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A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF THREE OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN PASCO AND HILLSBOROUGH COUNTIES IN FLORIDA

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Date Issued:
2016
Abstract:
Research and literature support the notion that environmental literacy requires a depth of knowledge and skills that go beyond simply being aware of or knowledgeable about the environment and environmental issues. Environmental literacy requires the learning of a skill set that builds a sense of empowerment and the attitudes that enable a person to adopt pro-environmental behaviors and to be able to take action by participating in the decision-making process on behalf of the environment. Two frameworks of instruction that have been recommended to develop the environmental literacy of students are Awareness to Action (A to A) continuum strategies and Place-based Education (PBE) models. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the environmental education (EE) programs of three exemplary outdoor EE sites to determine to what extent each program incorporates the two frameworks in their EE programs. Three forms of data were collected from each EE site, including interviews with instructors, observations of program delivery, and an analysis of the written curriculum. These data were then coded for the inclusion of both A to A continuum strategies and PBE models. The major findings of the study indicated a high concentration of the written curricula focused on the lower end of the A to A continuum, at primarily the awareness and knowledge levels. The findings showed a moderately-high rate of inclusion of PBE models which helps to build a sense of place and connect students to their local environment. The moderate inclusion of the higher levels of the A to A continuum occurred as a result of the skill and talent of the EE instructors at each site. The significance of this study is that it identifies an area of opportunity through which EE programs and curricula could be mindfully-designed to more fully develop the environmental literacy of students through learning the skills necessary for adopting pro-environmental behaviors.
Title: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF THREE OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN PASCO AND HILLSBOROUGH COUNTIES IN FLORIDA.
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Name(s): Youngberg, Melissa Catherine
Type of Resource: text
Issuance: single unit
Date Issued: 2016
Physical Form: Thesis
Extent: 93 pgs.
Language(s): English
Abstract: Research and literature support the notion that environmental literacy requires a depth of knowledge and skills that go beyond simply being aware of or knowledgeable about the environment and environmental issues. Environmental literacy requires the learning of a skill set that builds a sense of empowerment and the attitudes that enable a person to adopt pro-environmental behaviors and to be able to take action by participating in the decision-making process on behalf of the environment. Two frameworks of instruction that have been recommended to develop the environmental literacy of students are Awareness to Action (A to A) continuum strategies and Place-based Education (PBE) models. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the environmental education (EE) programs of three exemplary outdoor EE sites to determine to what extent each program incorporates the two frameworks in their EE programs. Three forms of data were collected from each EE site, including interviews with instructors, observations of program delivery, and an analysis of the written curriculum. These data were then coded for the inclusion of both A to A continuum strategies and PBE models. The major findings of the study indicated a high concentration of the written curricula focused on the lower end of the A to A continuum, at primarily the awareness and knowledge levels. The findings showed a moderately-high rate of inclusion of PBE models which helps to build a sense of place and connect students to their local environment. The moderate inclusion of the higher levels of the A to A continuum occurred as a result of the skill and talent of the EE instructors at each site. The significance of this study is that it identifies an area of opportunity through which EE programs and curricula could be mindfully-designed to more fully develop the environmental literacy of students through learning the skills necessary for adopting pro-environmental behaviors.
Identifier: Youngberg_fgcu_1743_10162 (IID)
Note(s): Degree Awarded: Educational Specialist
Subject(s): Awareness to Action Continuum
Environmental Education
Place-Based Education Models
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fgcu/fd/Youngberg_fgcu_1743_10162
Use and Reproduction: All rights reserved.
Owner Institution: FGCU