Problem Statement:It is a known fact that educational activities contribute in an important way to the approaches for creating lasting solutions for environmental problems. In relation to the environment, it is necessary to develop awareness and sensitivity in terms of the rights and responsibilities of all individuals, and thus environmental education should be managed and applied very seriously.
Purpose of Study: This study was designed and conducted to detect university students’ attitudes about the environment.
Methods: The study sampling group was composed of 213 students at Gazi University. In this framework, the environmental attitudes of the students in the Business Administration Department, who had taken no courses relating to the environment, and of the students in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education, who had taken an environment course, were detected via new environmental paradigm scale A 5-point Likert-type scale composed of 15 items and statements was used to this end. Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficient of the scale was calculated to be .754.
Findings and Results: The attitudes of students about the environment were found to be generally slightly positive, with the most positive attitudes being “Animals and plants have at least as much right to live as do human beings” and “We will face important environmental problems in the future unless we give up today’s consumption habits.” On the other hand, the results of the t-test and variance analysis made to compare groups revealed that university students who have taken environment courses, female students, third- grade students, students with university graduate parents, and students with a monthly family income at or above 1500 TL have a more positive attitude toward the environment than do those who have not taken any environment courses, males, fourth- grade students, those with parents who did not have a university level education, and those with a monthly family income below 1500 TL.
Conclusion and Recommendations: The attitudes of students toward the environment were generally found to be positive above the medium level. It can be stated that socio-economic development has an important role in the formation and growth of environmental awareness. Furthermore, in order for students to gain more positive attitudes and behaviors toward the environment, beginning environmental education in primary school will increase students’ sensitivity toward the environment and thus contribute toward to the creation of a habitable environment, which will increase the well-being of society.
Keywords: Environment, environmental attitude, environmental education, university students, environmental paradigm scale