Assis. Prof. Dr., Near East University, Faculty of Education
Problem Statement: During the last century, negative impacts of humanity caused irreversible damages on the environment and environmentalists agree that environmental education must start from primary schools. Moreover, the environmental consciousness and education levels of the elementary school students in unknown in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this investigation is to determine the environmental knowledge, consciousness levels and perceives of class 4 and class 5 elementary school students in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Method: Quantitative research method was applied to collect information where enough time was given to students to answer the questionnaires. To identify the target group and their attitudes; frequencies and percentages were used, to determine the relationships between 2 variables; unrelated t-test and to determine the relationships between 2+ variables; Duncan (5%) after ANOVA were used.
Findings and Results: Results indicated that environmental consciousness level of students is high (X = 3,97 => % 79,40). When the points belonging to the environmental attitude are compared with respect to gender, a significant difference between genders determined at 3 issues out of 25. At the points that have significant differences among them, females answered more consciously at one of them, and males answered more consciously at two of them. When the general average of all points are evaluated, consciousness level of females is found as 3,98 and consciousness level of males is to be 3,95. “Grade” group can be seen as an important demographic characteristic that significant differences are present in this kind of knowledge and consciousness researches. It is observed that 5th grade students’ consciousness levels are seen as higher (3,98>3,94) obviously.
Conclusions and Recommendations: Results indicated that 4th and 5th grade students have high environmental knowledge and consciousness levels. It means that environmental consciousness levels of students increased in TRNC since 2000. This is because of the studies about environmental education in TRNC recently. The results obtained in this study have shown that there is no significant difference in students’ environmental knowledge and environmental consciousness in terms of gender and grades in TRNC. It is highly important to continue such studies to determine the deficiencies in student’s knowledge and class syllabus. On the other hand, it is important to determine the environmental consciousness levels of teachers model the correlation among students and teacher’s environmental consciousness levels.
Keywords: Primary school, environmental education, environmental consciousness, environmental knowledge ve environmental attitude scale.