Research ArticleSOCIAL SCIENCES

Amazon conservation and students’ interests for biodiversity: The need to boost science education in Brazil

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Science Advances  26 Aug 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 35, eabb0110
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb0110
  • Fig. 1 Map showing the density of indigenous peoples in the turn of the 20th century and localities of the three samples (2007, 2010–2011, and 2014).

    Localities mentioned (see text): 1, Machadinho d’Oeste (RO); 2, Feijó (AC); 3, Jutaí (AM); 4, Manaus (AM); 5, Oiapoque (AP); 6, Cametá (PA). Region A corresponds to São Gabriel da Cachoeira area (see text). Region B corresponds to west Santa Catarina [see (30)]. Sources of information: *, (28); others, see table S1.

  • Table 1 Level of interest of Brazilian students (2010–2011).

    Means of the answers of Brazilian students aged 14 to 16 years old (n = 1803) to the question (top, left), showing their level of interest to study different subjects (1 = not interested/4 = very interested). Blue numbers indicate interest (x > 2.5), contrary to red numbers.

    How interested are you in learning about
    the following?
    Group
    DisinterestedInterestedTotal
    AverageSDAverageSDAverageSDP value
    (Mann-
    Whitney test)
    A3The inner part of Earth2.121.022.761.002.401.06<0.0005
    A15How plants grow and
    reproduce
    1.870.862.800.912.280.99<0.0005
    A16How people, animals,
    plants, and the
    environment
    depend on each
    other
    2.340.983.120.892.681.02<0.0005
    A27Dangerous and
    poisonous animals
    2.531.003.380.762.901.00<0.0005
    A28Poisonous plants in my
    area
    2.010.993.080.872.481.08<0.0005
    E18Medicinal use of plants2.131.023.250.842.621.10<0.0005
    E24Animals in my area1.800.823.320.702.461.08<0.0005
    E25Plants in my area1.580.643.180.712.281.04<0.0005
  • Table 2 Interest to study biodiversity in different regions of Brazil (2010–2011).

    Association between the two groups of students aged 14 to 16 years old comparing their interest to topics related to biodiversity and the region where they live in Brazil (n = 1803; Pearson’s χ2, P < 0.0005).

    RegionN/(%)GroupsTotal
    DisinterestedInterested
    NorthN228232460
    %49.6%50.4%100%
    NortheastN252223475
    %53.1%46.9%100%
    Center-WestN148112260
    %56.9%43.1%100%
    SoutheastN259128387
    %66.9%33.1%100%
    SouthN12893221
    %57.9%42.1%100%
  • Table 3 Selected items about conservation action answered by Brazilian students from north and southeast Brazil.

    These 14 items were part of the ROSE project, presented to students around 15 years old in schools of several countries, Brazil included. Students could agree or disagree, fully or partly, to each one with scores 1 (fully disagree) to 4 (fully agree). The “C” session brought items about the environment and other themes.

    Item codeItems stating the need of individual and collective
    conservation actions
    C29I can personally influence what happens with the
    environment
    C30We can still find solutions to our environmental problems
    C31People should care more about the protection of the
    environment
    C32I am optimistic about the future
    C33The natural world is sacred and should be left in peace
    C35I think each of us can make a significant contribution to
    environmental protection
    E65I am willing to have environmental problems solved even
    if this means sacrificing many goods
    Items stating the overselling of individual and
    collective actions for conservation
    E54Science and technology can solve nearly all problems
    C28Science and technology can solve all environmental
    problems
    C34People worry too much about environmental problems
    C37Environmental problems should be left to the experts
    C38It is the responsibility of the rich countries to solve the
    environmental problems of the world
    C40Threats to the environment are not my business
    C41Environmental problems are exaggerated
  • Table 4 Northern Brazilian students’ tendencies about conservation actions in the period 2010/1–2014.

    Tendencies of students’ attitudes and values about conservation actions (1 = fully disagree/4 = fully agree) in the northern region of Brazil in the period 2010–2014 showing their level of agreement regarding 13 statements (see Table 3 for phrasing). Numbers in blue show agreement (x > 2.5), and numbers in red show disagreement (x < 2.5). P value bold numbers show significant variation in the period.

    Items2010/120142010–2014P value
    (Kruskal-Wallis
    test)
    AverageSDAverageSDTendencyValid cases
    Items stating the need of individual and collective conservation actions
    C293.011.083.091.078890.224
    C303.530.863.660.698900.059
    C313.660.733.820.56Embedded Image892<0.0005
    C322.741.092.861.088840.076
    C333.190.983.031.118820.074
    C353.630.743.630.758940.739
    E653.061.062.911.11Embedded Image8870.038
    Items stating the overselling of individual and collective actions for conservation
    E542.231.062.311.038770.260
    C282.081.092.111.058930.500
    C341.931.081.580.97Embedded Image883<0.0005
    C371.560.901.620.968890.422
    C382.291.151.691.03Embedded Image892<0.0005
    C401.721.121.340.86Embedded Image894<0.0005
    C412.461.212.241.21Embedded Image8880.009
  • Table 5 Southeastern Brazilian students’ tendencies about conservation actions in the period 2007/2010–2011/2014.

    Tendencies of students’ values and attitudes (1 = fully disagree/4 = fully agree) in the southeastern region of Brazil in the period 2007–2014 showing their level of agreement regarding 14 statements (see Table 3 for phrasing). Numbers in blue show agreement (x > 2.5), and numbers in red show disagreement (x < 2.5). Tendency arrows consider national samples only (2010–2011 and 2014, see text and the Supplementary Materials). P value bold numbers show significant variation in the period considering the three samplings.

    Items20072010–201120142010–2014P value
    (Kruskal-
    Wallis test)
    AverageSDAverageSDAverageSDTendencyValid cases
    Items stating the need of individual and collective conservation actions
    C293.150.932.911.042.981.07Embedded Image1.0960.010
    C303.360.883.350.883.540.77Embedded Image1.1010.003
    C313.450.843.550.783.750.62Embedded Image1.102<0.0005
    C322.541.042.671.032.701.051.0920.104
    C333.150.992.970.982.861.07Embedded Image1.089<0.0005
    C353.340.953.380.903.570.77Embedded Image1.1020.001
    E653.010.982.791.052.871.061.0940.018
    Items stating the overselling of individual and collective actions for conservation
    E542.030.932.210.942.320.98Embedded Image1.093<0.0005
    C281.970.921.990.982.200.97Embedded Image1.1000.001
    C341.730.961.820.991.490.86Embedded Image1.097<0.0005
    C371.720.921.590.881.590.921.1000.019
    C382.151.032.121.041.700.94Embedded Image1.097<0.0005
    C401.570.961.641.001.260.70Embedded Image1.101<0.0005
    C412.111.032.291.092.021.12Embedded Image1.0930.001

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Amazon conservation and students’ interests for biodiversity: The need to boost science education in Brazil

    Fernanda Franzolin, Paulo S. Garcia, Nelio Bizzo

    Download Supplement

    This PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary Materials and Methods: Sampling
    • Supplementary Materials and Methods: Data analysis and statistical tests
    • Tables S1 to S4
    • Fig. S1
    • References

    Files in this Data Supplement:

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