Environmental education at faculty of agriculture and changing awareness, attitude and behavior towards environment in Turkey
Environmental problems have become increasingly more destructive. For this reason, environmental education and awareness have gained importance. This study had two objectives: to determine the factors affecting the attitude and behavior of Faculty of Agriculture students towards the environment and to test if the education given creates a significant difference in students' environmental attitude and behavior. The study was conducted on 160 first and fourth year students at Gaziosmanpasa University, Faculty of Agriculture, during 2016. Data were collected using a face-to-face questionnaire which collected data for „Environmental Awareness and Attitude Scale? consisting of 21 elements and „Environmental Behavior Scale? consisting of 24 elements. Factors affecting the attitudes and behaviors were determined separately by Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted to determine if there was a significant difference in attitudes and behaviors of the first and fourth year students. Based on Kruskal Wallis test results, significant difference was found between the first and the fourth year students for “Environmental destruction” (P< 0.01) and “Environmental responsibility” (P< 0.05) factors. In other words, environmental courses taken by students throughout their four study years in the school created an awareness and changes in their attitudes. In addition, “Environmental education” (P< 0.01) and “Environmental protection” (P< 0.01) factors were significantly different in the first and fourth year students. The present study showed that it is possible to train agricultural engineers with high levels of environmental awareness and sensitivity using a well-planned four-year education program supported with an efficient environmental education. © 2018, Tarbiat Modares University. All rights reserved.