Engagement with learning https://eepro.naaee.org/ en Access to real data, geo-spatial tools, models, and field experience can improve environmental literacy https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/access-real-data-geo-spatial-tools-models-and-field-experience-can-improve Access to real data, geo-spatial tools, models, and field experience can improve environmental literacy <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Marcum-Dietrich, N., Kerlin, S., Hendrix, A., Sorhagen, N., Staudt, C., &amp; Krauss, Z</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Model my watershed: an investigation into the role of big data, technology, and models in promoting student interest in watershed action</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>The Journal Of Environmental Education</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>52</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(6)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">384-397, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2021.1979451</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>A fundamental goal of environmental education is to establish environmental literacy in students. Though there has been extensive research on the outcomes for environmental education, there is still a lack of insight as to which curricular components make an impact with students over time. Some researchers found that practicing science, collecting data, using geospatial tools, developing models, and participating in citizen science programs can lead to students establishing longer-lasting environmental literacy, linking this work to their community and complex decision-making. The researchers in this study used the Teaching Environmental Sustainability Model My Watershed (TES-MMW) curriculum from the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) framework to identify which curricular components contributed most to students' environmental literacy.</p> <p>Watershed management is one of many complex topics in environmental education, but one of increasing importance due to water quality concerns and water shortages from climate change. The TES-MMW was developed for students aged 11 through 18 years in the United States using the MWEE framework, which focuses on four core elements: defining the issue, getting field experience, making conclusions, and acting sustainably. Specifically, the TES-MMW uses data, field studies, scientific modeling, and local knowledge to teach students about watershed management. In this curriculum, students use the same local and country-wide watershed information that scientists and professionals use each day in decision-making. For example, students can access databases from federal agencies like NOAA, USGS, and USDA to observe changes in land cover in their local watershed. Ultimately, this type of learning can lead students to make practical applications from the classroom to the real-world. </p> <p>For this study, the TES-MMW was utilized in middle school science or environmental science classes, and the teachers were able to customize the activities outlined in the program by using images of their local area. In the program, the students followed the four core elements from the MWEE framework. First, the students used Model My Watershed, which is an online GIS tool, and paired using the tool with a satellite map on a walk around their school's grounds to identify the watershed features listed on the GIS tool. They then learned different water conservation practices for their local watershed. Next, the students collected data during this field experience. Then the students ran a runoff simulation for their watershed to compare how different land cover and soil types affected their local watershed during a storm. Finally, the students modeled different scenarios (i.e., installing rain gardens near the concrete parking lots or planting trees around the buildings) for their reimagined schoolyard to establish a healthy, local watershed.</p> <p>The study took place over three years between 2016 and 2018. In total, 38 middle school teachers from 8 states in the United States were chosen to participate, and 1,263 students completed pre- and post-tests before and after experiencing the TES-MMW curriculum. Of the 1,263 students, 41 were interviewed at random and another 66 were split among 14 focus groups. The online pre- and post-tests included 15 questions on watershed knowledge, intention to act, and locus of control. The post-test also included three open-ended questions asking the students to describe a watershed action they have completed or could complete through a watershed plan (i.e., building a rain garden or adding rain barrels at their homes). The interviews and focus groups were set up to identify critical incidents using Critical Incident Technique (CIT) which is used to assesses the level of impact each curricular component had on the student. The researchers analyzed the pre- and post-test data alongside the interview and focus group data to determine which components were most impactful.</p> <p>The pre- and post-test results from the 1,236 students showed the TES-MMW significantly improved student knowledge about watersheds and about actions to protect watersheds. However, the students did not exhibit any change in their locus of control nor their intention to act. The post-test open-ended questions revealed that about 37% of students had completed or outlined a plan to complete a watershed action. The two most frequent actions listed were installing rain gardens and rain barrels. From the 41 interviews and 14 focus groups, the researchers concluded the students who completed watershed actions were most frequently facilitated by their own desire to complete the action, by their school, or by a like-minded community group, respectively. Further, the students that were interviewed or participated in focus groups identified four main curricular components that encouraged them to care more about their watershed: 1) the GIS tool (69%); 2) field data collection (35%); 3) the online learning portal (33%); and, 4) the walking tour of their school's grounds using a satellite map (25%). Overall, the researchers found that although there was not an increase in the students' intentions to act, the students gained more knowledge about watershed management and pro-environmental actions that helped them formulate detailed plans to improve their local watershed.</p> <p>There were limitations to this study. First, the study focused on one specific environmental topic (watersheds) for a specific age group (11 to 18 years). Second, it was not explicit which eight states were included in this study. There was not a clear depiction of the types of watersheds or socio-political circumstances that may have influenced the students' understanding of watershed management. Therefore, the results are not generalizable.</p> <p>Based on the results of the study, the researchers suggested students in middle and high school can use data sets, geo-spatial tools, and models to immerse themselves in practical science in their local community and identify pro-environmental behaviors that benefit the issue being addressed. Further, field experience and access to data may encourage students to have a greater sense of scientific and environmental understanding. The key curricular components discovered in this study were the GIS tool, collecting field data, access to an online learning portal, and use of a satellite map while being in the field. For educators, the researchers hinted at implementing these types of experiences in other environmental educations topics, as well as watersheds, to help students enhance their environmental literacy.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>There remains a lack of insight on which curricular components impact students over time in environmental education. The researchers in this study used the Teaching Environmental Sustainability Model My Watershed (TES-MMW) curriculum from the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) framework to identify which curricular components contributed most to environmental literacy in students. Through pre- and post-tests, interviews, and focus groups, the researchers found data, field studies, scientific modeling, and local knowledge significantly increased knowledge about watersheds and knowledge about taking action for sustainable watershed management. The key curricular components discovered were the GIS tool, collecting field data, access to an online learning portal, and use of a satellite map while being in the field. Although there was not an increase in the students&#039; intentions to act based on the curriculum, researchers hinted educators should implement these types of experiences in environmental education topics to help students enhance their environmental literacy.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/middle-childhood-6-12-yrs" hreflang="en">Middle childhood (6-12 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/knowledge" hreflang="en">Knowledge</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/pro-environmental-behaviors-and-behavior-change" hreflang="en">Pro-environmental behaviors and behavior change</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/environmental-identitydevelopment" hreflang="en">Environmental identity/development</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11278 at https://eepro.naaee.org The limit of citizen science programs in the classroom https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/limit-citizen-science-programs-classroom The limit of citizen science programs in the classroom <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Williams, K. A., Hall, T. E., &amp; O’Connell, K</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Classroom-based citizen science: impacts on students' science identity, nature connectedness, and curricular knowledge</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>Environmental Education Research</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>27</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(7)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">1037-1053, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2021.1927990</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>Research has shown that as American students progress through their educational journeys, their interest in science declines between elementary and middle school, which can spark a lack of interest in science in high school. Common factors include a lack of role models and mentors in science classes, low support from family and friends, a perception of science careers as difficult to attain, and unengaging science teaching methods. Although there has been a shift in K-12 science courses to provide more hands-on