In recent decades, the Taiwanese government has worked actively to implement the concept of a sustainable Taiwan. As an important step in their strategy, the Ministry of Education has decided to promote the Green School Partnership Project in Taiwan (GPPT). However, academic research and critical reflection on the effects of this environmental and sustainability education initiative are lacking. Therefore, this study focuses on filling this gap by means of a nationwide generalizable effect study. The sampling allowed comparisons between the sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades in GPPT and non-GPPT schools and considered the geographic location (north, center, and south of Taiwan) as well as socio-economic area of the schools. A total of 1741 students participated, answering a questionnaire that focused on student sustainability consciousness (SC) and its components (i.e., knowingness, attitudes, and behaviors in relation to sustainability). Data were analyzed through structural equation modeling. Our findings make an important empirical contribution, indicating that GPPT schools and non-GPPT schools have a similar effect on the SC of students, i.e. schools engaged in the GPPT do not enhance student SC. In addition, the gender gap regarding SC increased consistently with each increasing grade level, yielding higher mean values for the girls than for the boys. Furthermore, an adolescent dip occurred in the student SC, especially with regard to student sustainability behavior. Given these findings, implications for developing GPPT are discussed; this research could provide valuable information about the educational transformation process to enhance environmental and sustainability behavior among students in Taiwan.
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