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Learning through environmental education : exploring the influences of environmental education programs… Bartosh, Oksana 2009

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LEARNING THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: EXPLORING THE INFLUENCES OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS ON STUDENT LEARNING AND ACHIEVEMENT  by OKSANA BARTOSH  B.A., The Kharkov National University, 1993 M.Sc., The Central European University, 2000 M.E.S., The Evergreen State College, 2003  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  (Curriculum Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  August 2009  © Oksana Bartosh, 2009  ABSTRACT  The purpose of this study is to examine student learning experiences and outcomes in an environmental education high school program and investigate how these experiences and outcomes differ from those in “traditional” programs. Specifically, I explore how involvement in environmental education influences high school students’ learning and performance across subject areas, their attitude to school and the environment, and their social competency skills. To address these questions I conducted a comparative study of grade 10 students enrolled in two different high school programs in one public school in Washington State, USA: an integrated environmental education program and a traditional science program. The study was undertaken between fall of 2005 and June of 2006. To investigate and compare student experiences in the two programs I adopted a mixed methods research design, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data included standardized achievement test scores in mathematics, language arts and science, Science Inquiry tasks, GPAs and surveys regarding attitudes, practices and demographics. The qualitative data were gathered through open-ended survey items, student, teacher and staff interviews and observations. The data were analyzed using statistical analysis and qualitative procedures and triangulated to obtain more reliable results and inferences. This study indicates that students who participate in a yearlong integrated environmental education program demonstrate higher achievement on state standardized tests and Science Inquiry Tasks, higher GPA, and better attitudes towards school and the environment than students in a non-EE program. They also experience more diverse learning and report gaining social skills, better understanding of themselves and others,  ii  and developing a sense of community and respect for the environment all of which led to active participation in environmental actions and projects. This dissertation contributes empirical information on the impact of environmental education programs on student learning and achievement, thereby filling a gap in the literature. The study suggests that through environmental education programs we can provide learners with a richer, more comprehensive experience that ties learning to the real world, advances thinking abilities and helps students to perform at high levels.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT.................................................................................................................................................. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................................................... iv LIST OF TABLES ..................................................................................................................................... vii LIST OF FIGURES .................................................................................................................................. viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....................................................................................................................... ix INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................1 RESEARCH BACKGROUND ...........................................................................................................................2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY .............................................................................................................................3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS ...............................................................................................................................4 RESEARCH METHODS..................................................................................................................................4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY .....................................................................................................................5 ORGANIZATION OF THE THESIS ...................................................................................................................6 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY ..............................................................................7 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: DEFINITIONS AND GOALS ..........................................................................7 ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING OUTCOMES IN THE BROADER EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT .............................11 RESEARCH ON LEARNING IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION .....................................................................14 EE-specific Outcomes .........................................................................................................................14 Generic EE Outcomes .........................................................................................................................20 Academic Achievement.................................................................................................................................. 22 Critical Thinking ............................................................................................................................................ 28 Self-esteem ..................................................................................................................................................... 30 Engagement and Motivation........................................................................................................................... 32  CLOSING REMARKS...................................................................................................................................33 METHODOLOGY .....................................................................................................................................35 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN WASHINGTON STATE ...........................................................................35 History of Environmental Education in Washington State..................................................................35 Washington State Definitions and Frameworks of Environmental Education ....................................38 Environmental Education in Washington State Schools: the Reality ..................................................41 CONTEXT OF THE STUDY ..........................................................................................................................43 THE SETTING: SCHOOL AND SCHOOL DISTRICT DESCRIPTION ..................................................................44 School District.....................................................................................................................................44 The School...........................................................................................................................................45 STUDY PARTICIPANTS ...............................................................................................................................46 Students ...............................................................................................................................................46 Teachers ..............................................................................................................................................49 PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS..........................................................................................................................50 The Environmental Action Program....................................................................................................50 The Inquiry 10 Program ......................................................................................................................61 Comparison of Features in EAP and Inquiry 10..................................................................................62 RESEARCH APPROACH ..............................................................................................................................65 METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION .............................................................................................................69 Quantitative data collection.................................................................................................................71 WASL Tests ................................................................................................................................................... 71 Grade Point Averages ..................................................................................................................................... 71 Science Inquiry Tasks..................................................................................................................................... 72 Science Inquiry Tasks: Reliability and Validly Analyses.......................................................................... 73 Student Attitudes Survey ................................................................................................................................ 78  iv  Attitude-to-School Scale: Reliability and Validity Analyses .................................................................... 79 Environmental Literacy Scale: Reliability and Validity Analysis ............................................................. 82  Qualitative Data Collection .................................................................................................................85 Student Interviews .......................................................................................................................................... 85 Observations................................................................................................................................................... 85 Document Analysis ........................................................................................................................................ 86 Teacher Interviews ......................................................................................................................................... 86  DATA ANALYSIS .......................................................................................................................................87 Quantitative Data Analysis: Analytical Procedures and Definitions Used..........................................87 Covariates....................................................................................................................................................... 87 Analysis of Covariance................................................................................................................................... 89 Bonferroni Method ......................................................................................................................................... 91 Measures of Effect Sizes ................................................................................................................................ 92  Qualitative Data Analysis....................................................................................................................93 ASSESSING THE RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY OF RESEARCH .....................................................................94 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY .....................................................................................................................97 QUANTITATIVE DATA: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION..................................................................100 GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA) .............................................................................................................100 GPA: All Students .............................................................................................................................101 GPA: “Regular” Students ..................................................................................................................103 GPA: “Advanced” Students ..............................................................................................................104 PERFORMANCE ON THE STATE STANDARDIZED TESTS ............................................................................106 WASL Tests: Comparison of Percentages of Students Who Met Standards.....................................106 WASL Tests: Comparison of Individual Student Scores ..................................................................109 WASL Scores: All Students ......................................................................................................................... 110 WASL Scores: “Regular” Students .............................................................................................................. 111 WASL Scores: “Advanced” Students........................................................................................................... 