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Reframing Humankind’s Relationship with Nature: Contributions from Social Exchange Theory

By Keri Schwab, Daniel Dustin and Kelly Bricker

Abstract: In this paper we compare and contrast the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1985) with Social Exchange Theory (Homans, 1958) as conceptual foundations for eliciting pro-environmental behavior. We reason that Social Exchange Theory provides the better orientation because of its metaphorical power in casting humankind as being in a reciprocal relationship with nature rather than being in a superior position over nature. We illustrate our thinking by discussing ecosystem services (Melillo & Sala, 2008) as nature’s contribution to humankind in return for humankind’s responsible environmental stewardship.

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School leaders, sustainability, and green school practices: An elicitation study using the Theory of Planned Behavior

By Dennis Veronese and Lisa Kensler

Little research in educational leadership has addressed school leaders, sustainability, and green school practices. State policies requiring green building and management practices are rapidly becoming more common. However, we know little about school leaders’ attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control beliefs relative to green school practices. This study begins a line of research investigating the behavioral intentions of school leaders to engage in green school practices. We report on an elicitation study including a diverse sample of 71 U.S. K-12 school leaders’ responses to open-ended survey questions designed following Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior. In general, the study suggests that participating school leaders believe there are benefits to going green and most stakeholders will support greening efforts. However, limited resources (money, time, information, and personnel) present substantial barriers to leading and managing greener schools.

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