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environmental awareness environmental attitudes environmental behavior senior secondary students

Education for Responsible Environmental Behavior: Evidence from Sri Lanka

Ransika De Alwis , Anthoni Durage Asoka De Silva

The present study examined the levels of four environmental dimensions; environmental awareness, attitudes towards recovery, attitudes towards recycli.


The present study examined the levels of four environmental dimensions; environmental awareness, attitudes towards recovery, attitudes towards recycling and environmental behavior among grade 12 students in Sri Lanka. A standard scale that has four environmental dimensions and personal information was used. Effects of gender, study stream, residential area and family income of students on each of the four environmental dimensions were determined by conducting Levene’s test, Kruskal Wallis H test, Dunnet’sT3 test and Mann Whiteny U test using SPSS for Windows version 26. Correlation analysis was run to reveal the associations among the four environmental dimensions. A sample of 1006 grade 12 students participated in the study. Students confirmed a moderate level of awareness, attitudes and behavior towards the environment. Girls’ levels in terms of all four dimensions were significantly higher than those of boys. The result strongly confirmed the impact of study stream on environmental awareness, attitudes and behavior of students. Awareness, attitudes and behavior towards environment of the rural students were at the highest level. However, no significant differences were observed among students from different family income groups. The observed weak correlation between environmental awareness and behavior confirmed that knowledge has not effectively transformed into environmental responsible behavior. Moreover, strong association could be observed between attitudes towards recycling and environmentally responsible behavior of the students. Observed positive correlations among four environmental dimensions indicate that students’ perceived environmental awareness and attitudes positively influence their responsible environmental behavior. These results emphasize the importance of incorporating essential environmental concepts and learning teaching strategies into the existing school curriculum to ensure students’ environmentally responsible behavior. Based on the present findings, suggestions were made for curriculum developers and educators to upgrade the existing curriculum.

Keywords: Environmental awareness, environmental attitudes, environmental behavior, senior secondary students.

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