This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Impact of Classroom Exposure to Sustainability, Course Content, and Ecological Footprint Analysis on Student Attitudes and Projected Behaviors




Franson, Melissa

Type of Degree



Consumer Affairs


The importance of sustainability will continue to grow as world population and the demand for finite resources increase. It is important to educate college students on the changing world around them, and how to live within the limits set by the Earth. In order for education on sustainability to evolve it is necessary to study methods of teaching and their effectiveness on the student population. Survey research was conducted during the spring 2008 Global Consumer Culture Course to determine if classroom exposure had an effect on making student attitudes and behaviors more sustainably oriented. Using a pre and post test method, it was determined vi that there were not statistically significant differences in attitude. However, students became more sustainably oriented in relation to behavior. This indicates that education should focus on teaching students about sustainable behaviors, such as recycling and energy conservation, instead of focusing on changing student attitudes. The research provides educators with the knowledge that teaching students about sustainability can elicit a change in projected behaviors.