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Sustainable schools as pedagogical tools for environmental education

conference contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Richard TuckerRichard Tucker, P Izadpanahi
There has been extensive research about the association between school physical environment and children’s educational performance. However, the relationship between the sustainability of school physical environments and children’s environmental awareness via education has been rarely addressed in the literature. This paper evaluates the possible differences between the environmental attitudes and behaviours of children in schools designed for sustainability and conventional schools in Victoria, Australia. The New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) and General Ecological Behaviours (GEB) scales were employed to measure the environmental awareness of 275 grade 4-6 children in seven primary schools. Quantitative analysis was conducted to look for significant differences between the environmental attitudes and behaviours of two groups: children attending conventional schools and children attending schools assessed as being designed or refurbished with sustainability in mind. The results of the analysis indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups. Factor analysis revealed the NEP and GEB to be multidimensional scales. Considering the relationship between school design and the identified behaviour and attitude factors showed the presence of sustainability features had the greatest impact on the factor Children’s Attitudes via ESD (Environmentally Sustainable Design) at School. This result invites professionals in the built environment design disciplines to re-think the pedagogic importance of environmentally sustainable design in schools.



Architectural Science Association. International Conference (49th : 2015 : Melbourne, Vic.)


75 - 84


University of Melbourne


Melbourne, Vic.

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2015, University of Melbourne


R Crawford, A Stephan

Title of proceedings

ASA2015: Living and learning: research for a better built environment : Proceedings of the 49th International conference of the Architectural Science Association