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Evaluating the effect of a year-long film focused environmental education program on Ugandan student knowledge of and attitudes toward great apes

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Robbins,  Martha M.
Gorillas, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Leeds, A., Lukas, K. E., Kendall, C. J., Slavin, M. A., Ross, E. A., Robbins, M. M., et al. (2017). Evaluating the effect of a year-long film focused environmental education program on Ugandan student knowledge of and attitudes toward great apes. American Journal of Primatology, 79(8): e22673. doi:10.1002/ajp.22673.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-B015-D
Abstract
Films, as part of a larger environmental education program, have the potential to influence the knowledge and attitudes of viewers. However, to date, no evaluations have been published reporting the effectiveness of films, when used within primate range countries as part of a conservation themed program. The Great Ape Education Project was a year-long environmental education program implemented in Uganda for primary school students living adjacent to Kibale National Park (KNP) and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP). Students viewed a trilogy of conservation films about great apes, produced specifically for this audience, and participated in complementary extra-curricular activities. The knowledge and attitudes of students participating in the program from KNP, but not BINP were assessed using questionnaires prior to (N = 1271) and following (N = 872) the completion of the program. Following the program, students demonstrated a significant increase in their knowledge of threats to great apes and an increase in their knowledge of ways that villagers and students can help conserve great apes. Additionally, student attitudes toward great apes improved following the program. For example, students showed an increase in agreement with liking great apes and viewing them as important to the environment. These data provide evidence that conservation films made specifically to address regional threats and using local actors and settings can positively influence knowledge of and attitudes toward great apes among students living in a primate range country.