Environmental education is frequently undertaken as a conservation intervention designed to change the attitudes and behaviour of recipients. Much conservation education is aimed at children, with the rationale that children influence the attitudes of their parents, who will consequently change their behaviour. Empirical evidence to substantiate this suggestion is very limited, however. For the first time, the researchers used a controlled trial to assess the influence of wetland-related environmental education on the knowledge of children and their parents and household behaviour. They demonstrate adults exhibiting greater knowledge of wetlands and improved reported household water management behaviour when their child has received wetland-based education at Seychelles wildlife clubs. The research team distinguishes between 'folk' knowledge of wetland environments and knowledge obtained from formal education, with intergenerational transmission of each depending on different factors. This study provides the first strong support for the suggestion that environmental education can be transferred between generations and indirectly induce targeted behavioural changes.
P Damerell, C Howe and E J Milner-Gulland
Published 12 februari 2013
You can download the article at: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/1/015016/article