activities and participate in practical, everyday science, students are not exposed to the activities that scientists actually use in the field to collect data. Citizen science (CS) is a way for natural science researchers to engage the public and students by having participants collect and submit data for scientific projects. Researchers benefit by acquiring data on a larger scale than may be feasible for a research team to collect and public participants benefit by increasing their science literacy and developing critical thinking. CS has grown in popularity as part of formal youth science and environmental education. The researchers in this study measured the effectiveness and impact of a classroom-based CS program called The Hummingbird Project (HBP) on three key learning factors: science identity, nature connectedness, and content knowledge. </p> <p>The HBP is a classroom-based CS project designed by scientists geared toward 6th to 10th grade students in Oregon to collect and submit data on Rufous and Anna's Hummingbirds and the way these birds use feeders. The data is used to help the National Science Foundation understand the way forest habitat loss affects these hummingbird populations. As part of the program, educators are trained on each aspect of the project and are provided ideas on incorporating the project into effective lesson plans. At the beginning of the academic term, a trained undergraduate educator presents the HBP to the classroom and covers the basics of the project, the purpose, and how the data will be used by scientists. The students also learn how to make hummingbird feeders and how to collect data. Typically, the HBP lasts about two months for each class. Like the HBP, CS in general has three key learning outcomes: 1) develop science identity, which refers to the sense of self a student has with science; 2) deepen nature connectedness, which is the level of oneness a student feels with nature; and, 3) increase content knowledge, or the amount of understanding a student has with the topic.</p> <p>The study took place between March and June in 2016. Seven science teachers from suburban schools in Oregon distributed pre- and post-test surveys to their students in March and June. The teachers returned the completed pre- and post-test surveys to the researchers from 367 students. The students ranged in age between 11- and 17-years-old (6th to 10th grades). The pre-tests, which were administered prior to a presentation about hummingbirds and before the students participated in the HBP, included questions about content knowledge, science identity, nature connectedness, and engagement in nature-related activities. Knowledge was assessed with 10 multiple-choice questions about topics related to hummingbirds such as their migratory patterns and diets. Science identity was measured through 23 questions about students' self-identification as a science person, the usefulness of science, and the student's interest in science. Nature connectedness was assessed using the Children's Environmental Perceptions Scale (CEPS), which had 16 questions that students would rank on a 5-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Specifically, the CEPS measured eco-affinity, the intention to engage in environmentally-friendly behaviors, and eco-awareness, the understanding of environmental issues to eco-system sustainability. Lastly, the frequency with which the students engaged in nature-related activities was measured by a 5-point scale from never to very often in a 10-question section on the pre-test. After the presentation and subsequent participation in the HBP, students were given the post-test survey which included the content knowledge, science identity, and CEPS sections along with five evaluation questions about the program and five questions about their feelings toward the data they collected being used by scientists. The survey results were then analyzed by the researchers.</p> <p>Overall, the researchers found science identity in students slightly decreased, and there was no change in nature connectedness because of the HBP. However, content knowledge scores increased between the pre- and post-tests. Regarding the student evaluation of the HBP, roughly half felt it was fun and enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders while the other half did not feel the program was fun nor did they enjoy observing birds at feeders. The majority of students learned more about hummingbirds through classroom lessons as opposed to their observations. Most students reported knowing that the data they collected would be useful to scientists, and this had a neutral to positive effect on the students' perceptions of and motivation for the project. Despite this, only a fifth of the students felt this experience could help them become scientists. The results also showed that despite all students learning from their teachers, the educators' teaching style or implementation of the material differed and impacted the level of increase in content knowledge among students. For example, a middle school physics teacher did not adapt the HBP content in any special way and those students demonstrated the highest increase in content knowledge. The researchers concluded CS project designers and teachers should expect increased content knowledge in students as part of the program, but science identity and nature connectedness may be impacted differently, particularly for projects focused on data collection. </p> <p>There were limitations in this study, and the results are not generalizable. There was a small sample size of teachers in this study, and not all educators, teaching styles, talents, motivations, and school environments were represented. The researchers also had no control on how the teachers implemented the HBP in their classrooms, so there was variability in student experience. The researchers acknowledged they did not have a control group in which to compare the results of the study. </p> <p>The results of this study showed the CS projects did not increase attitudes about science, the number of students interested in pursuing science careers, or belief in participants of themselves to accurately perform science. To this point, the researchers recommended CS programs should be intentionally designed and regularly evaluated for intended effects and areas of improvement. Overall, CS in the classroom can benefit student knowledge on the topic and engage students in a different way of learning, but CS alone may not motivate students to be more interested in science or pursue science careers.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>Student interest in science has been shown to decrease between elementary and middle school for most American students, which can spark a lack of interest in science in high school. Citizen science (CS) is a way for natural science researchers to engage the public by having participants collect and submit data for projects, and it serves as an alternative teaching method in classrooms. This study measured the effectiveness and impact of a classroom-based CS program in Oregon called The Hummingbird Project (HBP) on three key learning factors: science identity, nature connectedness, and content knowledge. The researchers found science identity in students slightly decreased, there was no change in nature connectedness, and content knowledge scores increased as a result of the HBP. Overall, CS in the classroom can benefit student knowledge on the topic and engage students in a different way of learning, but CS alone may not motivate students to be more interested in science or pursue science careers.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/middle-childhood-6-12-yrs" hreflang="en">Middle childhood (6-12 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/knowledge" hreflang="en">Knowledge</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/connectedness-nature" hreflang="en">Connectedness to nature</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/environmental-identitydevelopment" hreflang="en">Environmental identity/development</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11277 at https://eepro.naaee.org Applying personal experience may help students better understand complex environmental topics https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/applying-personal-experience-may-help-students-better-understand-complex Applying personal experience may help students better understand complex environmental topics <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Wiegelmann, J., &amp; Zabel, J</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Biodiversity researchers as a model for school students: An innovative approach to foster meaningful understanding?</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>Environmental Education Research</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>27</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(8)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">1245-1262, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2021.1905780</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>Biodiversity education can be challenging for educators as biodiversity is complex and evolving with multiple definitions. Previous research indicates that personal experiences with nature can help students learn and retain environmental lessons in a more meaningful way than other teaching methods. Previous research defined <em>the process model of meaningful understanding</em> with five steps (building on personal experience, meaningfulness, comprehensibility, sense of learning, understanding) for students to develop science subject matter affinity through subjective and objective means. For example, a scientist may serve as a model of someone who understands biodiversity through emotional connection and personal experience, in addition to objective research means. In this study, the researchers implemented visual learning tactics to elicit a personal nature experience in students to help them understand biodiversity researchers and topics through empathy. They aimed to find out how students understand biodiversity topics using <em>the process model of meaningful understanding</em> and how that process can influence teaching. </p> <p>The researchers guided 6, 90-minute group discussions during which they showed photographs and a video to stimulate a conversation about biodiversity among the students. The group discussions included 18 students (3 students in each group) from grades 9 and 10 in a German secondary school (ages 14 to 16 years). The photographs included scenes with multiple species to illustrate the interactions between animal and plant species. These photos included a coral reef, a herd of zebras in the savannah, and people outdoors. The video had three segments of an interview with a biodiversity