The Environmental Awareness of Parents and Teachers and its Relationship to the Environmental Awareness of Children in Saudi Arabia
The topic of environmental awareness has received great attention recently at the local and global levels. This is in response to global calls regarding the importance of environmental awareness for children, young people and adults as a way to protect the world from environmental problems. Instilling environmental awareness is a responsibility that must be shared by all child-rearing institutions, but studies have shown a lack of scientific research proving that educators play an effective role in children's environmental awareness in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this study aimed to ascertain the level of environmental awareness of children in early childhood, and its relationship to educators’ level of awareness in light of many variables (child’s age and gender and educator's job and education level). The study sample consisted of 77 parents and teachers of varying educational levels (secondary school/graduate/postgraduate) and a sample of 50 children of different ages (4–8 years and over) who were chosen from the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. To achieve the study objectives and gain a deep understanding of children’s environmental awareness and its relation to that of their parents and teachers, a mixed-method approach was used. The data were collected using a questionnaire answered by educators (parents and teachers) and a picture-based survey answered by children. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software (version 6). This study shows that the differences in children's level of awareness are due to their age and not their gender, as older children seem to be more aware. There is a positive relationship between children's awareness and that of their educators. The study also reveals that teachers have greater environmental awareness than parents; therefore, there is a need to increase parents' environmental awareness.