Energy literacy of vocational students in Taiwan

Energy literacy of vocational students in Taiwan

  • article in the current issue

Lung-Sheng Lee, Liang-Te Chang, Chih-Chien Lai, Yunn-Horng Guu & Kuen-Yi Lin

Pages: 855-873 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1068276


In this study, we administered a questionnaire to 1001 vocational high school students to ascertain their literacy with regard to energy saving and carbon-emissions reduction (ESCER) and to analyze whether their literacy was affected by their gender or academic major. The data analysis produced the following conclusions: (1) behaviors pertaining to ESCER among vocational high school students should be enhanced by promoting appropriate affect rather than solely by conveying knowledge; (2) female students displayed superior knowledge and affect regarding ESCER compared with male students; and (3) students majoring in agriculture performed better than other students in terms of knowledge, affect, and behavioral aspects related to ESCER. The execution and results of this study can serve as a reference for courses or education related to this topic targeting vocational high school students to promote literacy for ESCER, thereby increasing students’ effectiveness in related issues in Taiwan.

Keywords: affect, behavior, carbon saving, energy literacy, knowledge


Start the week by considering social movements in #enviroed

If you’ve wondered how “civic and political organizations can make the participation of ordinary people Possible, Probable, and Powerful” [P3] you might want to check out this webinar from NAAEE. It features Hahrie Han and the work of the P3 lab at UCSB, on civic and political engagement, collective action, social change, and democratic revitalization, particularly as it pertains to environmental politics and social policy issues.

Discussion continues over at eePRO

Prep for 28th June – ESD chat

Education for Sustainable Development – a vehicle for socially and environmentally responsible interdisciplinary learning, teaching and assessment?

On Wednesday 28 June at 8pmGMT #HEAchat and #LTHEchat will be exploring the relatively untapped potential of Education for Sustainable Development (hereafter referred to as ‘ESD’) as a holistic learning and teaching tool for staff and students. Professor Simon Kemp, NTF, University of Southampton, has prepared a blog to stimulate discussion.

ESD is an interdisciplinary approach to learning, teaching and assessment that covers the integrated social, economic, and environmental dimensions of the formal and informal curriculum. ESD is recognised as a pedagogical approach that can help educators assist students who wish to develop the skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to an environmentally and ethically responsible society, and pursue a career that reflects those values. However, whilst there is understandably much focus on the output of graduates with a sense of social and environmental justice in terms of their future contributions to the world, there can be less attention on the innovative learning and teaching opportunities. ESD offers the higher education community the chance to integrate interdisciplinary learning, pioneering assessment, responsible employability outcomes, and strong student engagement.

The term ESD refers to the pedagogical approach of learning about and developing skills for ‘sustainable development’. It is generally accepted that sustainable development is fundamentally about trying to achieve a balance between the economy, society (people), and the environment, with the internationally recognised and referred to definition of:

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (WCED, 1987)

If you conduct any reading in this interdisciplinary subject area you are also likely to frequently come across the terms ‘sustainability’ and ‘Education for Sustainability (EfS)’. We will happily use these terms interchangeably during the twitter chat as we do not want to debate definitions and terms – after all, we only have an hour! It is also important to note that sustainable development, is not solely about the environment as is the common misconception. It is about trying to achieve a balance between the economy, society, and the environment, through supporting students from any discipline in acquiring knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to sustainable development.

As with all pedagogy challenges there is a wealth of literature to engage with. However, if you would like to refer to a single document that has attempted to provide a common approach to the interdisciplinary practice of ESD, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and HEA (2014) developed a guidance document to assist educators and support students from all disciplines. This document offers the following definition for ESD:

Education for sustainable development is the process of equipping students with the knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes needed to work and live in a way that safeguards environmental, social and economic wellbeing, both in the present and for future generations.” (QAA & HEA, 2014)

The HEA website offers an excellent range of resources. As part of this resource base we recently developed a set of ESD learning activities aimed at assisting colleagues who wish to engage with interdisciplinary teaching, and work with students interested in exploring the complex challenges that have an impact on us all. The workshops are designed to be structured classroom sessions, or to provide a framework for colleagues to adapt for their own learning objectives.