112  SCIENCE INQUIRY TASKS ........................................................................................................................114 Science Inquiry Tasks: All Students..................................................................................................115 Science Inquiry Tasks: “Regular” Students.......................................................................................116 Science Inquiry Tasks: “Advanced” Students ...................................................................................117 STUDENT ATTITUDES SURVEY ................................................................................................................118 Attitude-to-School Scale ...................................................................................................................118 Attitude-to-School Scale: All students.......................................................................................................... 119 Attitude-to-School Scale: “Regular” Students.............................................................................................. 122 Attitude-to-School Scale: “Advanced” Students .......................................................................................... 126  Environmental Literacy Scale ...........................................................................................................128 Environmental Literacy Scale: All Students................................................................................................. 129 Environmental Literacy Scale: “Regular” Students...................................................................................... 132 Environmental Literacy Scale: “Advanced” Students .................................................................................. 134  CLOSING REMARKS.................................................................................................................................135 QUALITATIVE DATA: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.....................................................................138 SUBJECT SPECIFIC LEARNING .................................................................................................................142 ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING ..................................................................................................................143 COMMUNITY AND SERVICE-LEARNING ...................................................................................................149 LEARNING TRANSFER .............................................................................................................................150 SOCIAL LEARNING ..................................................................................................................................151 PERSONAL LEARNING .............................................................................................................................154 ATTITUDE TO SCHOOL ............................................................................................................................156 PERFORMANCE AND ACHIEVEMENT........................................................................................................158 WHAT COUNTS AS LEARNING? ...............................................................................................................159 CLOSING REMARKS.................................................................................................................................161 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS...........................................................163 SUMMARY...............................................................................................................................................164 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT .......................................170  v  IMPLICATIONS FOR PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT ........................................................................................173 CONCLUSIONS .........................................................................................................................................174 REFERENCES..........................................................................................................................................177 APPENDIX A. SOIL PERCOLATION: PRE-PROGRAM SCIENCE INQUIRY TASK AND SCORING RUBRIC .................................................................................................................................195 APPENDIX B. HOT SPOT: POST-PROGRAM SCIENCE INQUIRY TASK ..................................209 APPENDIX C. PRE-PROGRAM STUDENT ATTITUDES SURVEY...............................................217 APPENDIX D. POST-PROGRAM STUDENT ATTITUDES SURVEY ............................................220 APPENDIX E. STUDENT ATTITUDES SURVEY DEVELOPMENT ..............................................224 APPENDIX F. STUDENT INTERVIEW GUIDE .................................................................................229 APPENDIX G. TEACHER INTERVIEW GUIDE ...............................................................................231 APPENDIX H. DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS ......................................................................................233 APPENDIX I. ETHICS CERTIFICATE................................................................................................235  vi  LIST OF TABLES TABLE 3.1. DEMOGRAPHICS OF PARTICIPANTS ..............................................................................................47 TABLE 3.2. PARTICIPANT CHARACTERISTICS FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 GROUPS.........................................48 TABLE 3.3. ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION PROGRAM CURRICULUM TOPICS AND ACTIVITIES.............................53 TABLE 3.4. COMPARISON OF FEATURES IN EAP AND INQUIRY 10 .................................................................63 TABLE 3.5. DATA COLLECTION TIMELINE .....................................................................................................70 TABLE 3.6. INQUIRY SCIENCE INQUIRY TASKS: ITEM MEANS AND PERCENT EARNING EACH SCORE............74 TABLE 3.7. EXACT + ADJACENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN RATERS ON OPEN-ENDED ITEMS............................76 TABLE 3. 8. MEANS, STANDARD DEVIATION AND ALPHA COEFFICIENT FOR PRE- AND POST-PROGRAM TASKS ..................................................................................................................................................77 TABLE 3.9. CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SCIENCE INQUIRY FINAL SCORES AND WASL SCORES......................78 TABLE 3.10. CRONBACH’S ALPHA COEFFICIENTS FOR ATTITUDINAL SUBSCALES AND FINAL ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCALE .............................................................................................................82 TABLE 3.11. CRONBACH’S ALPHA COEFFICIENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SUBSCALES AND TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCALE .........................................................................................84 TABLE 3.12. PEARSON CORRELATION: CORRELATIONS BETWEEN ATTITUDINAL SUBSCALE AND TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCORES...................................................................................................84 TABLE 4.2. ANCOVA RESULTS AND COHEN’S DS: WASL SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 PROGRAMS .........................................................................................................................................111 TABLE 4.3. ANCOVA RESULTS AND COHEN’S DS: WASL SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .......................................................................................................................112 TABLE 4.4. ANCOVA RESULTS AND COHEN’S D: WASL SCORES FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .......................................................................................................................114 TABLE 4.5. INDIVIDUAL SAMPLES T-TEST: ANALYSIS OF THE PRE-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCALE AND SUBSCALES SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 CLASSES ...............................................120 TABLE 4.6. ANCOVA TESTS: POST-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 GROUPS. .........................................................................................................................122 TABLE 4.7. INDIVIDUAL SAMPLES T-TEST: PRE-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS....................................................................................124 TABLE 4.8. ANCOVA TESTS: POST-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS ...............................................................................................................125 TABLE 4.9. ANCOVA TESTS: POST-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCORES FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .......................................................................................................128 TABLE 4.10. ANCOVA TESTS: POST-PROGRAM ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 GROUPS. .........................................................................................................................131 TABLE 4.11. ANCOVA TESTS: ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .......................................................................................................................133 TABLE 4.12. ANCOVA TESTS: ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCORES FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .......................................................................................................................135 TABLE 4.13. RESULTS ON QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENTS FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 GROUPS ....................137 TABLE 5.1. SUBJECT SPECIFIC LEARNING OUTCOMES .................................................................................143 TABLE 5.2. ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING OUTCOMES ...................................................................................143 TABLE 5.3. SOCIAL LEARNING OUTCOMES ..................................................................................................152 TABLE 5.4.PERSONAL LEARNING OUTCOMES..............................................................................................154 TABLE 5.5. ATTITUDE TO SCHOOL AND MOTIVATION ..................................................................................156 TABLE 5.6. CONCEPTIONS OF LEARNING BY MARTON ET AL (1993) AND MCGUINNES (2005)....................160 TABLE E.1. ITEM TO TOTAL SCORE CORRELATION: ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCALE ....................................224 TABLE E.2. EXTRACTED FACTORS AND PERCENTAGE OF VARIANCE ACCOUNTED FOR BY THE FACTORS ...225 TABLE E.3. ROTATED COMPONENT MATRIX FOR ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCALE ........................................226 TABLE E. 4. ITEM TO FINAL SCORE CORRELATION: ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCALE ............................227 TABLE H. 1. DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS .........................................................................................................233  vii  LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 3.2. RESEARCH DESIGN OF THE STUDY ..............................................................................................68 FIGURE 4.1. AVERAGE GPA FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 CLASSES ................................................................102 FIGURE 4.2. AVERAGE GPA FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS..........................................104 FIGURE 4.3. AVERAGE GPA FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .......................................105 FIGURE 4.4. PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WHO MET THE STANDARD ON THE WASL READING TEST............107 FIGURE 4.5. PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WHO MET THE STANDARD ON THE WASL WRITING TEST ...........107 TEST ............108 FIGURE 4.6. PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WHO MET THE STANDARD ON THE WASL MATH FIGURE 4.7. PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WHO MET THE STANDARD ON THE WASL SCIENCE TEST ............108 FIGURE 4.8. AVERAGE WASL SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 CLASSES ................................................110 FIGURE 4.9. AVERAGE WASL SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS ..........................111 FIGURE 4.10. AVERAGE WASL SCORES FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .....................113 FIGURE 4.11. AVERAGE SIT SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 GROUPS: PRE AND POST-PROGRAM ...........115 FIGURE 4.12. AVERAGE SIT FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS ..........................................116 FIGURE 4.13. AVERAGE SIT SCORES FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS ..........................117 FIGURE 4.14. PRE-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SUBSCALE AND TOTAL SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 CLASSESS .........................................................................................................................120 EAP AND FIGURE 4.15. POST-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SUBSCALE AND TOTAL SCORES FOR INQUIRY 10 CLASSES ...........................................................................................................................121 FIGURE 4.16. PRE-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SUBSCALE AND TOTAL SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10..................................................................................................................................123 FIGURE 4.17. POST-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SUBSCALE AND TOTAL SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS .................................................................................................................125 FIGURE 4.18. PRE-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCORES FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS............................................................................................................................................126 