an artefact of

  • cognitive knowledge - knowledge of the issues
  • cognitive skills - knowledge of the courses of action which are available and their effectiveness
  • personality factors - the desire of the individual to take action

A number of major and minor variables influence the development of an environmentally responsible citizenship ethic. Major variables include

  • Environmental sensitivity
  • in-depth knowledge about issues
  • personal investment in issues and in the environment
  • knowledge of and skill in using environmental action strategies
  • locus of control - expectancy of reinforcement for behaviour
  • intention to act

In order to maximise opportunities for changing learner behaviour in the environmental context educators need to:

  • teach environmentally significant ecological concepts and the environmental interrelationships that exist within and between these concepts
  • provide carefully designed and in-depth opportunities for learners to achieve some level of environmental sensitivity that will promote a desire to behave in appropriate ways
  • provide a curriculum that will result in an in-depth knowledge of issues
  • provide a curriculum that will teach learners the skills of issue analysis and investigation as well as provide the time needed for the application of these skills
  • provide a curriculum that will teach learners the citizenship skills needed for issue remediation as well as the time needed for the application of these skills
  • provide an instructional setting that increases learners' expectancy of reinforcement for acting in responsible ways, ie., attempt to develop an internal locus of control in learners.