Voting for Change: an International Study of Students' Willingness to Support Measures to Ameliorate Climate Change

Skamp K., Boyes E., Stanisstreet M., Rodriguez M., Malandrakis G., Fortner R., ...More

RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION, vol.51, no.3, pp.861-887, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11165-019-09864-2
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • Page Numbers: pp.861-887
  • Keywords: Political action, Environmental action, Environmental education, Climate change, Socio-scientific issues, RISK PERCEPTION, PUBLIC-OPINION, KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE, SCIENCE, SUSTAINABILITY, PREDICTORS, BELIEFS, VALUES, ENERGY
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Voting for various pro-environmental governmental policies is an indirect, but potentially effective, action that citizens can take to reduce global warming (GW) and climate change. Supporting further environmental education is an additional action. This study reports students' beliefs about the effectiveness of these indirect actions in reducing GW and their willingness to support such actions (e.g. increased taxes). Students' responses (n > 12,000 grades 6 to 10 from 11 countries) to a specially designed questionnaire are reported. Links between their beliefs and their willingness to act were quantified using a range of novel derived indices. Significant disparities between beliefs and willingness to act were found across the various countries. The focus of this paper is the derived index, the Natural Willingness to Act (NWA). Interpretations are proffered for the reported differences between countries. The extents of students' concern and self-reported knowledge about global warming strongly correlate with NWA values, as do their cultural orientations, and other contextual factors (e.g. governmental trust). Pedagogical implications and ways forward are suggested.