scientist. The researchers theorized the scientist would serve as an ideal model of someone who understands biodiversity through subjective and objective means. The video was meant to prompt multiple ways of understanding from the students and help them imagine their own nature experiences.. The video was about the life cycle of the dusky large blue butterfly and the species' interactions with two other species. After each segment, the students were given a chance to debrief about what they learned. The researchers recorded the group discussions, analyzed the data, and identified four categories of the understanding process, based on this specific analysis. </p> <p>The results showed the students experienced a process of understanding during the group discussions. The students described their understanding in two ways during the debriefs: 1) they felt their biodiversity knowledge increased between the beginning and end of the discussion, and 2) they got a different perspective of biodiversity by literally looking at photographs and watching the video. For example, one student shared prior to this experience, they may have only talked about the fact there are many species as opposed to the many functions of one species. Another student shared the photos and video helped them see the differences among each zebra in the zebra herd. The researchers established four categories in the understanding process for the purpose of this study by combining sense of learning and understanding from <em>the process model of meaningful understanding</em> into sense of learning. The four categories (building on personal experiences, meaningfulness, comprehensibility, and sense of learning) were applied to the students' responses across all six discussion groups. At least 1 category was applied to 16 of the 18 students, and only 1 student demonstrated all 4 categories. Almost 90% of students derived meaningfulness from the video during the group discussions. The researchers concluded when students apply personal meaning and their experience in nature to biodiversity lessons, they can gain insights into the science and role of researchers in biodiversity, leading to a deeper understanding of the complex field.</p> <p>There were limitations in this study. The researchers acknowledged the students may have undergone more understanding processes than they shared aloud which would have been unaccounted for in the data analysis. Further, there was no delineation of how the group dynamic impacted the individual student experience of the understanding process. The small sample size renders the results not generalizable.</p> <p>The researchers recommended personal nature experiences can help secondary school students conceptualize and comprehend biodiversity in a meaningful way. Further, the teaching practice of providing space for students to reflect on their own personal experiences in nature can be applied to the field of environmental education and help students understand complex systems.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>Biodiversity education is a complex subject for students to grasp. The researchers in this study used visual learning tactics to elicit a personal nature experience in students to help them understand scientists and biodiversity topics through empathy. The results showed the students experienced meaningful understanding during the group discussions. The researchers concluded when students apply personal meaning and their own experiences in nature to biodiversity lessons, they can gain insights into the science of and role of researchers in biodiversity, leading to a deeper understanding of the complex field. Teachers can support this learning by providing space for students to reflect on their own personal experiences in nature.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/knowledge" hreflang="en">Knowledge</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/skillscompetencies" hreflang="en">Skills/competencies</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/environmental-identitydevelopment" hreflang="en">Environmental identity/development</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11275 at https://eepro.naaee.org Stewardship activities can lead to more-than-human encounters https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/stewardship-activities-can-lead-more-human-encounters Stewardship activities can lead to more-than-human encounters <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Ruck, A., &amp; Mannion, G</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Stewardship and beyond? Young people's lived experience of conservation activities in school grounds</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>Environmental Education Research</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>27</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(10)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">1502-1516, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2021.1964439</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>In 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature declared the globe was experiencing its sixth mass extinction and conservation action was needed. Conservation activities, such as planting trees, can empower participants and instill pro-environmental behaviors. However, there has been new insight into the pedagogy associated with stewardship. A long-standing view on stewardship activities presents humans with the power to save nature, which further divides humans and nature, as opposed to considering their inseparability. A new pedagogical approach deemed "common world pedagogies”, instead emphasizes humans' co-existence with natural systems and recommends not rushing to find solutions. Research on conservation activities usually focuses on older participants participating in voluntary events rather than children in formal education. This study analyzed the conservation program Polli:Nation in the UK. The researchers sought to understand the lived experience of children in the Polli:Nation program and how they related to the more-than-human world through conservation activities.</p> <p>The Polli:Nation program aimed to transform UK school grounds into pollinator-friendly places to foster an interactive nature-human environment. The Polli:Nation program was administered in 260 schools across the United Kingdom from 2016 to 2018. The majority of participants were primary school students aged 9 to 13 years. The students in this program learned about the decline of pollinator species such as bees. Students were given conservation tasks which included planting pollinator-friendly flowers, installing ponds, and making ‘bug hotels' of various sizes. The schools that participated in Polli:Nation administered surveys at the beginning and conclusion of the program to monitor pollinator biodiversity, however those results were not used in this study. Data for this study was collection through observations. The lead researcher observed 30 program sessions at 12 Polli:Nation school sites including 7 primary and 5 secondary schools. As an observer, the researcher participated in activities with the youth and took notes before and after activities on what happened and what they noticed. The researcher analyzed their notes to determine the effects of the curricula, planned and not planned (as in, the lived experience), on the children.</p> <p>The researchers observations revealed that the planned curricula of Polli:Nation had a focus on stewardship with a utilitarian focus. Students were to build pollinator gardens to attract more pollinators, collect data on the process, and in the end have an outcome that benefitted humans. However, observations also revealed the way these conservation activities were enacted allowed space for more-than-human encounters and other outcomes, referred to as the lived curricula. Key to that was the relaxed atmosphere of the program which allowed for much free time and exploration. Unplanned time allowed for excitement, fascination, and empathy to form in the children. For example, the students were excited to see ladybugs and were fascinated observing the bees in their hives. The students demonstrated a considerable emotional depth, or empathy, by wanting to create homes for pollinators at home, which the loosely structured programming allowed. These lived curricula moments differed from the planned curricula and emerged a concept the researchers named "collective thinking with the more-than-human world”. Collective thinking signifies thinking that is beyond a cognitive and rational process, and instead embraces embodied, non-rational ways of knowing that do not separate humans and nature. However, the researchers do note the lived curricula may have not been possible without the planned curricula, such that the prior experiences of learning about pollinators and their habitats may have influenced the participants lived experience. Overall, despite critique to conservation activities, these results show how conservation activities can be in line with common world pedagogies. </p> <p>This study had limitations, and results are not generalizable. The research is based off the observations of one adult researcher, which could have introduced bias and skewed results. It is also unclear the length of each participant observation session. </p> <p>The researchers recommend utilizing conservation activities in youth programming. These activities can promote collective thinking with the more-than-human world and unplanned, exciting, experiences. The researchers suggest two key ways to follow through with stewardship activities. For one, programmers should utilize slower pedagogies. For example, there should be an overarching goal for an activity, but speed and efficiency of completing the task should not be the focus. Secondly, conservations activities should overlap with multiple disciplines. Overlapping subject manner in the activity helps takeaway from the focus on scientific knowledge gain and allows room for more "non-technical” learning.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>Conservation activities, usually focused on how humans can save nature, are a common environmental education practice. However, there is little research on how young people experience conservation activities, as research usually focuses on adults. Polli:Nation is a conservation initiative in the UK from 2016-2018 focused on making pollinator habitats at schools primarily for students aged 9-13 years. The researcher observed 30 sessions at 7 schools to understand students&#039; lived experience in the program and its effect on their relations with the more-than-human world. Results showed the relaxed atmosphere of the program prompted lived curricula and collective thinking with the more-than-human world. The researchers recommend utilizing conservation activities in youth programming with a focus on slow pedagogies and cross-subject learning.