FIGURE 4.19. POST-PROGRAM ATTITUDE-TO-SCHOOL SCORES FOR “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS............................................................................................................................................127 FIGURE 4.20. AVERAGE POST-PROGRAM ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCORES FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS............................................................................................................................................130 FIGURE 4.21. AVERAGE SCORES FOR THE TRANSFERABILITY SUBSCALE ITEMS FOR EAP AND INQUIRY 10 GROUPS ...............................................................................................................................................132 FIGURE 4.22. AVERAGE POST-PROGRAM ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SCORES FOR “REGULAR” EAP AND NON-EAP STUDENTS ...........................................................................................................................133 ITEMS FOR FIGURE 4.23. AVERAGE POST-PROGRAM SCORES FOR THE TRANSFERABILITY SUBSCALE “ADVANCED” EAP AND INQUIRY 10 STUDENTS ..................................................................................134 FIGURE 5.1. LEARNING OUTCOMES IN THE EAP PROGRAM ..........................................................................140 FIGURE 5.2. LEARNING OUTCOMES IN THE INQUIRY PROGRAM ....................................................................141 FIGURE 5.3. CONCEPTIONS OF LEARNING: EAP AND INQUIRY STUDENTS ....................................................161  viii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Working on this thesis was an exciting journey, and I would like to thank all my colleagues and friends who shared with me all the excitements and frustrations associated with making sure that I have reached my destination. I extend a special thanks you to my supervisor Dr. Jolie Mayer-Smith, and my committee members, Dr. Linda Peterat and Dr. Cynthia Nicol for their constant support, guidance and advice. I also wish to thank my colleagues in Washington State, Dr. Margaret Tudor, Lynne Ferguson, and Dr. Cathy Taylor who provided me their ongoing support and encouragement; without them this study would not be possible. My special gratitude goes to the teachers and students who participated in the study and who shared with me their exciting experiences and ideas. Finally, I would like to thank my daughter, Diana and my husband, Yuriy, for their patience and support.  ix  CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION  As the number of environmental problems the world faces increases (e.g., pollution and loss of biodiversity), there is a pressing need for future generations to be environmentally educated, and more specifically, knowledgeable about how to live sustainably and handle our dwindling resources thoughtfully. However, while many countries require environmental issues to be taught in all grades and subjects, environmental education (EE) has not become an integral part of school curricula. Teachers and EE professionals cite various reasons for the absence of environmental education in classrooms. Limited time, money and training are among the reasons given (Arrasmith, 1995; Bartosh, 2003). There are further barriers to the implementation of environmental education in the classrooms. Schools are subject to administrative, political and social expectations, not the least of which is to prepare students for standardized tests (Bartosh, 2003). As a result of the current accountability climate, schools in North America (and especially in USA) continue to assess student learning and achievement primarily in the discipline-based areas. An emphasis is given to the content that is measured on discipline-based standardized tests, marginalizing rich interdisciplinary activities and environments. While teachers and researchers in the field of environmental education call for more evidence that EE can be effective in improving student learning (see Angell, Ferguson, & Tudor, 2000), concern has been expressed in several international reports that most research on this topic to date has been anecdotal in nature (Hoody, 1995; The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation  1  [NEETF], 2000). In order to understand the complex learning experiences of students in environmental education programs and courses, we need to start rethinking what counts as learning and what evidence can be gathered to illustrate it. There is a need to emphasize different kinds of learning outcomes (besides changes in the test scores) that can be gained through participation in EE programs and explore multiple ways to assess and demonstrate the benefits of environment-based learning. The research presented here begins to address these needs.  Research Background This dissertation research examines the learning outcomes that can be enhanced through environmental education programs. I conducted a comparative study of two high school programs in Washington State, USA, investigating the influence of environmental education on the development of environmental literacy, student achievement across subject areas, motivation and engagement; and explored what other learning experiences students gain in such programs. The research described here draws upon the results of my work with the Pacific Education Institute (PEI), an organization I have been working with for more than eight years. The research projects I have been involved in aimed to investigate the impact of environmental education on student achievement on standardized tests. My Master’s thesis research (undertaken in cooperation with the Pacific Education Institute) investigated the impact of environmental education programs on student achievement on state tests in math, reading and writing in Washington State public schools (Bartosh, 2003). The study compared the percentages of students who met or were above standard  2  on two standardized tests for environmental education schools and schools with traditional curriculum (77 pairs of schools in total) and found that schools with integrated environmental education programs outperform comparable “non-EE” schools on the tests. Another of PEI’s research project explored the influence of EE on individual students (Taylor, Kurtz-Smith, Tudor, Ferguson, & Bartosh, 2005). Analysis of individual elementary and middle school students’ test scores on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning test indicated that students in EE programs had higher test scores in math, reading and writing. However, while these findings indicate that EE might be one of the factors that affect test scores, they offer no insights into the ways in which EE may play a role in improving student achievement and learning. What particular skills have been improved? What other learning outcomes and benefits do students gain? What kinds of learning outcomes occurred in the EE programs? In this doctoral research I address some of these questions. Specifically, what evidence can be gathered to demonstrate the diverse learning that occurs in EE programs? Are there differences in learning experiences between EE and traditional (“non-EE”) programs?  Purpose of the Study The purpose of this research is to examine student learning experiences and outcomes in an environmental education program and investigate how these experiences and outcomes differ from student experiences in “traditional” programs. Specifically, I explore how involvement in environmental education influences high school students’ learning and performance across subject areas, their attitude to school and the environment, and their social competency skills. The students in this study are enrolled in  3  two Washington State high school programs at the same school: an integrated environmental education program and a regular Grade 10 science program.  Research Questions This research focuses on the influence of environmental education programs on student learning of the high school students. The research questions that guide the study are: 1. What is the impact of an integrated environmental education program on high school students’ learning in terms of: a. environmental literacy (knowledge, attitudes and behaviours); b. academic achievement across subject areas; c. motivation and engagement towards learning; and d. social competency (such as cooperation, sense of responsibility, peer interactions)? 2. What are the differences in learning experiences and achievement for students participating in EE and traditional programs?  Research Methods To explore these research questions I conducted a comparative study of grade 10 students enrolled in two different high school programs in one public school in Washington State, USA: an integrated environmental education program and a traditional science program. The study occurred during the fall of 2005 until the end of the academic year in June of 2006. To investigate and compare student experiences in the two  4  programs I adopted a mixed methods research design, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data included standardized achievement test scores in math, language arts and science, Science Inquiry tasks, GPAs and surveys regarding attitudes, practices and demographics. The qualitative data were gathered through openended survey items, student, teacher and staff interviews and observations. The data were analyzed using statistical analysis and qualitative procedures. The results obtained through multiple methods were triangulated to obtain more reliable results and inferences.  Significance of the Study As the number of environmental problems humankind faces increases, the need to educate young people about the environment becomes more pressing. However, while many countries require environmental education to be taught in all grades and subjects, it still remains marginalized in many schools. There is a need for more comprehensive empirical studies that go beyond anecdotal evidence and make a strong case for the beneficial impact of EE on students. This dissertation addresses this need, thereby filling a gap in the literature. Furthermore, in the current accountability climate where schools are striving to improve both student performance and motivation to learn, this research illustrates how environmental education can assist schools in addressing their academic and political goals. This thesis provides information on the efficacy of environmental education that can inform policy and curriculum development in North America and internationally. Finally, this study can inspire teachers and administrators to infuse  5  environmental education into not only isolated classrooms but also more comprehensively across schools, districts, provinces and countries.  Organization of the Thesis This dissertation is organized into six chapters. Chapter One introduces and provides background information about the research project and describes the purpose of the study, the research questions, the significance of the project and organization of the thesis. Chapter Two presents the analysis of related literature in the field of environmental education. I discuss and critique the studies that explore the impact of environmental education on student learning and academic achievement and identify gaps that currently exist in the research. Chapter Three describes the research methodology used in this study. Descriptions are provided of the history of EE in Washington State, the setting and the context of the study, and the student and teacher participants. I outline the methods of data collection and analysis, and discuss issues and assumptions associated with mixed methods research methodology. Chapter Four presents the findings and a discussion of the quantitative data analysis followed by Chapter Five which describes analysis of qualitative data. Chapter Six summarizes the findings and their implications for environmental education teaching and learning and development of environmental education policies. I also present my conclusions and propose areas for further research.  6  CHAPTER TWO THEORETICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY  Environmental education (EE) has been around for decades. Over the years researchers and theoreticians have developed numerous models, approaches, definitions of environmental education and sets of “best” practices to make EE a part of classroom activities. However, while teachers and researchers support environmental education, it is still barely present in many school curricula, and educators continue to have difficulties incorporating environmental issues and projects into their teaching. Some explain that this marginalizing of environmental education is a result of lack of strong empirical evidence on the efficacy of environmental education (e.g., Hoody, 1995; The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation [NEETF], 2000). This study aims to address this issue. To situate my study within the literature on environmental education, in this chapter I analyze the definitions and goals of environmental education and explore how these goals are being translated into learning outcomes for students. I then review and critique the existing research on the impact of environmental education on student learning and identify gaps existing in the literature.  