In a recent Nature Connections blog post, Miles Richardson examines recent research into whether it’s nature knowledge or nature connections that are most likely to lead to pro-environment behaviours.
“A fundamental component of environmental education, and a traditional aspect of nature engagement is environmental knowledge. Knowledge of nature is seen as being indispensable to the promotion of sustainable behaviour – surely to know is to care?
A recent research paper studied children’s environmental education and the resulting environmental knowledge and nature connectedness. Research shows that the link between environmental knowledge and behaviour is weak, hence the work of Otto & Pensini aimed to include the role of nature connectedness. Moving beyond knowledge to connection has been a theme of several of my blog posts (here and here for example) and our recent research shows that knowledge is not a route to nature connection. There’s also a poor relationship between nature knowledge and nature connection. …”
You will have your own views on all this. For example, we wondered if the link between environmental knowledge and nature connectedness was the same as the link between nature knowledge and environmental connectedness. Of course, it does depend on what you mean by nature, environment, connectedness, and knowledge, and these are not trivial issues.