Introducing or extending ESD in your curriculum and student experience offers a range of benefits to students, academics, and the university. Students can engage in interdisciplinary practices, working and learning with students from other academic disciplines they might not normally be exposed to. Aside from the intellectual gain, there is an expectation from employers that graduates will work with colleagues of different areas of expertise as part of wider professional teams. ESD offers students this valuable experience and can enhance their curriculum vitae, especially in terms of practical skills and experience. You might also wish to join the Sustainability in Higher Education Developers (SHED) Community of Practice to engage with supportive academics who are always willing to help those who wish to start or advance their ESD journey.

If you are thinking ‘Sustainable Development does not relate to my discipline area(s)’, I would suggest that you are probably wrong. Take a look at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals that have set targets for the international community until 2030, and I would confidently bet that you will find at least one that relates to your L&T:

We will be interested to hear how you are exploring ESD in your discipline and the gains available for learners who are literate in this area. Looking forward to your contributions during what we hope will be a stimulating and rewarding twitter chat.

The ESD Twitter Chat will be 8-9pm GMT 28 June 2017


Weekend viewing – from Anecdotes to Evidence

Find out about the “Anecdotes to Evidence: Demonstrating the power of environmental education” project, from eeWORKS, a project designed to deliver communication tools and strategies that EE professionals can use to bolster support and increase investments in EE, based on summaries and reviews of the research literature.

Read on at:

Energy literacy and agency of New Zealand children

Energy literacy and agency of New Zealand children

  • article in the current issue

I. Aguirre-Bielschowsky, R. Lawson, J. Stephenson & S. Todd

Pages: 832-854 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1054267


The development of energy literacy (knowledge, attitudes, and intended behaviour) and agency of New Zealand children (age 9–10) were investigated through thematic and exploratory statistical analyses of interviews (October 2011–April 2012) with 26 children, their parents and teachers, focus groups and photo elicitation. The children knew that electricity costs money and saw it as a finite resource. Half could name an energy source but few knew of any associated environmental issues. Most of the children had a positive attitude towards saving electricity, but did not intend to save energy to a further extent (low intended behaviour) and were not influencing their families to conserve energy (low agency). The children were learning about energy informally from a variety of sources, and acquired their attitudes mostly from talking to their parents. The results highlight the need for energy education for citizenship at school and conversations about energy both there and at home.

Keywords: energy literacy, children, electricity, energy knowledge, attitudes, agency


Tips on Thursdays – Promoting your research online

From the following list of tips from Altmetric, we’d flag:

“Work with the press office at your publisher or institution to announce the publication of your research.”

We’d also encourage authors to contribute video abstracts, and respond to posts about their articles on the journal’s social media pages. Go on, we know you want to 😉

#eerjournal Environmental Education Research

Teaching sustainability in Norway, China and Ghana: challenges to the UN programme

Teaching sustainability in Norway, China and Ghana: challenges to the UN programme

  • New EER Article Alert

Nina Witoszek

Pages: 1-14 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1307944


The article compares how the UN-initiated education for sustainable development (ESD) has fared in three seemingly dissimilar countries: Norway, a wealthy, ‘post-materialist’ liberal democracy, Ghana, a developing democratic country, and China, a fast catching-up, centrally- steered economy. The study – based on an analysis of national ESD programmes, schoolbooks and qualitative interviews with teachers and students – discusses some of the pivotal reasons for the decline in ESD schooling in all three countries. It also explores surprising ‘archipelagos of pedagogical innovation’, as shown by one of the high schools in Ghana. Our conclusions are that, apart from specific, cultural and political contexts which influence ESD, students’ socio-environmental literacy in the examined countries has been affected by an ever more pervasive competitive and neoliberal mindset. Further, in all three cases, the agenda of ‘sustainable development’ suffers from a ‘narrative and mythical deficit’: a lack of a mobilizing story, the absence of which reduces the attractiveness of sustainability ideals and inhibits their empowering potential.

Keywords: Education for sustainability, comparative curriculum studies, modernity, environmental values