Keywords: environmental education, Portugal, forest environment, student perceptions, secondary education, environmental protection, forest protection, attitude change, school role
Students' perceptions of school contributions for changes in attitudes for the protection of forest environments
The forest environment is threatened in many ways by the exploration of its natural resources, leading to a crisis situation. To improve the suitability of education programs, it is necessary to assess students' conceptions, attitudes and understanding of this situation. By using a variety of questions aimed at children aged 12–14 years, this work explores students' perceptions of the role of schools in providing education about the protection of the forest environment. The students' experiences offer clear educative and social contrasts about students' ideas. The results showed that the children are aware of the consequences of global environmental problems, but also stressed the need to assist students in their perception of the role of the school in effecting a change in attitudes about forest protection.