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/middle-childhood-6-12-yrs" hreflang="en">Middle childhood (6-12 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/pro-environmental-behaviors-and-behavior-change" hreflang="en">Pro-environmental behaviors and behavior change</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/play-behaviors-and-styles" hreflang="en">Play behaviors and styles</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11270 at https://eepro.naaee.org Teacher collaboration supported EE during COVID-19 pandemic https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/teacher-collaboration-supported-ee-during-covid-19-pandemic Teacher collaboration supported EE during COVID-19 pandemic <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Román, D. X., Castro, M., Baeza, C., Knab, R., Huss-Lederman, S., &amp; Chacon, M</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Resilience, collaboration, and agency: Galapagos teachers confronting the disruption of COVID-19</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>The Journal Of Environmental Education</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>52</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(5)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">325-334, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2021.1981204</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>In March 2020, countries world-wide responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing lockdowns and strict policies to protect the health and well-being of their citizens. In-person instruction ceased, and teachers and students had to adapt to distance education and virtual technology, which were new informal learning settings. These challenges were exacerbated in education in Galápagos, Ecuador, due to the archipelago's remote location from the mainland, lack of financial and educational resources, and poor internet connectivity. In this study, the researchers conducted surveys, interviews, and focus groups to examine the ways Galapagueño teachers addressed the inequalities of technology access across their student bodies and how a sustainability-focused professional learning program impacted teacher collaboration and confidence.</p> <p>Galápagos, Ecuador, is a well-known archipelago off the western coast of South America. The Galápagos Islands have exceptional biodiversity and many endemic species. It was the first recognized World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1978. Since then, the ecotourism industry has exploded and the human population has grown exponentially, reaching 30,000 people in 2019, distributed among four of the islands in the archipelago. Across the Galápagos, there are 435 teachers and 7,270 students. However, there are only three urban areas between the four inhabited islands, and two cities constitute 90% of the entire population and contain most schools. Due to the island chains' distance to the mainland, access to educational resources and technology have remained limited. In 2016, the Ministry of Education developed the Education for Sustainability in Galápagos Program to: 1) support educators as they developed student-centered lessons; 2) provide examples for teaching and learning local conservation and sustainability; and, 3) create professional development opportunities for teachers to connect with each other within their school and across other island schools. In March 2020, this structure was changed to center distance, or virtual, teaching and learning, and all teachers were required to use a specific curriculum during the 2020-2021 school year. The Ministry of Education developed student packets of materials appropriate for different school subjects and grade levels that could be accessed via email, phone applications like WhatsApp, print, and radio and television programs that provided website links. The Ministry of Education also asked teachers to contextualize the learning material to the students' local communities.</p> <p>This study took place during the COVID-19 pandemic in the latter half of 2020 and the first few months of 2021. The participants included parents, educators, and principals. The researchers deployed a multiple-choice survey to 2,951 parents for context on students' access to the internet and other technology needed for distance learning. A survey with open-ended questions about remote teaching experiences was sent to 259 teachers. The researchers hosted three focus groups on Zoom or WhatsApp, one group with two school principals, another group with three educators, and the third group with three parents. The discussions with the principals focused on the ways educators adapted to meeting student needs for remote learning. The focus group with educators inquired how they taught their remote lessons. Parents were asked to share their children's experiences with distance learning. The survey, interview, and focus group data were transcribed and analyzed. </p> <p>Although most students had access to the internet (58.9%), internet connectivity was rated as poor or mediocre by 68.5% of parents. More than 80% of students used their phones and phone applications like WhatsApp to access the instructional materials from teachers because of poor bandwidth. Most teachers felt uncomfortable with remote learning (54.5%) and needed more technology resources (60.5%), while a third of the teachers wanted more help in developing remote lessons. Despite feeling uncomfortable with other technology, teachers felt quite comfortable using applications on their phone, like WhatsApp, to communicate with students. </p> <p>Home visits were the most common way in which teachers stayed in touch and checked on their students because of the connectivity issues for students and the technology issues they encountered themselves. For example, the packet of materials from the Ministry was typically printed by teachers on their own, instead of being shared electronically, and distributed during home visits. Regarding content, teachers focused on the unique environment of the Galápagos Islands through original video and audio clips, activities that could be completed at home, and family involvement in discussions about sustainability and possible solutions to local environmental issues. These adaptations included using original video and audio clips of the Galápagos environment, offering activities that could be completed at home, and involving family in discussions about sustainability and possible solutions to local issues.</p> <p>While distance teaching and learning was difficult for teachers, it also created more opportunities for professional learning. Teacher leaders led study circles of formal and nonformal educators as a means to share best practices and learn from each other. Teachers adapted environmental-based lessons and helped each other develop distance environmental education lessons that could be completed by students at home. Despite the challenging circumstances, this community-level approach to co-develop environmental education lessons was successful and valuable. </p> <p>There were limitations to the study. Galápagos is a unique setting and the results cannot be generalized. The sample size was small and may not represent the experiences of all parents and teachers in the study area. Finally, the article did not share demographic information, which may have shed more light on the inequities of the few families and teachers who participated in the study.</p> <p>Overall, the researchers acknowledged the Education for Sustainability in Galápagos Program is a model for pre-K-12 environmental educators regarding resilience, professional networking and content development, and adapting locally-focused environmental lessons. This study illustrated the positive outcomes for teachers as a result of the trials and tribulations of COVID-19. First, distance learning provided the opportunity for parents to be more involved in their children's education and allowed teachers the opportunity to impact environmental literacy both in students and parents. Second, the professional learning program demonstrated teacher networks can foster collaboration and agency in creating dynamic content for students. Finally, this experience during the pandemic could usher in technology in classrooms in the future for equitable access for all students and increase digital literacy in students.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>The COVID-19 pandemic ceased in-person instruction worldwide, and teachers and students had to adapt to distance education and virtual technology. This study examined the ways teachers in Galápagos, Ecuador, addressed the inequalities of technology access across their student bodies and how a professional learning program (Education for Sustainability in Galápagos Program) impacted teacher collaboration. The results showed most teachers needed more technology resources, while others wanted more help developing remote lessons. Through professional learning study circles, teachers collaborated with each other and adapted place-based lessons for home learning. These adaptations included using original video and audio clips of the Galápagos environment, offering activities that could be completed at home, and involving family in discussions about sustainability and possible solutions to local issues. The researchers suggested the Education for Sustainability in Galápagos Program is a model for pre-K-12 environmental educators regarding resilience, professional networking, and content development.