Preschoolers’ pro-environmental orientations and theory of mind: ecocentrism and anthropocentrism in ecological dilemmas
The globalized problems of this socio-scientific issue result from human behaviour; thus educators aim to enhance children’s awareness and knowledge of and attitudes and motivations to create an environmentally sustainable society. Previous studies examine preschoolers’ ecological attitudes and reasoning regarding gender and urban versus rural living. This study aims to extend this research to examine the possible associations between theory of mind (ToM), gender and story comprehension and young children’s pro-environmental orientations. The study participants were 128 preschoolers. The findings revealed that (a) young children’s pro-environmental orientations did not differ regarding gender, (b) the children’s ToM scores were not differentiated in terms of gender, (c) children who articulated ecocentric orientations had higher ToM, and (d) story comprehension scores than children who stated anthropocentric orientations. The findings of this study imply that the use of stories in environmental education is an effective and developmentally appropriate activity for young children. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.