Environmental Education: Definitions and Goals In 1969 William Stapp and his group of graduate students at the University of Michigan coined one of the first definitions of “environmental education” which they described as a process aimed “at producing a citizenry that is knowledgeable concerning the biophysical environment and its associated problems, aware of how to help solve these  7  problems, and motivated to work toward their solution (Stapp et al., 1969, p. 30). Nine years later this definition laid the basis for what is known today as the Tbilisi Declaration that defines EE as “a learning process that increases people’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, and fosters attitudes, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action” (UNESCO-UNEP, 1978, p. 24). The Tbilisi definition introduced skills, values and participation in solving environmental issues into the definition of EE, and has become widely accepted; for over forty years this definition has served as the foundation for the structuring of environmental education and research initiatives. Lucas (1979), Palmer (1998), Sterling and Cooper (1992), and Uzzel (1999) extended the Tbilisi definition and identified three components that “good” environmental education should include. Their definition specified that environmental education should be education about the environment, education for the environment, and education through /in /from the environment. According to these authors, EE should develop not only knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental problems, environmental ethics and values, but also help students gain skills necessary for participation in solving environmental problems locally and globally, such as research, investigation and communication skills. Over the years environmental educators have argued about what outcomes EE programs should focus on, and what kinds of knowledge and skills are necessary for students to become responsible and environmentally literate citizens (e.g., Gigliotti, 1990; Gurevitz, 2000; Palmer, 1998). While some believe that development of  8  environmental knowledge and skills will lead to the development of positive attitudes toward the environment and environmentally friendly behaviour (e.g., Bradley, Waliczek & Zajicek, 1999), others have argued that students should learn to love and respect nature and the environment first. Sobel (1993, 1996) and others suggest using place-based education activities that focus on local environments and communities, so young children can develop an emotional attachment to the environment and a sense of place before they are asked “to save the planet.” Similarly, Gurevitz (2000) emphasizes the importance of affective education which might help students to “come to ‘know’ [their] environment through [their] emotional responses to it” (p. 255), and believes that this kind of emotional connection can not be built through being exposed only to scientific theories and concepts. There is a concern, however, that if students do not develop an accurate understanding of knowledge concepts, they might develop misconceptions about environmental and ecological issues (Ballantyne & Packer, 1996; Fleer, 2002; Gigliotti, 1990). Ballantyne and Packer suggest a balanced approach is needed: To address environmental knowledge without reference to the attitudes and values held by students will limit the extent to which such knowledge is translated into action. Equally, to address environmental attitudes and values without providing an accurate and relevant knowledge base will limit the power and effectiveness with which attitudes/values are applied. (1996, p. 26) The authors propose taking a more holistic approach toward EE that would aim to develop environmental knowledge, values and skills in a balanced and harmonious way. In recent years, Gruenewald (2004), Robottom (1987), Wals and van Der Leij (1997) among others have expanded the objectives of environmental education to include  9  the development of abilities to critique and transform the world and society. These authors believe that through a participatory process students should develop autonomous thinking and a stance toward society (Wals & van Der Leij, 1997). In addition, these environmental thinkers call for EE that engages students in investigations that go beyond scientific aspects of environmental problems and include analysis and exploration of complex interactions among environment, society, culture, economy and politics. Accordingly, students should not only investigate environmental and social issues, develop understanding of environmental and scientific concepts, autonomous thinking and stances towards the world but also develop the ability to critique and transform practices and values of the dominant culture and society (Wals & van Der Leij, 1997). As argued by Wals and van Der Leij, EE should, enable participants to construct, transform, critique, and emancipate their world in an existential way: construct in the sense of building upon the prior knowledge, experiences and ideas of learners; critique in the sense of investigating underlying values, assumptions, worldviews, morals, etc., as they are part of the world around the learner and as they are a part of the learner him/herself; emancipate in the sense of detecting, exposing and, where possible, altering power distortions that impede communication and change; and transform in the sense of changing, shaping, influencing the world around them, regardless of scope or scale. (1997, p. 25) The definitions of environmental education and its goals and objectives described above focused on the development of environment-oriented outcomes (environmental  10  knowledge, skills and attitudes). These definitions have influenced the development of educational programs, and shaped the focus of environmental education research.  Environmental Learning Outcomes in the Broader Educational Context The current accountability climate affects how educators and administrators, including environmental educators, view schooling and the types of learning outcomes students should gain from educational programs. Teachers and administrators look for ways to help students become efficient and competitive in their future lives and careers (Gruenwald, 2003c; Labaree, 1997; Spring, 1998). This accountability focus often reduces the meaning of schooling, and the meaning of learning itself to test scores and grade point averages in the discipline-based content areas, leaving environmental education learning at the margins. What is missing from this approach is a measure of the in-depth understanding, knowledge and skills essential to the development of environmentally responsible and care-full citizens and stewards of the Earth. As researchers and educators we also have to ask what kinds of learning are expected from students by their parents, teachers and other stakeholders. Wentzel (1991, 2003) and Gruenewald (2003b) argue that at the policy level, the goals of education include academic achievement and development of social competencies such as positive styles of interactions, cooperation, and social behaviour. From many parents’ perspectives, schooling should provide students with social competence skills and knowledge that can help them succeed economically (Krumboltz, Ford, Nichols, & Wentzel, 1987). Finally, according to Wentzel (2000), when teachers are asked about  11  important intended learning outcomes for students, they name social competencies, motivation and engagement, and academic achievement. While these are valid and important goals, I wonder whether these goals are enough today, when the world is looking for ways to fight growing environmental problems. What should be the goals of education in a time of environmental crisis? What does it mean to be a literate person today? What skills, knowledge and values do environmental educators hope to help their students develop? Roth (1992) (see also Disinger & Roth, 1992; Hungerford & Peyton, 1986) argues that educational systems should help students (both children and adults) develop environmental literacy (EL) which, according to the author, is “essentially the capacity to perceive and interpret the relative health of environmental systems and take appropriate action to maintain, restore, or improve the health of those systems” (Are standards possible? section, ¶ 4). Similarly, Gayford (2002), Stables (1998), Stables and Bishop (2001) and Stables and Scott (1999) describe EL in terms of four competencies: knowledge and awareness; skills, values and attitudes; and actions. These environmental theoreticians also agree that the development of environmental literacy progresses in stages and can be placed on a five phase continuum: (1) nominal or basic, (2) functional, (3) operational, (4) critical and (5) transformative literacy. On this continuum, students’ abilities progress from minimal basic “mechanical” application of environmental knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions (nominal environmental literacy) to the ability to debate about environmental issues at political, ideological, theoretical and philosophical levels and to critique, challenge and transform the status quo of the dominant society and culture. To achieve these goals and to produce environmentally literate citizens,  12  educators need to go well beyond the transfer of information about environmental issues and development of awareness and make action and transformative components of environmental literacy a part of their education programs. As argued by Smith (2004), another important goal of education is the development of connections, partnership and collaboration among students. Wentzel (2003) sees these skills as a component of social competency – an important goal of schooling from teachers’, parents’ and policy-makers’ perspectives. While these skills are not included in the descriptions of environmental literacy (see e.g., Basile, White, & Robinson, 2000; Roth, 1992; Stables, 1998), they are essential for effective environmental action and transformation activities. Saving the world or transforming society and culture are not individual activities and cannot be achieved through a “lone ranger” approach. To be effective and successful, students will need to know how to cooperate, to act responsibly as a member of a group, to participate effectively in decision-making processes and to share tasks and responsibilities. Motivation is seen by educators as an important learning outcome, as they want their students to develop interest in learning as a process and to become life-long learners. Deci and Ryan (2005) argue that autonomous or intrinsic motivation (motivation that refers to students engaging in a learning activity for no reward other than interest, joy, or its importance for their own personal goals and values) has been associated with conceptual understanding, deep learning and psychological well-being. However, to date interest, motivation and engagement (as well as affective outcomes such as love, care and joy) have been marginalized in the current educational system, which focuses primarily on cognitive outcomes and test results.  13  Overall, this analysis indicates that two sets of learning outcomes for EE programs can be identified: (1) environmental learning outcomes that include knowledge of environmental concepts, environmentally friendly behaviours, positive attitudes toward the environment and skills that can be used in solving environmental problems; and (2) more generic learning outcomes such as motivation to learn, self-esteem, and academic achievement. In the current accountability climate, to promote environmental programs with teachers and administrators, there is a need for studies that illustrate a wide range of benefits for students who participate in environmental education programs. In the section that follows I will review and critique the existing research on the impact of environmental education on student learning and identify gaps existing in the literature.  Research on Learning in Environmental Education EE-specific Outcomes While the amount of rigorous research and empirical evidence in the field of environmental education is considerable, there are significant variations in the focus of the studies and the evidence collected. Volk and McBeth (1998) analyzed the findings of 32 evaluation studies of EE programs for elementary school, secondary and college students, and adults that were published in peer-reviewed journals between 1977 and 1995 and reviewed the elements of environmental literacy that were assessed by the researchers. The authors observed that the majority of studies focused on the affective component of environmental literacy (75%). Approximately half of the studies explored environmentally responsible behaviour; six percent assessed the development of socio-  14  political knowledge and nine percent focused on ecological knowledge. Only one study explored the additional determinants of environmentally responsible behaviour and none of the studies focused on cognitive skills development. Rickinson (2001) in his review of research on learners and the learning that occurs in environmental programs analyzed over 100 peer-reviewed articles, reports and books published between 1993 and 1999 and noted that more research has been done on learners and their characteristics (i.e., their factual environmental knowledge, skills and behaviours) than on the processes or outcomes of environmental learning. Rickinson concluded that there are three well-researched areas in EE. This research includes studies on students’ (1) environmental knowledge; (2) environmental attitudes and behaviours and (3) environmental learning outcomes. He also identified three emerging areas which included (1) studies investigating student perceptions of nature, (2) studies on experiences of learning, and (3) studies on the influence of EE on adults (transfer of knowledge and information through students who participate in environmental programs to their parents and other family members). While the study provided a good summary and analysis of the subset of EE research literature, Rickinson did not explored theories underlying the studies, nor did he include studies that go beyond environmental outcomes. Research that looks at environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviour can be further broken down into two groups of studies: (1) studies that assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and behaviour participants had at the time of the study, and (2) studies that evaluate changes in environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviour as a result of participation in an educational program or event.  