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/early-childhood-3-5-yrs" hreflang="en">Early childhood (3-5 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/middle-childhood-6-12-yrs" hreflang="en">Middle childhood (6-12 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/young-adulthood-19-24-yrs" hreflang="en">Young adulthood (19-24 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adult-25-64-yrs" hreflang="en">Adult (25-64 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/environmental-literacy" hreflang="en">Environmental literacy</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/professional-development" hreflang="en">Professional development</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11268 at https://eepro.naaee.org High school students' attitudes towards geography education are linked to teaching and career opportunities https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/high-school-students-attitudes-towards-geography-education-are-linked-teaching High school students&#039; attitudes towards geography education are linked to teaching and career opportunities <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Opoku, F., Serbeh, R., &amp; Amoah, E. G</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Geography education in perspective: an enquiry into Ghanaian senior high school students' positive and negative attitudes towards geography</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>International Research In Geographical And Environmental Education</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>30</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(1)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">39-53, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/10382046.2020.1727115</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>Geography, the study of the world as a natural system, provides a foundation for environmental education. Past research has suggested three factors influence student attitudes toward a school subject: the student's personal interest in the subject, their expected value of a career in the subject, and their personal aptitude and success in the subject. However, there has been little research on student attitudes toward geography. This paper set out to assess student attitudes toward the school subject of geography in Ghana.</p> <p>During the 2017-2018 academic year, the researchers identified over 2,000 students taking geography as an elective course at 3 public high schools in the Asante Region of Ghana. The researchers selected a random sample of 116 students, equally distributed across years 1-4. Of the sample students, 61 were male, 55 were female, and their ages ranged from 14 to 19 years old. Each student was asked over the course of a 30-minute interview whether geography was one of their preferred school subjects, why or why not, and what suggestions for improvement they had. The researchers recorded the interviews and used a model to derive themes from the students' answers.</p> <p>The researchers found that 85 of 116 students expressed positive attitudes toward geography. Students liked that geography was a multidisciplinary subject with a broad spatial scale, providing holistic knowledge for addressing relevant problems, particularly in weather and agriculture. Geography was seen as a qualification for other classes (specifically architecture and land economy) and a wide variety of jobs. For example, a US Labor Department survey found 145 types of jobs that required geography knowledge, including weather forecasters, surveyors, and seismologists. Students also cited their personal interest and the influence of parents and teachers as contributors to studying geography. In contrast, 31 of 116 students expressed negative attitudes toward geography. These students disliked the subject because of their poor performance in the subject and its perceived difficulty. For example, many of these students mentioned the physical processes that form desert and coastal features were difficult concepts to grasp, contributing to their negative attitudes about geography. Students complained about poor teaching methods such as rushed lessons, excess memorization, and a lack of field trips. The researchers implied that these poor pedagogies were caused by a lack of funding and teachers feeling urgency to cover subjects. These students also saw geography as a less prestigious or lucrative subject than other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.</p> <p>This study had limitations. The researchers only sampled 5% of their sample, although the researchers argued that between 5% and 20% of a population can be equally representative samples. The study is also based in just one region of one country, the Asante Region of Ghana; therefore, the biases and pressures affecting its population make the study not generalizable to other communities. For example, the Ghanaian students may have struggled with coastal and desert landforms because they resided in a forested region without those features present. Students from areas with those features may have responded differently.</p> <p>Past research showed that students enjoy geography more when they get to learn through activities during field work and through computer simulations, and the results of this study echoed that finding. The researchers concluded that while geography is enjoyed by many students, some students were averse to the subject because of avoidable pitfalls. They suggested mandating outdoor field trips and practical lessons in geography education so students can apply the concepts they learn to the real world. To fund these excursions, they suggested securing funding from the government or other grant-making organizations. Finally, the researchers suggested schools provide a clearer explanation of the wide variety of jobs (from surveying to weather forecasting) made available by an education in geography.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>Geography plays a role in many other subjects such as environmental education and sociology. The researchers assessed high school student attitudes toward geography in Ghana. The researchers interviewed 116 students taking geography at three public high schools in the Asante Region of Ghana. Each student was asked whether geography was one of their preferred school subjects, why or why not, and what suggestions for improvement they had for teachers and the curriculum. The researchers found 85 of 116 students expressed positive attitudes towards geography, due to its relevant knowledge and career opportunities. The 31 students who disliked geography cited perceived difficulty of the subject matter, poor teaching methods, and less prestigious jobs as contributors to their negative attitude toward geography. The researchers suggested incorporating outdoor field trips and clearer explanations of the jobs afforded to those with geography knowledge for students to feel more connected with the subject.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/young-adulthood-19-24-yrs" hreflang="en">Young adulthood (19-24 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/academic-performance" hreflang="en">Academic performance</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11266 at https://eepro.naaee.org A review of curricular updates in technology subjects for students in Ireland https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/review-curricular-updates-technology-subjects-students-ireland A review of curricular updates in technology subjects for students in Ireland <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">McGarr, O., &amp; Lynch, R</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Analysing the construction of 'sustainability' in lower secondary school technology syllabi in Ireland</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>Environmental Education Research</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>27</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(7)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">992-1010, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2021.1903837</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>Sustainability is a popular topic in business, politics, and education around the world. There has been an increase in environmental education and sustainability curricula in public and private schools, but some researchers question the effectiveness, implementation, and intended outcomes of the curricula. Specifically, education for sustainable development (ESD) in an internationally-recognized set of educational standards that is typically taught in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. However, some researchers are concerned that STEM fields do not traditionally provide the space for students to reflect upon sustainability learning materials and topics. Reflection has been considered by researchers as a critical component to the success of building a sustainable future in an increasingly complex intersection of environmental, economics, and society. For this study, the researchers reviewed updated technology education syllabi in Ireland to determine how ESD was integrated into the curricula and to shed light in the way STEM fields may or may not reconceptualize teaching methods for students to fully immerse themselves in ESD reflection.</p> <p>The Irish education system follows the leading ESD policies set forth by the United Nations and European Union. In 2014, the country developed a six-year strategy to revise ESD in their schools, especially in lower secondary levels, and to update the syllabi to incorporate better ESD practices in STEM subjects. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is the statutory body that conducts all curricular changes in Ireland. This Council is comprised of 22 stakeholders that include industry representatives, parents, teachers' unions, and other key educational leaders. When revising the ESD curricula in technology education, a subject-specific focus group of diverse representatives was put together to make the final updates for implementation in classrooms. The researchers hypothesized the complex politics behind curriculum changes have led to a weak reflection of necessary ESD in technology education to promote critical change and long-lasting sustainability, and instead included too many technological innovations for sustainability that ignored the core issues.</p> <p>The researchers reviewed three curricula for lower second-level schools (12- to 15-year old students) in Ireland that underwent updates for sustainability for the 2019-2020 academic year. These curricula were for applied technology, engineering, and wood technology. Based on the literature surrounding ESD, the researchers named three types of sustainability in educational practice that include the facets of environment, value of environment, and sustainability. These three types build upon each other, with the third type being the most ideal. Type one, "symbolic acknowledgement,” or the "empty signifier,” views the environment as separate to the subject, values the environment as a resource to meet basic human needs, and treats sustainability as something to be reflected upon. Type two, "mutual flourishing,” or "weak anthropocentrism,” views the environment through the subject, includes the intrinsic value of the environment in addition to it as a resource to humans, and treats sustainability as a balance between human and non-human success. Type three, "radical reconceptualization,” views the environment as greater than the sum of its parts, takes a holistic approach to valuing the environment, and teaches sustainability through different critical pedagogies to fully understand the extent of sustainable development. The researchers used this framework to measure the three updated curricula.