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A rainforest experience and its impact on Chinese students' oro-environmental identity and behavior : a phenomenological case study in undergraduate design education in Macau / Tam Nga Ian, Ada.

By: Tam, Nga Ian.
Contributor(s): Stilwell, Peter [Supervisor.] | University of Saint Joseph School of Education. Education.
Publisher: Macau : University of Saint Joseph, 2017Description: xix, 251 pages : ill. ; 30 cm + CD-Rom.Subject(s): University of Saint Joseph -- Thesis and Dissertations -- PhD in Education (D-SE)Online resources: Full Text (USJ only) Dissertation note: In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of PhD in Education in the School of Education, University of Saint Joseph, 2017.
List(s) this item appears in: Doctoral Thesis (USJ)
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Theses and Dissertations Theses and Dissertations USJ Library - Ilha Verde Campus
Thesis and Dissertations
Theses and Dissertations D-SE 2017 TAM,NGA (Browse shelf) Not for loan 28801

Supervisor : Peter Stilwell.

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of PhD in Education in the School of Education, University of Saint Joseph, 2017.

Includes bibliography and index.

This study covers the limited research on how experiences with nature can foster Chinese students’ pro-environmental identity and behavior. The relevant literature outlines five areas – identity, human behavior, experiences, nature and transformation – in understanding how the Chinese culture of ‘face’ (lain/mian) shapes Chinese students’ identity and behavior today and why experience with nature can help to transform Chinese students’ values, beliefs and norms, and shapes someone who manifests an environmentally sensitive behavior. Past research studies environmental behavior in various dimensions, including the correlation between environmental knowledge and positive environmental attitudes and behavior. Yet surveys of how students’ experience with nature fosters a pro-environmental identity and behavior, especially amongst Chinese students, are rare.

The qualitative case study in this thesis seeks to find out whether senior students in the Design Department of IPM’s School of Arts who experienced nature in Southern Thailand show a stronger pro-environmental identity and behavior compared to those not in the experiential learning program. A survey which includes the Environmental Identity Survey (Clayton, 2003) and the Environmentally Responsible Behaviors Index (Smith-Sebasto & D’Acosta, 1995) was administered to all senior students, and an in-depth interview with students who had experience with nature in Southern Thailand was conducted. The findings suggest that a rainforest experience not merely fosters pro-environmental identity and behavior, but student all rounded development especially as a step towards internationalization. The findings also indicate to what extent the programmatic factors of the experience were important in changing Chinese students’ values, beliefs and norms in thinking and behaving environmentally, as well as in student personal development.

Keywords: nature, experiential learning, pro-environmental identity, pro-environmental behavior

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