15  Regarding the assessment of environmental knowledge of students, Rickinson (2001) reports that most studies included in his review show predominantly low levels of knowledge among populations studied (e.g., Gigliotti, 1990; Hausbeck, Milbrath & Enright, 1992; Kuhlemeier, Bergh & Langerweij, 1999; Wright & Floyd, 1992). Blum (1987) analyzed the results of the survey of environmental knowledge and attitudes in the United States, England, Israel and Australia and came to the conclusion that 9th and 10th grade students in all four countries had low environmental knowledge. Brody (1996) assessed 4th, 8th, and 11thgrade students’ science knowledge about Oregon’s marine resources. According to this study, the students tested showed understanding of concepts such as geological structure and process, energy, nutrients and food webs. However, students’ “understanding of physical and chemical characteristics, process and effects did not progress beyond the early grade level” (Brody, 1996, p. 25). At the same time, it is necessary to admit that the level of knowledge students exhibited varied from topic to topic and was possibly influenced by various external factors such as gender, school, socio-economic status of students, age and geographical location. For example, a study of 542 students in Washington State showed that students had a good understanding and knowledge of issues related to rainforest and deforestation but low knowledge of animal populations (Cardeiro & Sayler, 1994). As one of the key objectives of environmental education, environmental attitudes of students have been a focus of numerous research studies. A number of large-scale research projects surveyed attitudes of children and youth towards the environment and various environmental issues in the USA and internationally and found that generally students reported positive attitudes toward the environment (Connell, Fien, Sykes &  16  Yencken, 1998; Kuhlemeier, Bergh & Langerweij, 1999). However, as noted by Rickinson (2001), research also indicates that while young people may hold proenvironmental attitudes in general, when it comes to issues directly related to their own lives, their views tend to be less pro-environmental (e. g. attitudes to over/consumption or car use). Studies also suggest that the attitudes and concerns young people hold may differ depending on geographic location, age, gender and socio-economic status of students. For example, Australian students tend to rate ozone depletion as a serious problem, unlike American students who are concerned more about water and air pollution (Connell et al., 1998; Rickinson, 2001; Riechard & Peterson, 1998). Researchers have also tried to examine the environmental behaviour of children and young people. However, as noted by Rickinson (2001), most of these studies focused not on actual behaviour, but rather presented self-reported data obtained through surveys and in some cases interviews, and looked at nature and frequency of involvement in environmental actions and events (as reported by students). The research shows that students are more often involved in energy and water conservation (Roper Starch Worldwide, 1994), recycling projects and reduction of consumption and less involved in political environmental actions and conservation projects (Rickinson, 2001). Researchers also extensively assessed the changes in environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviour that occurred as a result of participation in environmental education programs and claimed that environmental education programs (both formal and informal) can affect how students relate to the environment, what they think about environmental issues, and what actions they are willing to take to solve growing environmental problems (e.g.,, Dettman-Easler & Pease, 1999; Knapp & Poff, 2001,  17  Kruse & Card, 2004; Lindemann-Matthies, 2002; Zimmermann, 1996). For example, Lindemann-Matthies (2002) surveyed 4,000 children ages 8 through 16 from 248 classes in Switzerland who participated in the Nature on the Way to School program, and observed that students’ knowledge about biodiversity increased after participation in EE program. Alvarez, de la Fuente, Perales and Garcia (2002) looked at 108 university students at the Department of Science Education at the University of Granada (Spain) who were taught using an “experimental approach” which allowed them to investigate real-life issues and compared them to 98 students who went through a traditional curriculum. The authors found that EE students showed significantly higher environmental knowledge and attitudes compared to students exposed to traditional curriculum and teaching methods. Researchers who investigated participation in environmental programs claim that environmental education can promote change in behaviours (e.g., Disinger, 1982; Kruse & Card, 2004; Sia, 1984; Zelezny, 1999). For example, Kruse and Card (2004) examined experiences of 383 children ages 10 through 18 who participated in camp programs in Florida. Students were asked to rate their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards animals and conservation issues prior to, immediately after and one month after the program. The authors report that students’ self-reported behaviour scores increased after participation in the program. Zelezny (1999), who conducted a meta-analysis of 22 studies on educational interventions conducted in formal and informal settings agrees, that EE could improve environmental behaviour. The studies were reviewed, analyzed and evaluated based on methodological criteria (e.g., type of assignment into groups; type of design and data  18  analysis). Zelezny reports that classroom interventions were more effective in improving environmental behaviour than informal programs (with effect sizes of r = .65 and r = .27 respectively) and suggests that interventions in non-traditional settings (such as outdoor camps) are less effective because of the short-term nature of most visits. According to the researcher, programs that target young learners and are longer in duration tend to be more effective in changing environmental behaviour of the participants. The author indicated, however, that the quality of some studies included in the analysis was low, and concluded that more studies of better quality are needed to explore this issue. Overall, the existing literature indicates that research on environmental learning and learning outcomes is considerable. However, as well expressed by Hoody (1995), “the focus of most EE researchers has not been on assessing the all-inclusive educational importance of EE methodology” (p. 19) instead focusing primarily on student outcomes related to environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. But this picture of learning that occurs in EE programs is not complete. In recent years a new foci has emerged in the field of environmental education research (or re-emerged if we take into account research on outdoor education outcomes conducted in 1990s). These are the studies that explore how environmental education affects more general outcomes such as academic achievement, motivation and engagement, career development, self-esteem and civic responsibility of students. In the next section of this chapter, I review research studies conducted and reported between 1990 and 2007 that explore what other outcomes (besides the “traditional” environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviour) of environmental education have been identified and studied, assess the quality of these  19  studies and the research evidence obtained, and identify areas for which more research is needed.  Generic EE Outcomes As discussed above the question of how and to what extent environmental education programs affect students has been discussed for several decades, but only recently have EE researchers started to move beyond investigations of EE-specific outcomes such as environmental knowledge, attitudes and skills to look at more general educational outcomes. Since 2000, several US national reports have been published by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) and the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF). These summarize the existing research that explored the efficacy of environmental education and discuss the benefits of EE programs for students. Environment-Based Education: Creating High Performance Schools and Students (NEETF, 2000) presents seven case studies of academic programs that used environment as a context for learning. The report claims that students in EE programs showed better performance on reading, math, science and social studies tests and had fewer behaviour problems. Some of the reported case studies used state achievement data for comparison; however, no statistical test results were reported, other than percentages. Using Environment-Based Education to Advance Learning Skills and Character Development (The North American Association for Environmental Education and The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation [NEETF & NAAEE], 2001) summarizes anecdotal and empirical evidence of the impact of EE on students and suggests that environmental education may improve  20  student learning. The report, however, does not provide a good description of the methodology employed, and does not attempt to critically examine the research evidence. According to these publications, achievement, student motivation and engagement tend to improve when students participate in environment-based programs. Students in schools with curriculum that used the environment as a context for learning appear to develop the ability to transfer knowledge they receive in class to unfamiliar contexts. Similarly, the recent NEETF report Environmental Literacy in America (Coyle, 2005) devotes a chapter to a discussion of the positive impact of EE on student achievement, motivation and attendance and presents case studies from earlier reports and findings from research studies. The report does not describe how the studies were selected, however, nor does it critically examine the quality of methodologies employed. In fact, these reports illustrate that publications on this issue tend to present promising anecdotal “success stories” rather than rigorous empirical studies corroborating their findings. It is evident that a more critical examination of research evidence is needed to assist teachers, administrators and policy writers in making informed decisions about the role of environmental education in the lives of children. To begin to address this issue, I collected and reviewed articles which examined the possible impact of EE programs on 1) academic achievement; 2) engagement in learning, motivation and attendance; and 3) self-esteem. The data were obtained through searching three online databases (ERIC, Academic Search ELITE, and Education Full Text), a grey literature search and communication with experts in the field. The search was limited to published documents and thus this review did not include masters’ and doctoral dissertations. For each of the online searches, I identified a number of key word  21  combinations that included both free text and controlled terms. Three groups of search terms were developed: population/age (e.g., students, school children), intervention/issue (e.g., environmental education, environment-based education), and outcome related terms (e.g., achievement, test scores, engagement, motivation). A study was included in the review if it met the following criteria: 1. A study was published between 1995 and 2007; 2. A study was published in English; 3. A study looked at elementary, middle or high school students; 4. A study examined a formal education program; and 5. A study examined changes in academic performance and learning outcomes. Articles that met these inclusion criteria were reviewed in full text, and the results pertained to the impact of EE on student learning and achievement were summarized. The analysis of the review is presented below.  Academic Achievement One of the first research teams that attempted to investigate the efficacy of environmental education in increasing student learning was the State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER) (Lieberman & Hoody, 2002). This study analyzed student achievement at 40 schools across the United States with elementary, middle and high school programs that used environment as a context for learning. The SEER research team administered four surveys of students and teachers and conducted 655 interviews. The researchers also presented results of comparative studies conducted by  22  individual schools. The final report suggests that students in classrooms with environment-based programs tend to have higher scores on standardized tests in math, reading, writing, science, and social sciences. For example, Grade 9 students in one of the Washington State public high schools had on average a higher GPA, better attendance rates and better attitudes to school than students in non-EE classes in the same school. The SEER study was primarily qualitative, and no control group of schools or students were used. While the SEER indicates that 14 schools (out of 40 schools featured in the report) undertook comparative studies of their students analysing the differences in grade point averages, standardized test scores, attendance rates, and attitude to school measures, there is no clear description of these studies in the report. A second study conducted by the SEER group (California Student Assessment Project) evaluated student achievement and attendance in schools in California between 1998 and 2002. The group used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods and conducted a comparative analysis of the data for 12 pairs of schools: eight in Phase 1 (SEER, 2000) and four in Phase 2 (SEER, 2005). Schools were paired using demographic, socio-economic criteria and information about their environmental programs. In Phase 1 of the project, the study found that when compared to students from traditional (non-EE classes), EE students showed higher results in 101 out of 140 (72%) academic assessments in language arts, math, science, and social science (SEER, 2000). The results for Phase 2 corroborate these findings, with EE students outperforming students in the control group in over 96% of assessments in four core areas: reading, math, language and spelling (SEER, 2005). While both reports present information about statistical differences between the two groups of schools on various  23  assessment measures, they contain limited information about the types of statistical analyses that were undertaken. Further, the reports do not include information about whether the data were controlled for pre-existing differences in such parameters as gender, achievement level, or ethnicity. Yap (1998) conducted a summative study of eight pairs of schools in Washington State to investigate the impact of integrated environmental education on student achievement in reading, writing and communication for K-12 students. Four elementary and four high schools were matched