Environmental problems, causes, and solutions: An open question

Maya Negev, Yaakov Garb, Roni Biller, Gonen Sagy, Alon Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a national evaluation of environmental literacy in Israel, (Negev, Sagy, Garb, Salzberg, & Tal, 2008), the authors included both multiple choice questions and open questions. In this article the authors describe the qualitative analysis of the answers to an open question regarding a local environmental problem. Most participants specified solid waste, open spaces, or air pollution as the main issues. The perceived solutions were generally at the governmental level, including planning, infrastructure, legislation, and enforcement. The authors describe relations in these responses between the problems, their causes and solutions, and between the quality of these answers and the general environmental literacy of the participants. The authors end with a discussion of the special contributions and potential of open-ended questions for environmental education research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Lisa and Maury Friedman Foundation and the GM Foundation for supporting this research, which was initiated at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and supported by Brown University’s Middle East Environmental Futures project. We express our appreciation to the authors of the Middle School Environmental Literacy Instrument, the Secondary School Environmental Literacy Instrument, and the National Environmental Literacy Assessment Project. Particularly, we are grateful for the ongoing advice of Dr. Tom Marcinkowski of the Florida Institute of Technology and Dr. Harold Hungerford of the Southern Illinois University.


  • Environmental literacy
  • Israeli national survey
  • Open question
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Environmental Science


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