Research in Outdoor Education


Over the last 30 years, researchers have considered the complexities of "environmental sensitivity," specifically, the factors that cause people to care or be concerned about the environment. Such research emerges from the notion that environmental sensitivity is the first step in a developmental process that leads persons toward environmental literacy or what Chawla (1998) calls a sense of "ownership" and "empowerment" (p. 11) regarding protection of the environment. In this sense, environmental sensitivity becomes the foundation on which environmental educators can build. By exploring the relationship between environmental sensitivity and other variables, environmental educators may be provided with means of fostering pro-environmental attitudes and behavior.

The present study sought to determine if people with different levels of environmental sensitivity prefer different kinds of outdoor recreation settings.