Date of Award:

1972

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Child Development

Advisor/Chair:

Jay D. Schvaneveldt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine children's awareness of environmental pollution and the effect of environmental education on the awareness of preschool children.

Data for this study were collected by individually interviewing 20 preschool, 20 first grade and 20 third grade children. These 60 children were presented 15 colored slides and 9 words denoting various types of pollution and environmental symbols and slogans. The slides varied from litter on a beach, chimneys emitting black smoke, and polluted water to such environmental symbols as Smokey Bear, Johnny Horizon, and Woodsy Owl. In addition, the environmental symbols were also presented verbally, accompanied by such words as litter, pollution, and ecology. The children's responses were evaluated and used to indicate the effect of age and sex upon children's awareness, the relationship between children's responses to pictorial and verbal stimuli, and the effects of an environmental education program on the awareness of preschool children.

The findings of this study indicate that there are differences in awareness of environmental pollution between d1fferent ages of children, but not between males and females. As children become older, there is both an increasing awareness of environmental pollution and an increasing correlation between the recognition of visual and verbal stimuli. An environmental education unit was also found to influence the environmental awareness of preschool children. While the experimental group, which was involved in an environmental education unit showed significant increases in environmental awareness, the control group did not.

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