Environmental Literacy Components and Their Promotion by Institutions of Higher Education: An Israeli Case Study

Oct. 28, 2014

Source: Environmental Education Research, 2014


The recognition of the key role and moral responsibility of higher education institutions (HEIs) in cultivating the environmental literacy (EL) of their students is growing globally. The current research examined the contribution of HEIs to their students’ EL by focusing on an Israeli college as a case-study. A survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1147 students from all departments in four phases of their academic studies.


A moderate level of EL was found. The college’s green agenda attracted more pre-environmentally literate students, but its contribution to the development of students’ EL throughout the learning years was minor. Variation in pro-environmental behavior was better explained by students’ environmental values and attitudes than by their environmental knowledge. It seems that a combination of knowledge, values, and attitudes is needed in order to instill EL among students in HEIs. Commitment to environmental education must be translated into effective contents (what) and ways of teaching and learning (how) EL, which should be adapted to the varied populations of HEIs’ students in the various faculties and departments. Some recommendations are detailed.

Updated: Nov. 12, 2014