based on geographic and demographic criteria; and student achievement on state standardized tests was compared. Along with this, a teacher survey was conducted to evaluate the level of EE implementation (the extent of how schools infused environmental education into their programs). Yap observed a correlation between student achievement and the level of EE implementation and claimed that schools with higher levels of implementation of their environmental programs had higher results on the standardized tests. However, the study did not analyze other factors (e.g., gender or prior academic achievement) which may have affected student performance on the standardized tests. Another study conducted by Randall (cited in Monroe et al., 2001), shows that if environmental education lessons are designed to meet state curriculum goals, they can improve student achievement (test scores in particular). According to Randall (2001), who analyzed the experiences of 132 Grade 9 and 10 students in Florida, students who participated in a biodiversity program that focused on developmental biology and writing skills showed a significant increase in writing test scores. Monroe et al. (2001) conclude that,  24  when teachers perceive environmental education as an “extra”, environmental activities will be easily discarded in favor of increasing student knowledge and performance for state tests. When environmental education lessons are developed for state curriculum standards, they will be acknowledged as supporting student achievement in dimensions that educators recognize, such as performance tests, attendance, and interest. (Environmental Education in Florida section, ¶ 2) In a study of 176 schools and 18,982 students from Alaskan school districts that used The Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative (AKRSI), a place-based, systemic approach, Emekauwa (2004a) analyzed the relative change in students’ performance on the math tests for AKRSI students in Grades 8, 10 and 11 and compared this with the results from 28 non-AKRSI schools, state data and data for the Native Alaskan student population as a whole. She found a 6.9 percent increase in the percentage of 8th graders scoring in the upper quartile on the California Achievement Test (CAT-5) (as compared to a 1 percent increase for non-AKRSI schools). On the High School Qualifying examination there was an 8.36 percent increase for the AKRSI group in the number of 10th graders scoring at the proficient or advanced level. Finally, at the 11th grade level, AKRSI students’ math scores increased at a higher rate than for the non-AKRSI group. The author suggests that place-based programs like AKPSI positively affect student academic performance. The study does not describe the methodology and data analysis strategies in detail, and it is not clear if the difference between AKRSI and non-AKRSI schools is statistically and/or practically significant. Another study conducted in the East Feliciana Parish School District in Louisiana investigated how the district’s place-based program (Project Connect) which used the  25  environment as a theme for learning activities, influenced student academic achievement (Emekauwa, 2004b). Two middle schools and three elementary schools, and over 2000 students, participated. The study compared the performance of participating schools with the state average by examining the percentages of students performing at unsatisfactory levels on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program for the 21st Century (LEAP 21), which tests students in math, language arts, science and social studies. Specifically, in mathematics, there was a 14.1 percent decline for East Feliciana students who performed at the unsatisfactory level, from 39% in 1999-00 to 24.9% in 2001-02 (as compared to a 3.6 percent decline in the state as a whole). In language arts and social studies, the percentage of students who performed at the unsatisfactory level decreased 13.2 points and 11.3 points respectively. While Emekauwa attributed these changes to students’ participation in a long term, place-based integrated program, differences in students’ prior knowledge and experiences may also have played a role. In response both to calls for more rigorous research and to the urgency of education reform, the Pacific Education Institute (PEI), a consortium of stakeholders interested in advancing student learning through curriculum designed around an environmental context, started a long-term research project that investigated the impact of EE on student achievement in Washington State. The first project conducted by Bartosh (2003) (see also Bartosh, Tudor, Taylor, & Ferguson, 2006) compared the results of state standardized tests for 77 pairs of schools in Washington State: schools that have environmental programs and schools with traditional curriculum. The schools were matched using US census and other economic, demographic, and geographic criteria. Bartosh’s study found that schools that undertake systemic environmental education  26  programs consistently outperform “traditional” schools on state standardized tests in math, reading, writing, and listening. In 73 pairs (out of 77), environmental schools had higher scores in at least one subject. Furthermore, analysis of longitudinal data for the period of 1997-2002 showed that EE schools had higher mean percentages of students who met standards on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning test (WASL) for every year of the study. The study indicates a pattern rather than a correlation or causeeffect relationship between student achievement and the level of implementation of environmental education by a school. However, although there are many internal and external factors such as school funding, teaching and learning practices, administrative school policies, and students’ individual characteristics that affect student achievement (e.g., Harris & Mercier, 2000; Klavas, 1994; Papanastasiou, 2002; Schacter, 1999), the Bartosh study did not take these factors into account. Another study conducted by PEI (Bartosh, Tudor, Ferguson, & Taylor, in press) investigated the impact of environmental education on individual students. Approximately 400 middle school students participated, 200 of whom were attending EE programs and the other 200 from traditional classes. To investigate the achievement differences between students in integrated EE programs and non-EE classes, two sets of scores were analyzed: scores on the WASL standardized tests and scores on the PEI’s integrated EE-based assessments. Bartosh et al. (in press) found that students in EE schools had higher scores on the Inquiry, System, and Civics EE-based tests, and that this difference was statically significant (p [inquiry] = 0.036; p [systems] = 0.001; and p [civics] = 0.000). Similarly, analysis of individual students’ WASL test scores in math, reading, writing, and listening indicated that, on average, students from EE schools had  27  higher scores on the WASL tests, although statistically this difference was significant only for two tests (out of four) – for math and writing. It is noteworthy that most studies conducted to date that examine the impact of EE on student learning, look only at younger students, those in elementary and middle schools. This may be explained, in part, by the fact that comprehensive integrated environmental programs are rare at the high school level, where EE tends to be introduced through stand-alone or infusion models. There is a need for rigorous studies that look at high school students’ experiences in EE programs and investigate the possible benefits and challenges of such programs for these older students.  Critical Thinking Cheak, Hungerford, and Volk (2002) studied the experiences of students in an inquiry-based environmental education program called Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions (IEEIA), in a public elementary school in Molokai, Hawaii using qualitative and quantitative methods. Thirty-eight IEEIA students and 28 non-IEEIA students completed two assessments: a critical thinking test in environmental education and a middle school environmental literacy instrument. These researchers found that students in the IEEIA program scored higher both on the critical thinking test (14.18 vs. 10.86, p = .000) and on five out of eight components of the environmental literacy test. During follow-up interviews, the IEEIA students reported that they had improved their reading, writing and communication skills. This is one of the first studies that discusses efforts to measure changes in critical thinking skills in relation to participation in an EE program. However, it has several limitations. The first is the small  28  size of the control and treatment groups. A second limitation is related to the design of the study: the data were not controlled for pre-existing differences in such parameters as gender, achievement level, or the level of environmental literacy and critical thinking skills at the beginning of the program. In their study of the impact of EE on high school students’ critical thinking and achievement motivation, Athman and Monroe (2004a, 2004b) found a strong positive correlation between participation in environmental education programs and higher achievement on state tests. The researchers used a pretest-posttest non-equivalent comparison group design, comparing students who participated in environment-based programs with students who attended traditional programs in the same school. Four hundred and four Grade 9 and 12 students from 11 Florida high schools participated in this project. The study compared students’ scores on three tests that measure critical thinking and motivation (the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, the California Measure of Mental Motivation, the Achievement Motivation Inventory) and found that students in programs designed around an environmental context scored higher than students in the traditional classes. For example, Grade 9 students scored 4.33 points higher on the Cornell Critical Thinking Test than the students in the control group (Athman & Monroe, 2004a). Moreover, participation in environment-based programs led to increased student motivation, with Grade 9 and Grade 12 students scoring 3 and 9 points higher respectively than students in traditional programs (Athman & Monroe, 2004b). In addition to quantitative analysis, the researchers conducted interviews with students and teachers to learn more about the programs and to identify possible factors that could affect motivation and critical thinking. The interviews also indicated that students in EE  29  programs were more motivated and developed a sense of self-empowerment. Athman and Monroe’s study is one of the first published reports that statically examines the impact of EE on critical thinking. While the results are not completely conclusive, their study supports previous qualitative and anecdotal claims that EE has a positive effect on students’ thinking and academic motivation.  Self-esteem Meta-analyses of research on outdoor education efficacy have indicated that participation can contribute to significant changes in self-concept (such as self-efficacy, self-understanding) and locus of control (Cason & Gillis, 1994; Hattie, March, Neil & Richards, 1997). Furthermore, researchers examining the efficacy of environmental education programs (e.g., SEER, NEETF & NAAEE) claim that changes in self-esteem and confidence can be attributed to the participation of children in EE programs. In the American Institutes for Research (2005) study of outdoor programs in four California elementary schools, students were surveyed on five constructs: self esteem, leadership, cooperation, conflict resolution and students’ relationships with their teacher. Students who participated in the course showed positive gains in all five constructs immediately after the program, and significant differences in cooperation and conflict resolution skills were found between groups 6-10 weeks later. Furthermore, teachers reported significant changes in their students in self esteem, conflict resolution, relationship with peers, problem solving, motivation to learn, and behaviour in class. While the study shows positive impact of outdoor programs on students, it is unclear what specific features of the outdoor initiatives or environment may have contributed to these changes.  30  Cross (2002) analyzed the experiences of 17 pairs of high school students, comparing those who participated in a rock climbing camp with students from a traditional program using the Dean Alienation Scale and the New Multidimensional Measure of Children's Perceptions of Control Scale and reported that although the two groups were not  different before the program, the group that participated in the outdoor experience appeared to be less alienated after the program. At the end of the study, students in the rock-climbing camp demonstrated a stronger sense of personal control than did their counterparts. The author concluded that the intensive outdoor experience has a significant effect on at-risk adolescents’ feelings of alienation and perception of control. Research evidence of the impact of EE on students’ self-esteem is controversial, however. Unlike the studies presented above, Kaly and Heesacker (2003) compared experiences of 265 males and females (between 12 and 22 years old) in the summer, ship-based adventure program, Actionquest, and found no significant difference between pre and post test measures of self esteem for the two groups. Overall, while self-esteem is often mentioned as an outcome of EE programs, these claims are based on comments from teachers and/or students, and in most cases the changes in self-esteem are not measured and analyzed statistically (Battersby, 1999; Lieberman & Hoody, 2002; Yap, 1998). It is also often unclear what specific aspects of EE programs bring about change in students’self-esteem. Studies by Cross (2002) and Kaly and Heesacker (2003) presented above had more of an outdoor and recreational focus, and did not involve students in discussions of environmental issues and topics. Because research on how EE programs impact self-esteem are rare, these studies of  31  outdoor and adventure programs were included in this review, although I acknowledge that they provide a limited look at the topic of my investigation.  