</p> <p>One marker of ESD integration was the use of terms such as "environment” and "sustainability” in the curriculum. The applied technology curricula mentioned environment nine times, and sustainability only twice. The researchers concluded the technology curricula was a type one "symbolic acknowledgement” because it did not incorporate the impact of technology on sustainability within the larger contexts of society such as politics, economics, and culture. In the engineering curricula, sustainability was mentioned four times and was most often paired with environment. The researchers concluded this syllabus was type two "mutual flourishing,” because although there was still a lack of tying the larger social contexts into technology, there was evidence of encouraging students to develop and use technology to create a better future in which humans and the environment can thrive. In the wood technology syllabus, sustainable and sustainability appeared six times and environment nine times. There was also a specific section called Environment and Sustainability in the wood technology curricula that connected ESD and sustainability to the social and economic contexts of deforestation and raw materials management. The researchers concluded this syllabus was a type two "mutual flourishing” because of the forward-looking notions that technology can solve environmental issues while maintaining environmental and human nature harmony. </p> <p>Overall, the researchers identified three key findings. First, the premise that technology is applied to society largely remained in the ESD curricula among all three subjects. When the broader contexts of society such as politics, economics, and culture are not considered in depth, this can lead to disjointed and less sustainable technological solutions. Second, there was no definition of sustainability in the curricula, which can inhibit students from fully conceptualizing the purpose of technological solutions for sustainable development. Finally, there was very limited improvement of ESD between the former subjects' syllabi and the new syllabi created by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. The researchers suggested these key findings were likely the result of the challenges inherent to curriculum updates, the tendency to introduce incremental changes as opposed to one extensive change, and the lack of critical understanding of sustainability.</p> <p>There were limitations to this study. The researchers chose to focus on ESD specifically in technology, though ESD can be applied to all STEM subjects. Second, the Irish education system is unique. Further, these circumstances may not apply to public or private education systems in other countries. Therefore, the results are not generalizable.</p> <p>Based on the findings in this study, the researchers suggested symbolic acknowledgement was most prevalent in the curricular changes because of the general reluctance of people on the Council to implement curricular changes, misunderstanding of the scale and complexity of sustainability, lack of resources on sustainability and current limits of sustainable knowledge. They asserted that until radical change becomes the norm of society and in education, only small changes will continue to happen for ESD. For example, a lesson might ask students to consider whether the product is needed in society rather than just thinking how to manufacture a product in a sustainable way. Finally, the researchers recommended the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment outline a plan to include a more diverse and interdisciplinary group of stakeholders when making curricular changes. The researchers shared it is critical to instituting stronger curricular changes to include sustainability. Specifically, this group should include younger voices and those from underserved areas that experience unsustainable practices on an everyday basis.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>Recently, Ireland developed revised education for sustainable development (ESD) in lower secondary schools and updated syllabi to better incorporate ESD practices in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The researchers reviewed three updated technology education syllabi to determine how ESD was integrated into the curricula and to illuminate the way STEM fields may or may not reconceptualize teaching methods for students to fully immerse themselves in ESD reflection. Overall, the researchers found 1) the siloed approach of technology applications in society largely remained in the ESD curricula; 2) there was no definition of sustainability in the curricula; and, 3) there was limited improvement of ESD implementation between the former and new syllabi the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment developed. The researchers recommended radical changes are needed in technology curricula for students to tackle sustainable development, and they advocated to include a more diverse and interdisciplinary group of stakeholders on the Council to do such.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/middle-childhood-6-12-yrs" hreflang="en">Middle childhood (6-12 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/advocacy-participation-environmental-movement-policy-support" hreflang="en">Advocacy, participation in environmental movement, policy support</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11265 at https://eepro.naaee.org Instructors can also benefit from residential outdoor environmental education (ROEE) programs https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/instructors-can-also-benefit-residential-outdoor-environmental-education-roee Instructors can also benefit from residential outdoor environmental education (ROEE) programs <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Mateer, T. J., Taff, D., Hunt, C. A., Allison, P., &amp; Will, E</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Understanding emerging adult identity development through work at a residential outdoor environmental education program: an application of social practice theory</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>Environmental Education Research</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>27</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(9)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">1383-1400, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2021.1927994</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>Research has proven the positive impacts of residential outdoor environmental education (ROEE) programs on children and teen participants, however, ROEE programs can similarly impact emerging adult instructors. The programs offer a unique educationally and culturally immersive experience for instructors. Specifically, the experience of influence the identity of short-term ROEE instructors, those who work less than three months or for one season. Short-term ROEE instructors generally fall within the emerging adult age group (late teens to mid-20s) whose identity, their values, goals, and beliefs, are particularly malleable at this period of development as they explore different identities and increase their responsibility and independence. Using social practice theory as a framework, the researchers interviewed former short-term educators from a ROEE program in Pennsylvania on the meaning of their experience in the program to understand how the program influenced their identity development.</p> <p>Social practice theory centers on understanding how an individual develops actions and skills based on the cultural dynamics they experience and how an individual's past influences these behaviors. Drawing upon previous research, this study outlined social practice theory as a four-step progression where an individual starts to identify with a culture, acts in culturally accepted ways, develops knowledge and connection with the culture, and then navigates how to apply this throughout their life. Overall, as someone begins to identify with a culture, they then apply those cultural practices to their life. </p> <p>The researchers interviewed 26 former instructors from Shaver's Creek Environmental Center's Outdoor School (SCEC ODS), a four-day, overnight program for fifth-graders in central Pennsylvania. These participants served as short-term instructors for the fifth-grade campers at SCEC ODS between the fall of 2004 and the spring of 2019 while pursuing undergraduate degrees at Pennsylvania State University. They received class credit for the role. The interviews took place in the summer of 2019. And ranged from 50 to 120 minutes in length. The 26 participants (aged 20 to 34 years) were categorized into 3 sample groups: 1) 7 emerging adults aged 25 years or younger and still in undergrad; 2) 8 emerging adults that graduated undergrad more than three months before; and 3) 11 adults 25 years or older that had graduated undergrad and were no longer emerging adults. Though individual interviews were conducted, the three groups helped the researchers identify development over time. The interviews covered the participants' experiences before, during, and after their time at SCEC ODS. Specifically, the researchers asked about relevant life experiences and why the participants signed up to be instructors; the participants' experiences during the program and about any fond memories; and, how participants' experiences affected their everyday lives after being an instructor. The interviews were transcribed, and the data were analyzed to determine the impact of SCEC ODS on identity development during and after emerging adulthood. </p> <p>The results showed the ROEE program supported the former instructors to develop environmental and social actor identities. The interviews revealed the participants wanted to be instructors because they were interested in being outside and the natural world, or they were interested in educational leadership, both interests that aligned with the program's mission. As the participants described their experiences during the program, the researchers found they either displayed social environmental identity or social actor identity. For social environmental identity, the participant felt a strong connection with the environmental values and practices of SCEC ODS and acknowledged these values as a part of bettering society. For social actor identity, the participants felt the leadership skills learned at SCEC ODS helped build confidence in making connections with others. The participants shared that they changed as a result of the program, either committing to pro-environmental behaviors such as reducing food waste or getting out of their social comfort zone by taking on leadership roles and building interpersonal relationships. This differs from program participants at a ROEE, as the instructors revealed a stronger association with the social aspect of the ROEE setting than campers. </p> <p>Over time, the participants grew into their identities because of their time at SCEC ODS, but there were some challenges navigating that change. For example, emerging adults tended to have a strong connection with the SCEC ODS culture and social norms at the facility, yet had a hard time displaying this while forming their identity outside of SCEC ODS because of the lack of support and reinforcement of the SCEC ODS culture outside of the program. Similarly, emerging adults were unsure about how their social environmental and social actor identities could apply in the real world. However, former instructors past the age of emerging adulthood, were able to better navigate that barrier through flexibility that still associated with their identity, such as choosing teaching as a career: similar to camp counselor, yet more stable. Overall, the researchers concluded the instructors' involvement and social integration in the community at SCEC ODS meaningfully impacted their identity development as an emerging adult because the community reinforced positive social norms like pro-environmental behaviors and leadership skills.