A Qualitative Study on Turkish Preschool Children's Environmental Attitudes Through Ecocentrism and Anthropocentrism

Kahrıman-Ozturk D., Olgan R., Tuncer G.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENCE EDUCATION, vol.34, no.4, pp.629-650, 2012 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09500693.2011.596228
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.629-650
  • Keywords: Environmental attitudes, Preschool children, Qualitative research, EDUCATION, CONTEXT
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study explores preschool children's attitudes towards environmental issues with a focus on the issue of gender as a factor affecting their attitudes. The study sample comprised 40 preschool age children living in Ankara, Turkey. The research adopted a qualitative approach, and the data were collected through interviews in which a questionnaire was administered. The interview questionnaire was adapted from 'The Children's Attitudes Toward the Environment Scale-Preschool Version' which contains 15 interview questions and sub-questions. The findings of our study indicate that most of the 5-6-year-old children initially appear to have ecocentric attitudes towards environmental issues in all the dimensions. However, when the children explained their reasons for choosing one of the two pictures, their responses were evaluated as emanating from anthropocentric attitudes. No difference in the attitudes of the preschool children was detected in relation to their gender. In conclusion, this study shows that the educational programmes at the preschool stage need to be broadened and improved, particularly in the provision of outdoor study in natural settings for the children to develop a more ecocentric attitude towards the environment.