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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(2), 562-582.
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Sustainability awareness, attitudes and actions: A survey of pre-service teachers

Wisuit Sunthonkanokpong
King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand

Elizabeth Murphy
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

The purpose of this study was to survey the awareness, attitudes and actions of Thai, pre-service, industrial-education teachers (N=390) regarding economic, social and environmental sustainability. Survey items were derived from learning objectives provided by UNESCO in relation to 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Research questions focused on overall results as well as analyses to determine differences based on program type and year of study. Results showed an average overall higher percentage in the categories of attitudes (90%) and action (91%) than for awareness (69%). The lowest ranked items in the categories of attitudes and action were related to SDG 5, gender equality. Pre-service teachers in year two of their program reported significantly higher levels of awareness than those in their first, third, fourth or fifth year. There were no significant differences for program type. Implications point to the value for higher education institutes, programs and instructors of identifying sustainability issues most relevant to their context in terms of culture and subject area. Results also pointed to the possibility that higher education institutions may be able to address aspects of sustainability through other initiatives (e.g., mental health awareness days) that are not necessarily branded specifically as sustainability issues.
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Authors: Dr Wisuit Sunthonkanokpong is Associate Professor and Chairman of the Electrical Communications Engineering (M.S. Industrial Education) program at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok, Thailand. He also lectures in Engineering Education. He completed his PhD in competence development in the electronics industry in Thailand. His research interests include innovation in engineering education and electrical communications engineering education.
Email: kawisuit@kmitl.ac.th

Dr Elizabeth Murphy is a retired professor from the Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada where she was the 2007-08 winner of the President's Award for Outstanding Research.
Email: emurphy@mun.ca

Please cite as: Sunthonkanokpong, W. & Murphy, E. (2019). Sustainability awareness, attitudes and actions: A survey of pre-service teachers. Issues in Educational Research, 29(2), 562-582. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/sunthonkanokpong.pdf

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Created 14 Apr 2019. Last correction: 14 Apr 2019.
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