Environmental Literacy and Nature Experience in Chengdu, China

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Graduate School of Social Work


This research investigated environmental literacy and nature experience among 1433 children and adults in Chengdu, China. Utilizing a standard measure of environmental literacy modified to be culture- and age-appropriate, we found almost universal agreement that nature should be protected. Although our results showed that older groups were less likely to enjoy experiences in nature compared to the younger ones, this was not reflected in a reduced appreciation for nature, which was high in all age groups. Within each category of student, age was associated with increased knowledge but decreased enjoyment of nature experiences and environmental concern. In contrast, among the adult residents, increasing age was associated with less objective knowledge but with more liking and concern about nature. Based on these results, we provide recommendations for environmental education that incorporates time in nature in order to foster environmental concern and behavior as well as knowledge.

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