In this research, we investigate the implementation of a non-mandatory learning-unit on renewable energy in elementary schools in Israel. The research focuses on the effect of teachers’ attitudes toward energy conservation and the efficient use of energy, as well as on the effects of contextual factors on teaching the programme. Mixed methods were used for data collection and analysis. Questionnaires were responded to by 77 teachers, and 13 teachers were interviewed. Attitudes regarding energy consumption are positively associated with teaching the programme, whereas teacher-perceived overload is negatively associated with it. Time devoted to teaching the programme in class was limited due to both the non-mandatory status of the curriculum and to accountability stressors. The findings suggest that while teachers’ attitudes to the environment have some influence on their decision to teach the programme, most of their decisions are related to contextual factors such as work overload, and lack of training, and support. Education plays a significant role in general, as well as regarding energy conservation and renewable energy. The research findings suggest that developing teaching materials is not a sufficient condition for motivating teachers to use them, and that considering contextual factors is essential for a successful implementation.
- Renewable energy education
- contextual factors
- teachers’ motivation
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