Engagement and Motivation Learning outside is more fun, so it comes as no surprise that students enjoy classes that take them beyond the school walls. In addition to providing a more engaging context for learning, environmental programs involve students in investigations of reallife issues that are connected to their own lives, and the lives of their communities. Research shows that student motivation and engagement are higher in EE programs compared to programs with traditional curriculum. In their study of the impact of EE on students’ critical thinking and achievement motivation, Athman and Monroe (2004b) found EE Grade 9 and Grade 12 students scored three and nine points higher respectively than students in traditional programs. Similarly, according to Lieberman and Hoody (2002), EE teachers reported an increase in students’ enthusiasm (and motivation to learn) in social studies (95% of teachers), science (98% of teachers), math (89% of teachers), and language arts (94% of teachers). Secker (2004) who conducted a study of three elementary and two middle schools in Maryland, observed that students who were exposed to environmental experiences showed higher engagement scores than students with limited or no environmental experiences and that the difference was statistically significant. The standardized mean difference in engagement scores of students was 10.6 (Secker, 2004). While the majority of the studies that examine the impact of EE programs on students suggest that a change in motivation and engagement relates to the students’  32  participation in the program, in most cases these data were obtained through interviews, observations or self-reported surveys. Only one study has actually measured student motivation using two well-developed and reliable instruments (Athman & Monroe, 2004b). Thus, more studies are needed to assess the impact of EE programs on student motivation and engagement.  Closing Remarks This review illustrates what is known and not known about the impact of EE on student achievement, motivation, engagement, self-esteem and critical thinking. It is evident there are gaps in the literature. The majority of studies that explore the impact of EE were conducted in elementary contexts and focused on students’ performance on the state tests. Few studies assessed the influence of EE on student motivation, engagement and critical thinking skills. While graduation rates, behavior and attendance are considered in some studies, the data collected that relate to these topics are anecdotal rather than empirical. It is critical to provide teachers and administrators with reliable empirical data. While some researchers such as Gruenewald (2003a, 2003b, 2004) critique attempts to legitimize EE in the school system through conducting studies on EE efficacy, these efforts provide practical assistance to teachers and administrators who struggle to integrate EE into their school curricula. These so-called “legitimatization” efforts are important first steps in the transformation of the existing educational system. While Gruenewald (2004) and Bowers (1995, 1996) rightly call for transforming culture and the system of education, we cannot ignore calls from teachers for more evidence of the  33  efficacy of environmental education. Changes in cultural values and practices take years to happen. Teachers need support today for their classroom innovations and programs. My examination of the literature also indicates that there is a need for more rigorous research on the general outcomes of environmental education programs that go beyond environment-specific outcomes. While the studies I examined point to the possible impacts of EE on students, very few methodologically strong studies were identified in this review. Environmental education research needs to be strong in terms f its design, statistical analyses, and sampling techniques. The majority of studies employ basic statistical analysis but do not attempt to control for pre-existing differences when treatment and control groups are compared. Many studies reviewed here were based on small sample sizes, which limit the validity and generalizibility of the findings. Furthermore, researchers frequently use self-report data from students, parents and teachers that provide information about participants’ perceptions of changes and skills only. There is a need to employ other research strategies and instruments that attempt to measure the actual changes (rather than participants’ perceptions of change) in students’ experiences, learning, motivation and engagement. The research presented here begins to address these issues. Using a yearlong mixed method quasi-experimental study, this dissertation explores the learning experiences and outcomes for students who participated in environmental education, and compares these to the experiences and outcomes of students in a traditional program. Chapter 3 presents the description of the research methodology and methods, study participants and the context and content of the programs.  34  CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY  This research examines the learning outcomes that can be enhanced through environmental education programs and the ways in which EE might influence student learning and achievement. I conducted a comparative study of two high school programs in one school in Washington State: an integrated yearlong environmental course (Environmental Action Program) and a regular science course (Inquiry 10). Specifically, I explored the influence of the environmental and regular courses on student achievement across subject areas, student motivation and engagement and their environmental attitudes and identified the learning outcomes that occurred in the two programs1. In this chapter, I describe the methodology used in the research. I first describe the context of the study, which includes the school settings and the programs where the research was conducted, and outline the curricula implemented in both programs. I then describe the participants of the study. Lastly, I detail the methods of data collection and analysis and discuss the limitations of the study.  Environmental Education in Washington State History of Environmental Education in Washington State Washington State has a long history of environmental education. For almost a century, teaching and learning about the environment has been part of both informal and formal education starting with the establishment of the first Boy and Girl Scout troupes  1  American Heritage Dictionary defines a program as a course of academic study; a curriculum. In this dissertation, the terms ‘course’ and ‘program’ are used synonymsly.  35  and YMCA programs in the early 1920s. Many of these early programs focused on nature study, and on agricultural and outdoor education. Because the economy and culture of the state depended on its vast natural resources, the environment was important to the government, policy makers and general population. Since the 1930s a number of initiatives have been undertaken to make environmental education a part of the school curriculum. For instance, in the 1930s the Northwest Regional Council created conservation education curricula and organized teacher workshops for Washington public schools (Wheeler, Thumlert, Glaser, Schoellhamer, & Bartosh, 2007). This work was extended in the 1950s when the Northwest Environmental Education Center (NEEC) was created to support conservation and outdoor education in the state through teacher training and workshops. From 1990 onwards EE has been mandated in every grade and in nearly every subject in Washington State. In 1991, RCW 28A.230.020 regulation (Common School Curriculum Fundamentals in Conduct) prescribed that “all common schools shall give instruction in science with specific reference to the environment. All teachers shall stress the worth of kindness to all living creatures and the land” (MacGregor, 2004, p. 10). Later, a state law was passed by the Washington State Legislature and the Washington State Board of Education (Washington Administrative Code – WAC 180-50-155), which stated that “instruction about conservation, natural resources, and the environment shall be provided at all grade levels in an interdisciplinary manner through science, the social studies, the humanities, and other appropriate areas with the emphasis on solving the problems of human adaptation to the environment” (MacGregor, 2004, p. 10). However, while the requirement was in place, environmental education still was not implemented  36  across all grades and subjects. By the middle of the 1990s, educators, administrators and policy makers began to recognize that they needed to unite their efforts in order to make EE an integral part of the school curriculum. In response to the urgency of this education reform, the Pacific Education Institute, a consortium of stakeholders interested in advancing student learning through curriculum integrated around an environmental theme, was created 1998. This consortium was initially called the Environmental Education Assessment Project and, in 2003, renamed to the Pacific Education Institute (PEI). When it began, PEI was cosponsored by Project Learning Tree (PLT) of the Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA), Project WILD of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Project WET of the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE), and the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)2. Today the partners in PEI include additional representatives from the business community, nonprofit education and environmental organizations, state agencies, national environmental education programs, residential environmental learning centers, school districts, and individual schools. One of the goals of the PEI is to infuse environmental education into school curricula. The Institute developed a set of benchmarks, which integrate existing academic standards into one coherent system using environmental education as a basis for the integration. The PEI also developed performance tasks that integrate core knowledge and skills in language arts, history, civics, math, natural and social sciences, health and the arts. These performance tasks are based on the state standards (the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) and the PEI’s EE benchmarks and can be used to 2  These are state organizations that undertake environmental education initiatives in Washington State.  37  prepare students for the state tests, to improve their critical thinking, analytical, and inquiry skills as well as to assess knowledge and understanding of environmental concepts. In addition to an extensive research agenda, the PEI conducts professional development for teachers and works closely with school districts on developing district wide EE-based curricula. Finally, since 2003 the PEI extended their outreach to 20 schools of education in the state, providing pre-service teacher workshops and support to members of Departments of Education in order to make environmental education a part of the teacher education programs. These united efforts of EE researchers, providers, educators and policy makers led to the creation of the Washington Natural Science, Wildlife, and Environmental Education Partnership Account in 2003 that was established to provide funding for natural science, wildlife, and environmental education opportunities for schools and students “to help achieve the highest quality of excellence in education through compliance with the essential academic learning requirements” (MacGregor, 2004, p. 10).  Washington State Definitions and Frameworks of Environmental Education Since the1990s, a number of attempts have been made to define the goals and objectives of environmental education in the State of Washington. Environmental Education Guidelines for Washington Schools, created by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in 1998 and revised in 2000, defined four goals for environmental education in the state. According to the document (Bergeson, Fitton, Kennedy & Angell, 2000), EE should help students to:  38  1. develop knowledge about the environment and its components as well as understanding of interactions between them; 2. develop understanding of the importance of social and natural systems in sustaining the human economy, physical lives and well-being; 3. understand the impact of personal decisions and actions on the environment; and 4.  develop knowledge and skills necessary to maintain and improve the environment.  Bergeson et al. (2000) believe that there are many strategies that can be used to “engage students constructively in their environments”, such as service-learning projects, integrated curriculum, school site-management, and the usage of technology (p. iii). Also, they argue that environmental education can become a tool for improving student achievement in other disciplines as well as strengthening their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Between 1997 and 2001, using state, national and international perspectives and benchmarks, the Pacific Education Institute developed another EE guideline Environmental Education Benchmarks - that describes environmental literacy in terms of knowledge and skills in four areas: research-based inquiry, systems interactions, civic participation, and understanding of the arts and culture (Ferguson, Tudor, Bartosh, & Angell, 2004a; Ferguson, Tudor, Bartosh, & Angell, 2004b). Unlike the previously constructed standards, the PEI’s benchmarks are performance oriented and describe the performances in each of four areas that students should be able to do in order to  39  demonstrate a high level of environmental literacy at the end of elementary, middle and high school. Research-Based Inquiry, the first benchmark, identifies inquiry skills that are an important part of environmental literacy. To solve environmental problems students should be able to investigate issues and questions, collect and analyze information, understand perspectives of different stakeholders and find solutions to the problems or provide recommendations on how to improve the situation. The second benchmark focuses on understanding of interactions between social and natural systems. According to PEI, understanding of natural and social systems and their interdependence is a crucial element of environmental education and environmental literacy. Students should understand the natural and social processes and how they affect each other, be aware of factors that affect the sustainability of ecosystems and understand how all major stakeholders influence, manage and regulate the systems. Active participation in solving environmental problems is the end goal of environmental education. PEI’s Civic Participation benchmark describes what performances students should be able to do in order to demonstrate a high level of civic participation skills. For instance, one of the performances states that students should be able to develop and implement a plan to resolve an environmental issue. Finally, the arts are one of the ways to communicate information about the environment. According to PEI, students should understand the relationship between a contemporary or historic culture’s use of natural resources and its art forms, be aware of the ways different art forms are used to convey messages about the environment and be able to critically analyze the messages that represent views of different groups.  