Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2011 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Attitudinal Landscapes of educators and students on Renewable Energy Systems (RES) as impacted by directed Renewable Energy Education (REE).
Patel, Nirav

Concerns over global climate change, environmental degradation, and dwindling nonrenewable energy resources have prompted the need for an effective Renewable Energy Education (REE). The study evaluates attitudes towards REE. It specifically examines information and attitude-based factors that affect renewable energy education, and the role of attitudes on renewable energy systems (RES). The results of which offers clues to bridging specific gaps in current renewable energy literacy (REL). The purpose of the current study was to determine whether the students of teachers trained in REE were measurably influenced to pursue renewable energy education, compared to students of teachers who had not attended similar workshops. A survey tool was administered to two groups of students: 1) students of trained teachers, 2) students of untrained teachers. Preliminary results indicate that while training workshops of educators has an effect on attitudinal change of educators; similar effects were not obvious with the studentsí surveyed. However, the students did show an increased interest in renewable energy education if educators formalized it within their course(s) or if required it as a wider part of the curricula and standardized testing measures. While majority of students surveyed place a greater emphasis across socioeconomic conditions on the importance of hunger and poverty there was less sustained presence of awareness on renewable energy and climate change topics. Suggesting that students perceive climate change and renewable energy to be somewhat less important. There appears to be a dissonance that prompts the reluctance for addressing climate change topics through renewable energy solutions.