Feedback on Connection to Nature Index | eePRO @ NAAEE

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Feedback on Connection to Nature Index

As I mentioned in two previous posts, I am part of a team of researchers, evaluators, and practitioners who are interested in identifying, improving, and using tools that assess connection to nature. We are in the process of developing a guidebook that will feature tools that can be used by both researchers and practitioners to measure connection to nature. Thank you for participating in the rich discussions we have had so far about the tools we plan to feature!

Another tool that we plan to feature is the Connection to Nature Index (CNI) that was developed by Dr. Judith Cheng and Dr. Martha Monroe.

Has anyone used this tool? If so, in what contexts and for what purpose?
Do you have any advice for others using the CNI scale to assess connection to nature?
Do you have any suggestions for ways to adapt the scale for different audiences?

CITATION: Cheng, J. C., & Monroe, M. C. (2010). Connection to nature: Children’s affective attitude toward nature. Environment and Behavior, 44, 31-49.

PDF icon cheng_monroe_connection_to_nature_index_for_eepro.pdf76.14 KB

I'm part of an evaluation team using the CNI tool with 2nd thru 5th graders as part of an embedded assessment of a 3-year school program designed to increase empathy for animals and stewardship of the natural environment. We knew going into it that the tool might be challenging for the younger students to understand, and prepared an smiley-face/frown-face version for them. This seems to work alright except for the statement "I feel sad when wild animals are hurt" - which is confusing because the kids see the sad face and associate that with feeling sad instead of with disagreeing with the statement. Another tricky statement is "I like to garden" because many youngsters are not familiar with "garden" as a verb. Finally, students seem to have some difficulty with assigning '"agree or disagree" when it comes to statements that have a negative in them. Hope this helps...let me know if you'd like any more details.

Hi Nette -

This is very helpful information! I'm curious - were you only use the CNI once as an embedded assessment or have you tried using it as a pre/post? If you used it pre/post, did you see any change in the CNI scores?



We will be using CNI as a pre-post but have not yet gotten to the post! That will happen towards the end of the school year. And then again over the course of the next 2 years (we are evaluating students multiple times during a 3 year period.)