</p> <p>There were limitations in this study. The study focused on one ROEE program, limiting the scope of influence that other programs like SCEC ODS could have had on identity development in instructors. Further, the researchers shared that SCEC ODS is different from other ROEE programs because the short-term instructors attend a week at a time. Though SCES ODS instructors can come back multiple times over the season or even over the course of different years, there is a lot of time that comes between instruction experiences. In contrast, many ROEE programs require instructors to remain a part of the team for the whole season. Finally, the data relied on the participants' self-report of their experiences and identity development as an instructor rather than measure behavior change as a result of the program. These results may not apply to all short-term ROEE instructors. </p> <p>Based on these results that showed a development of social environmental and social actor identities in instructors, the researchers suggested ROEE experiences not only influence learning outcomes of participants but also the instructors. The researchers recommended ROEE program designers intentionally incorporate social learning to benefit short-term instructors. In doing so, ROEE programs can broaden their impact to both the students they serve and the instructors that participate.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>Residential outdoor environmental education (ROEE) programs offer an educationally and culturally immersive experience for students and instructors. Using social practice theory as a framework, 26 former short-term instructors from a ROEE program in Pennsylvania were interviewed about the meaning of their experience in the program to understand the ways in which the program shaped their identity development. The participants shared they changed as a result of the program, either committing to pro-environmental behaviors or building their social and leadership capacity. The instructors developed a social environmental and social actor identity. The ROEE experience meaningfully impacted their identity development as an emerging adult because the community reinforced positive social norms like pro-environmental behaviors and leadership skills. The researchers recommended ROEE program designers incorporate social learning to benefit short-term instructors with identity development.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/young-adulthood-19-24-yrs" hreflang="en">Young adulthood (19-24 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adult-25-64-yrs" hreflang="en">Adult (25-64 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/nonformal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Nonformal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/professional-development" hreflang="en">Professional development</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/pro-environmental-behaviors-and-behavior-change" hreflang="en">Pro-environmental behaviors and behavior change</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/socialemotional-functiondevelopment" hreflang="en">Social/emotional function/development</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/environmental-identitydevelopment" hreflang="en">Environmental identity/development</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11264 at https://eepro.naaee.org Civic ecology in environmental education can build social-ecological resilience in at risk communities https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/civic-ecology-environmental-education-can-build-social-ecological-resilience Civic ecology in environmental education can build social-ecological resilience in at risk communities <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Maharramli, B., Bredow, V. L., &amp; Goodwin, L</span>. (2021). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Using civic ecology education to foster social-ecological resilience: A case study from Southern California</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>The Journal Of Environmental Education</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>52</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(6)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">445-462, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2021.1999886</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>Environmental education (EE) incorporates place-based learning for students to adequately understand and create better solutions for social and ecological issues. Civic ecology specifically looks at the role of individuals, their community, the way they solve community-based environmental challenges, and how these solutions impact overall community function. Research has shown using civic ecology principles such as community engagement, environmental stewardship, and environmental management can help grow social-ecological resilience. This study reviewed programming at the Watershed Avengers Initiative in Southern California. In addition, the researchers observed the ways in which civic ecology can be mixed into environmental and sustainability curricula, climate resilience, and social and ecological systems. </p> <p>This article provided extensive literature on the definitions of civic ecology and social-ecological resilience. The field of civic ecology uses principles which include 1) honoring the interdependence of social and ecological systems, 2) partnerships with different sectors (government, non-profit, education, and private businesses), 3) building resilience, 4) considering local cultures, and 5) practicing local environmental stewardships, and 6) understanding that environmental and social change happens across different scales. Social-ecological resilience if the measure of how the two systems respond to change and recognizes how the two systems rely on one another. For example, a system with weak social-ecological resilience will crumble when it cannot adapt to changes. Alternatively, strong social-ecological resilience embraces innovations and opportunities for future-oriented solutions when confronted with disturbances. Social-ecological resilience is important objective in EE because EE involves problem-solving, critical thinking, and building leaders, which is essential to managing environmental challenges and building sustainable communities. Civic ecology is a form of EE that can build social-ecological resilience.</p> <p>The researchers conducted an ethnographic study on a community-based environmental project from 2014 through 2020 at four locations: the Ocean Discovery Institute (ODI) Lab in the City Heights community, Manzanita Canyon, Swan Canyon, and the ODI headquarters, all of which are part of the City Heights Neighborhood in San Diego, California. Each location is a part of the C.C. watershed, the most vulnerable watershed in San Diego County. City Heights is an underserved neighborhood and considered to be one of the most racially diverse and poorest communities in the United States. The researchers reviewed the ODI-sponsored Watershed Avengers program for high school students and their families in City Heights. The Avengers program's main goals were to: 1) form the "cross-sectoral community alliance” (CCA), a partnership of non-profits, city departments, and others, to transform the urban canyons into healthier and safer places for the community through stewardship and other activities; 2) host an after-school program for students every week; and 3) plan and lead community habitat restoration events. Data was collected through interviews, archival documents, and observations; the focus was on quality over quantity. Four interviews were conducted with Ocean Discovery Staff and adult volunteers. Interviews were semi-structured, meaning the researcher asked guiding questions, but was mostly engaged in casual conversation. Documents included photos from events, art, and more. Observations occurred at events like stewardship events, meetings, and field trips. The data were then analyzed to reveal how civic ecology was implemented and demonstrated social-ecological resilience.</p> <p>The researchers identified three areas in which civic ecology was apparent in the Watershed Avengers program: 1) youth leadership development; 2) restoring the urban canyons through collaboration; and 3) defining neighborhood priorities. First, one way leadership was developed in youth was through combining environmental science with art to enable students to take on leadership roles in community events. In addition, students worked alongside artists to talk about the importance of protecting watersheds based on a piece they created using trash and wood that was put on display in the San Diego city hall. One of the participants noted in an interview that ODI helped them prepare to lead events and build the student's confidence to speak with other community members at the events. Students who participated mentioned that this method of applied learning allowed them to enhance their leadership skills and learn how to speak about environmental issues to others. Second, ODI partnered with the community stakeholders to restore the canyons within this neighborhood. The researchers noted multiple instances of youth and adults working together on the project as well as communicating the importance of habitat restoration and applying skills of environmental stewardship to future restoration projects. ODI focused greatly on collaboration to get the needed resources to complete the project and collaboration was also highlighted through the shared values throughout the project among specific partners. Lastly, there were social issues in the neighborhood that the community wanted to make a priority. The most prevalent issues were homelessness, safety, and vandalism. ODI