Amphibians are one of the most threatened animal groups; however, attitudes and emotions toward them are mostly negative. One of the efforts, as a part of the cognitive dimension of nature protection, should be in the shifting of negative attitudes toward amphibians to positive ones.
Material and methods:
The purpose of this study was reevaluation of the Toad Attitude Questionnaire (TAQ), as well as assessment of lower and upper secondary school students' attitudes towards toads. The moderating role of grade, gender, reported direct experiences, their experiences with nature, or whether they live in rural or urban areas on student attitudes toward toads was assessed.
The results show that the level of education, gender, and reported direct experiences with toads, influence student attitudes more than place of residence and reported number of visits to natural surroundings.
The implications for school work based on our study are numerous, some of them opposing recent trends in replacement of real hands-on activities with virtual ones in zoology education. There is no reason that animals in a classroom should be regarded mainly as objects of dissection. Giving them the status of ambassadors representing billions of similar or different organisms from nature is a better approach.