Moulding urban children towards environmental stewardship: the Table Mountain National Park experience
The environmental integrity of many urban protected areas in developing countries is at risk and the important mission to reach out to people living close to them provides a special opportunity to spread the conservation message. Guided visitation to urban national parks with the necessary and appropriate interpretation can contribute towards environmental education in general and can also be the point of departure in nurturing environmental stewardship. The research reported here focuses on the evaluation of a three-day nature-learning experience by schoolchildren to Table Mountain National Park. Data were collected through pre- and post-visit questionnaires and supplemented by informal discussions with learners and teachers. It was found that the environmental interpretive programme had a minimal impact on the learners' environmental knowledge, it had a reasonable impact on the pro-environmental attitudes but the findings also indicated that the behavioural impacts were limited. Other important findings were related to behaviours of learners towards environmental issues in general and critical areas in simple pro-environmental behaviour that could be emphasised in future edutainment experiences to contribute more substantially towards moulding stewardship behaviour among young school children. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.