was helpful in educating the students on these issues and were directly involved in combating them by using EE to teach the students on how to get more involved. Overall, the program implemented civic ecology principles that built social-ecological resilience, as seen through the restored canyons and collaborations. Though there are inherent issues in the neighborhood such as tension and competing priorities between different community members. </p> <p>There were limitations in this study. There may be more elements in this program that directly contribute (or do not contribute) to civic ecology that may not have been explored, like the role of technology, for example. The duration of the study and the various changes throughout time, including the Covid-19 pandemic, politics and overall community access may have changed significantly, which could have had effects on the priorities and overall goals of the community. Lastly, the specific content of this study does not make it generalizable to the EE field, however, the authors hoped what was learned from the case study can be transferrable to other research. </p> <p>Civic ecology can help educators better comprehend and implement community and civic engagement into their EE curricula to build social-ecological resilience. This case study showed the positive connection between ODI's community-based program, environmental stewardship, and resilience through the restoration projects. This program led the researchers to suggest education organizations invest in civic ecology implementation in EE to develop student leaders, restore habitats, and define community social priorities to build social-ecological resilience.</p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>The researchers in this study aimed to understand how civic ecology can be combined into environmental and sustainability curricula, resilience, and social and ecological problems. To gain a better understanding the researchers performed an ethnographic study of an underserved community in San Diego County. High school students and their families participated in a youth group through the Ocean Discovery Institute (ODI) where they learned leadership skills, environmental stewardship and collaboration, and tools for resilience. Data was collected through interviews, observations, and analyzing documents (like photographs) and analyzed over 6 years. The results showed that the program had three common practices which were leadership, collaboration, and civic engagement, which contributed to the success of this project. This program led the researchers to suggest education organizations invest in civic ecology implementation in EE to develop student leaders, restore habitats, and define community social priorities to build social-ecological resilience.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/adolescence-13-18-yrs" hreflang="en">Adolescence (13-18 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/civic-engagement" hreflang="en">Civic engagement</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/social-justice" hreflang="en">Social justice</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/inequitable-access-tobenefits-nature" hreflang="en">Inequitable access to/benefits from nature</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/leadership-skillsdevelopment" hreflang="en">Leadership skills/development</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11262 at https://eepro.naaee.org Assessing environmental attitudes in undergraduates through a new ecological paradigm scale https://eepro.naaee.org/research/eeresearch/assessing-environmental-attitudes-undergraduates-through-new-ecological Assessing environmental attitudes in undergraduates through a new ecological paradigm scale <div class="field-research-citation"><article class="bibcite-reference"> <div class="bibcite-citation"> <div class="csl-bib-body"><div><div class="csl-entry"><span class="citeproc-author">Jowett, T., Harraway, J., Lovelock, B., Skeaff, S., Slooten, L., Strack, M., &amp; Shephard, K</span>. (2014). <span class="citeproc-title-and-descriptions"><span class="citeproc-title"><span>Multinomial-Regression Modeling of the Environmental Attitudes of Higher Education Students Based on the Revised New Ecological Paradigm Scale</span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-container"><span class="citeproc-container-title"><span>The Journal Of Environmental Education</span></span>, <span class="citeproc-locators"><span class="citeproc-volume"><span>45</span></span><span class="citeproc-issue">(1)</span>, <span class="citeproc-page">1-15, </span></span></span>. <span class="citeproc-access">https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2013.783777</span></div></div></div> </div> </article> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/community/people/bill-finnegan" class="username">Bill Finnegan</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2024 - 00:00</span> <div class="body"><p>As climate change becomes more apparent from changes in the natural world, it is urgent that action must be taken. One's environmental attitude influences their environmental concern and willingness to act in climate-friendly ways. To assess the environmental attitudes of undergraduate students at a university in New Zealand, researchers utilized the revised New Ecological Paradigm scale (NEP). The researchers in this study used this scale to discover if a student's time in undergrad affected their environmental attitudes.</p> <p>Conducted in 2010, this study surveyed 194 first-year and 311 second-year undergraduate students in the statistics, zoology, human nutrition, and other departments at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The 15-item NEP survey measured student environmental attitudes. Students rated each statement on a five-point Likert scale depending on how much they agreed with it. NEP attitude scores included one overall average score based on the 15 items and four sub scores based on a subset of survey items: conserve (3 items), recycle (6 items), respect to animal and plant rights (3 items), and cautiousness of the future (3 items). After analysis, the researchers classified the students into three categories depending on their score for each of the five possible scores, each category included an equal number of students. The three categories included: brown tertile, where students scored in the lowest third of the group and were assigned a sustainability attitude rating (SAR) of 1; unsure tertile, where students scored between the lowest and highest third of the group and were assigned a SAR of 2; green tertile, where students scored in the highest third of the group and were assigned a SAR of 3. </p> <p>Overall, for the total average NEP score, results showed all students were more likely to score higher (green tertile) in Year 2 versus Year 1, showing positive environmental attitudes increase with more time school. Regarding recycling sub scores, results showed the second-year zoology students exhibited were more likely to score higher (green tertile) in their second-year versus first, but other majors did not. Similarly, this same group of students were significantly more likely to score higher (green tertile) in their second year versus first in the conserve sub scores. Human nutrition majors and other major respondents were more likely to be within the green tertile for being cautious about the future category during their second year. There were no significant increases for second-year zoology students regarding their perspectives on animal and plant rights beliefs. Researchers found that it was made clear that positive differences in environmental attitudes are made during the first two years of college.</p> <p>There were limitations to this study. When students missed the course material, there was a chance this missed knowledge affected their environmental attitudes or behaviors. Also, the course material at this university for statistics, zoology, and human nutrition are subject to the professor and may not imitate that of other, similar courses in institutions around the world, so results may not reign true for students in other universities even if in the same major. </p> <p>The researchers suggest higher education institutions should incorporate similar evaluations routinely in their work. Particularly, others should consider using the modeling analysis they used in this study. The researchers also suggest using what is learned from assessment to change and improve curriculum. </p></div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-summary"> <p class="field-label--field-research-summary field-label--inline">The Bottom Line</p> <div class="field-research-summary field--inline"><p>One&#039;s environmental attitude influences their environmental concern and willingness to act in climate-friendly ways. Researchers utilized the revised New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale to assess the environmental attitudes of undergraduate students in Dunedin, New Zealand. The study, conducted in 2010, surveyed 194 year one students and 311 year two students in from four different majors. Overall, most trends showed a higher attitude score in year two students versus year one. This study showed positive differences in environmental attitudes are made during the first two years of college and showed the value in assessing students at universities.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-partner"> <p class="field-label--field-research-partner field-label--inline">Research Partner</p> <div class="field-research-partner field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/term/119" hreflang="en">NAAEE</a></div> </div> <div class="field-label--inline--wrapper field-wrapper--field-research-category"> <p class="field-label--field-research-category field-label--inline">Research Category</p> <ul class="field-multiple--field-research-category"> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/young-adulthood-19-24-yrs" hreflang="en">Young adulthood (19-24 yrs)</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/formal-learning-setting" hreflang="en">Formal learning setting</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/attitude" hreflang="en">Attitude</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/engagement-learning" hreflang="en">Engagement with learning</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/pro-environmental-behaviors-and-behavior-change" hreflang="en">Pro-environmental behaviors and behavior change</a></li> <li class="field-research-category field--inline"><a href="/taxonomy/research-category/environmental-identitydevelopment" hreflang="en">Environmental identity/development</a></li> </ul> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2024 05:00:00 +0000 Bill Finnegan 11256 at https://eepro.naaee.org