Document Type : Research Paper
Msc in Environmental Sciences- Faculty of Natural Resources- Yazd University
Assistant Professor in Faculty of Natural Resources- Yazd University
Today, environmental crises that human beings are faced with such as global warming, destruction of natural habitats, decrease of natural resources, increase of different sorts of pollution, growth of population and some other cases which influence human life are not deniable. Although human has tried to reduce these crises, it takes a long time to eradicate them. So, we have to become familiar with these threats and try to eradicate or at least reduce consequences and reduce their destructivity. Since these problems are just made by humans, the most effective solution for removing them is teaching in national levels and enhancing public culture and awareness. In other words, we need to make environmental awareness a part of society knowledge. In this way environmental problems become public worries. Here, the awareness and attitude of young generations has considerable importance; because they are those suffering from the consequences of environmental destruction that caused by us and they should find a proper solution for this problem. As future leaders of society and as supporters of the health of the environment as the only source which can satisfy human needs, it is necessary for all children and teenagers to know about the environment and how human activities lead to its destruction and the decrease of its quality. In other words, restoration of natural resources and environment should begin with basic instruction of children to cause public contributing in this field. This is the most serious and the most effective way of battling against the destruction of nature. Therefore, investigation about the level of awareness of the youth and their attitude is of considerable importance. This is because of two reasons: first in order to improve their behavior and second to get a basic level to start the instruction from. We have to find the answers of these questions: Do students know about the environment? If yes, how much is this knowledge? Where have they learned about the environment? And so on.
Methodology: To achieve this aim, we have to make a standard questionnaire. The method used in the present study is descriptive- analytic and the data were gathered by a questionnaire having 34 items in Likert scale. The questionnaire consists of four parts: 1- The recognition of the parts of environment 2- The recognition of environmental pollution 3- environmental attitudes and 4- The attitude toward protecting the environment. The questionnaire was prepared for two groups of students and teachers and parents in two different wordings. Population in this study consists of all secondary school students, both boys and girls, in villages of Jey, Esfahan, Iran. Through using Cochran formula and considering the population, sample size was estimated up to 380. In the present research, finally 400 students were chosen through classified sampling. Up to 150 parents and 150 teachers were also tested to investigate the level of their awareness with the students’ level of awareness. To make sure of the validity of the questionnaire, after preparation of the final form, it was given to some expert in the field and some ordinary individuals and the mean of their ideas were applied in the questionnaire to make it acceptable in terms of its validity. The reliability of the questionnaire was measured 0.91 through a pilot test on 30 students using Cronbach's alpha. In analysis of the data of the present research, Mann-withney, Kruskal- wallis, and Wilcoxon have been applied.
Results: The results show that the level of awareness of the groups about the environment (the means of students’ answers, and teachers/parents answers to 34 items) is appropriate, and this level is the highest for teachers (p<0.05). To investigate the difference between the awareness of girl students and boy students of environmental issues Mann-withney test was used. The results show there is a significant difference between the awareness levels of these two groups in five percent significance (P< 0.05). It was also found out that boys are more aware compared with girls. To investigate the effects of parents’ educational level on students’ awareness Kruskal- wallis test was used. To this end, four educational groups of 1- under diploma 2- diploma and associated degree 3- bachelor degree and 4- the post graduated degree were measured. The results of the test indicate that students are affected by the educational level of their parents considering environmental awareness (P<0.05).
Conclusion: In this project students’ awareness of environment were investigated in order to understand the training needs for future. Obviously, these estimates will help us to organize suitable educational systems to achieve a suitable culture at different levels of society. As it was mentioned, instruction about environment is of vital importance. So these instructions should be on top of educational plans. Emphasis on increasing training in childhood leads to creation of a sense of responsibility for the protection and proper use of resources and can become a path to achieving sustainable development goals.