Green Spaces in Chinese Schools Enhance Children’s Environmental Attitudes and Pro- Environmental Behavior
Keywords:school green space, perception, environmental attitudes, pro-environmental behavior
Previous research has asserted that promoting connection to nature can enhance children's environmental attitudes and cultivate their pro-environmental behavior. School green spaces and educational programs have been recognized as important interventions toward this goal, although empirical study examining their effectiveness, especially in China, is rare. This study collected data from 1,597 students (9−12 years old) in southwest China. The study used the Two Major Environmental Values scale to measure two dimensions of children’s environmental attitude—preservation and utilization—and used a project-specific pro- environmental behavior scale to measure children’s self-reported pro-environmental behavior. The results found that students' perceived school environment is consistent with objective measures of “green space quality.” Meanwhile, students’ perception of their school environment and their interactions with natural elements have a positive correlation with students’ preservation attitude and pro- environmental behavior. School green activities have a negative correlation with a utilization environmental attitude. This study thus highlights the value of green campuses, and when supplemented by environmental pedagogical activities, they could significantly contribute to equipping children with environmental literacy.