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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17465

Title: Chldren's Ideas About Climate Change
Authors: Ho, Elise
Advisor: Gough, William A.
Department: Geography
Keywords: Climate Change
Perceptions
Children
Issue Date: 16-Jul-2009
Abstract: This thesis examines children’s (aged 11-12) ideas about climate change. Seventh grade children in 9 schools in Ontario were interviewed and submitted illustrated responses about climate change over a one year period of data collection. Qualitative grounded theory was used to allow themes from the data to emerge, and the use of computer software, NVivo7, was used to code and classify themes. The data were analyzed to answer three main research questions. First, the thesis explored if there were common similarities or differences between the children’s and adults’ responses (as gained from the literature). Second, children’s responses were grouped by geographical location. These locations included rural, urban, and suburban school. This was conducted in order to determine if any group differences exist among children in these three areas. The study found that children’s and adults perceptions are quite similar, and that in some situations, both groups tend to use substitution of other environmental knowledge (cultural models) in lieu of knowledge of climate change but that children also tended to use different cultural models to explain their ideas about climate change. The thesis concluded that no group differences existed among rural, urban, and suburban children and children in all groups tended to have much more detailed knowledge of mitigation strategies than the effects and causes of climate change. The thesis also concluded that a new educational framework, modeled after the Causes, Effects, and Mitigation Strategies of Climate Change (CEM Framework) ought to be used to redistribute this knowledge across these three areas.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17465
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Geography - Doctoral theses

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