Dialogue's Impact on Behavior and Attitude Towards Climate Change

Open Access
Author:
Mccausland, Jonathan Dean
Area of Honors:
Environmental Resource Management
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Scott Mc Donald, Thesis Supervisor
  • Robert David Shannon, Honors Advisor
  • William Carlsen, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • WinC
  • World in Conversation
  • climate change
  • education
  • dialogue
Abstract:
Today the world is faced with many dilemmas. Climate change is one controversy which has polarized many people. In an effort to find new ways to explore what students at Penn State are thinking about climate change, World in Conversation: Center for Public Diplomacy designed a new initiative around it. This initiative does not push any one agenda within the conversation and gives students the opportunity to communicate what they believe and challenge the beliefs of other students. In order to look at the impact of these conversations, a qualitative study was performed focusing on behavioral and attitude changes. Through survey data and a collection of personal interviews, students depict the impact of the experience. The results of this study challenge conventional learning environments and provide another tool for teachers to explore what knowledge and beliefs their students have. In addition, it illustrates the ability of conversation to change the way people interact with world problems in their everyday lives.