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An evaluation of the environmental literacy of preservice teachers in Turkey through Rasch analysis

The purpose of this study was to make use of proposed definitions of environmental literacy to (1) guide the application of Rasch analysis and (2) utilize the developed instrumentation to further inform the work of environmental educators. A total of 2311 preservice teachers attending Faculty of Education departments of four public universities located in the capital city of Turkey provided data for this study. The instrument used included a knowledge scale, an attitude scale, an attitude towards environmental responsibility scale and a concern scale. Rasch analysis revealed which those items which address the environmental knowledge widely broadcasted by mass media also were answered correctly by most participants. Generally, instrument items that addressed the understanding of the interrelated nature of environmental knowledge were answered incorrectly by participants. Analysis of attitude and attitude towards environmental responsibility scales indicated that the preservice teachers exhibited the most support for plant and animal rights, environmental protection laws and ecological balance. Results of the concern scale suggested that the preservice teachers were most concerned with regard to issues of poor drinking-water quality. Gender analysis revealed different orientations among females and males in terms of knowledge, attitudes, attitude towards environmental responsibility and concern scales.