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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine how science content knowledge, moral reasoning ability, attitudes, and past experiences mediate the formation of moral judgments on environmental dilemmas. The study was conducted in two phases using environmental science majors and nonscience majors of college age. Phase One determined if environmental science majors exhibited higher levels of moral reasoning on nontechnical environmental social issues than on general social issues and examined the extent to which possible mediating factors accounted for differences in moral reasoning. Phase Two was qualitative in nature, the purpose of which was to observe and identify trends in conversations between subjects as to how certain mediating factors are revealed as people form moral judgments. The framework on which this study was constructed incorporates a progressive educational position; a position that views science education as being interdisciplinary, and a social means to a social end.