40  Environmental Education in Washington State Schools: The Reality How do schools and teachers in the state of Washington respond to the requirement to incorporate EE in all grades and subjects? Studies conducted in the state indicate that while teachers support environmental education, school districts often do not consider EE to be an important subject. The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory surveyed superintendents of all public schools in the state to assess the level of environmental education implementation (Arrasmith, 1995). Out of 305 superintendents contacted, 108 completed the survey (36% return rate). The survey found that fewer than 30 percent of school districts had developed policies for implementing environmental education. At the same time most of the schools include EE in their programs. At the elementary and middle school level, about 75 percent of respondents reported offering some kind of environmental education (Arrasmith, 1995). However, the number of EE programs decreases at the high school level. In 2003, Pacific Education Institute compiled a list of schools that offer environmental education programs in the state and claimed that 53.4% of the schools were doing environmental education in at least one classroom (MacGregor, 2004). Analysis of the content of the programs indicates that most of them focus on science and/or social issues and are implemented as a part of the science or social studies courses (Arrasmith, 1995). The most popular topics are resource conservation and recycling with least attention given to economic development and discussion of cultural and historical issues.  41  Another study conducted by the Northwest Environmental Education Council and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) assessed the status of EE in public schools in the state (McWayne & Ellis, 2003). The study surveyed 709 public schools (27% of all schools in the state) and found that 23% of respondents were not aware of Washington State’s EE Mandate (WAC 180-50-115) that requires that environmental education to be taught in all subjects and grades. At the same time about half of the surveyed teachers (47%) use environmental education to align their curriculum activities with state standards, which indicates that some teachers see the benefits of environmental education for their students and the possibilities for integrated teaching and learning that EE provides. The study found that the main focus of EE programs was to teach students about the natural world (91%) and to develop scientific knowledge and skills (80%) as well as to develop students’ awareness of how actions affect the environment (85%). Only 45% of respondents mentioned that they use EE to develop student environmental stewardship. Furthermore, while the majority of teachers (74%) participating in the study believed in the beneficial impact of environmental education on student achievement, 87% mentioned that they would like to have more information about EE’s impact on student learning. This illustrates the need for more research on EE and student achievement that can provide empirical evidence to support teachers’ in undertaking environmental programs. To conclude, the studies conducted in the state suggest that there is an interest in environmental education among state policy makers, district administrators, superintendents, and teachers. However, the studies also suggest that there is a need for  42  more research on the impact of EE on students and the description of models of how environmental education can be introduced into the school curriculum. This dissertation addresses these needs by describing a model of a yearlong integrated environmental education program and exploring how such a program impacts student learning outcomes and experiences.  Context of the Study This study explores and analyses the experiences of high school students in an environmental education program in a Washington State public school and compares the learning outcomes that occur in the program with experiences of students who participated in a regular high school science program. This study was conducted in one public high school in Washington State. Several attributes influenced site selection: 1) instructional models currently operating in the site school; 2) researcher familiarity with the school, school district and their educational policies; and 3) interest and support from school, district and larger community. To investigate the differences in learning experiences of high school students in EE and non-EE programs, I looked for a high school that had both an integrated EE program and a traditional science program. While many EE programs exist both in the USA and Canada, few high schools offer integrated yearlong environmental programs. From my previous work in Washington State, I was familiar with the schools and school districts and knew the types and quality of the programs implemented in various schools  43  of the state. This allowed me to identify a high school that implemented the model I aimed to investigate and at the same time offered traditional programs and courses that could serve as a control group. Finally, the support from teachers and administrators of the school is crucial for the success of a research project. School district and school personnel were interested in, and supportive of, the proposed research project and viewed it as a way to evaluate the programs of the school and identify areas for improvement. So, in addition to my research goals, my study conducted in this school had “real-life” application.  The Setting: School and School District Description School District The WA School District3 is located in a suburban community of 17,800 and within a 30-minute drive of a major urban centre. The district has three high schools (junior, senior and alternative), two middle and four elementary schools and serves 7,000 students from pre-kindergarten to grade twelve. The goal of the district is to create a community of lifelong learners through development of integrated programs, inquirybased curricula, diverse teaching and learning strategies and strong emphasis on problem-solving, critical thinking and decision-making skills. Over the years, the district teachers and curriculum, assessment and resource staff worked closely with the Pacific Education Institute (PEI) to design interesting and innovative programs with inquiry, critical thinking and environmental education as threads uniting different grade levels and subject areas. Aided by these coordinated efforts, the district has become one of 10  3  School district, school and program names as well as students’ and teachers’ names used in this thesis are pseudonyms.  44  high performing districts in the state with students scoring in the top 10 percent statewide on the state standardized tests in mathematics, language arts and science. Several environmental programs are offered by the school district, and the majority of students are exposed to environmental education in one grade or another. For instance, all Grade 5 students in the District participate in a three-day adventure program at a camp on an island in north Puget Sound. In Grade 6, students study tides, currents and weather of Puget Sound. In Grade 8 students participate in the biosphere project, which integrates all sciences, art, mathematics, language arts and social sciences. Grade 10 students can participate in a yearlong environmental program, and Grade 12 students can take an Environmental Sciences course.  The School Washington High School offers courses for grades 10 through 12 and provides a variety of programs in fine arts, core academic areas, technical/vocational training and co-curriculum areas. According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website (OSPI, 2007), the school serves approximately 1,500 students a year. In the 2005-06 academic year (the year of the study), 49.9% of students were male and 50.1% were female. The majority of the student population was White (91.6%) with 3.5% of Hispanic, 2.9 % of Asian and 2% of Black and American Indian/Alaskan students. Only 7.8% of students received free or reduced lunch. The percentage of special needs students was small (8.1%) but, according to the school district, the number is growing. About 90% of students graduate on time, and the annual dropout rate is between two and three percent.  45  According to the OSPI website (OSPI, 2007), in 2005-06 Washington High School had 89 teachers. Seventy percent of the teachers hold at least a Master’s degree. The average number of years of teaching experience was 14.5 years. Almost all teachers meet OSPI’s “highly qualified” definition and many receive district, state and national teaching awards.  Study Participants Students In 2005-2006, 79 students were enrolled in the Environmental Action Program (EAP), randomly selected by the EAP teachers. Those who were not selected for EAP or chose not to apply were randomly assigned into the “traditional” Inquiry 10 classes, since science is a mandatory subject for Grade 10 students. Five teachers teach the Inquiry 10 program (2-4 sections each). One of these teachers volunteered to participate in this study and his four sections of Inquiry 10 became the comparison group. Twenty percent of Inquiry 10 students initially applied for the EAP program. Students from both programs were contacted and invited to participate in the study. Consent forms explaining the research study were sent home for parents to sign. Out of 200 students, 180 agreed to participate and 35 volunteered for the follow-up interviews. The majority of students in both programs were White with English as their first language. As seen from Table 3.1, the gender distribution in the EAP program is similar to the Inquiry 10 program and to the gender distribution at the school and state levels.  46  Table 3.1. Demographics of Participants State  School  EAP  Inquiry 10  1,026,682  1,588  79  102  Male  51.5%  50.4%  53.8%  47.1%  Female  48.5%  49.6%  46.2%  52.9%  N/A  N/A  98.7%  97.1%  # of students Gender  Non-ESL Note. N/A – Not Available  Overall, the study participants in the EAP and Inquiry 10 groups were similar in their demographic characteristics, and socio-economic status (e.g., free /reduced lunch, mother’s education) (see Table 3.2). They were selected from the same school and grade level. No statistically significant difference was found between the groups in terms of the performance on pre-program assessments that included comparison of grade point averages, Inquiry pre-program test scores, Attitude-to-School scores, and views on environmental protection and conservation and outdoor activities. These instruments will be described later in this section in more detail. Students in both programs had been exposed to environmental education in earlier grades as EE is a part of elementary and middle school curricula in the school district. As in any regular high school, both EAP and Inquiry 10 students had a choice of selecting either regular or advanced classes in math and language arts. Because English was one of the three subjects integrated in the EAP program, none of the EAP students took advanced classes in this area. During the 2005-06 academic year 37 students (36%) from the Inquiry 10 class attended one or more advanced placement classes compared to  47  22 (28%) of the students from the EAP class. In this thesis, I will refer to students who attended advanced placement classes as “advanced” students. Students who were not enrolled in any advanced placement courses will be referred to as “regular”. Table 3.2 summarizes similarities and differences in participant characteristics for EAP and Inquiry groups. It is necessary to point out that I was able to evaluate only a subset of participants’ characteristics; thus there might be other features that were different for the EAP and Inquiry students that were not measured in this study.  Table 3. 2. Participant Characteristics for EAP and Inquiry 10 Groups Participant characteristics Demographic characteristics (gender, age, EAL,  Comparison  Significance testing  No difference  ethnicity) Location  No difference  Prior exposure to EE  No difference  Grade level  No difference  Socio-economic status (% students receiving  No difference  X2(163) = 4.117, p = 0.249  Educational goals*  No difference  X2(162) = 1.887, p = 0.596  Views on environmental protection and  No difference  free/reduced lunch; mother’s education*)  conservation Views on the value of outdoor activities  No difference  % of “advanced” students  Lower for EAP  Pre-program GPA*  No difference  t(173) = -.0459, p = 0.647  Pre-program Inquiry skills*  No difference  F(1, 160) = 0.020, p = 0.889  Pre-program Attitude to school (motivation,  No difference  t(173) = -.009, p = 0.993  enjoyment, behaviour)*  * No statistically significant difference found  48  Teachers Four teachers participated in this research study: three teachers, Philip, George, and Alex, who taught in the EAP and one teacher, Mark, who taught four sections of the Inquiry 10 program. All teacher participants were male. Philip teaches Language Arts in the Environmental Action Program. In addition, on the alternate days he also teaches Yearbook and Film as Literature classes. At the time of the study he had four years of teaching experience, all of which had been at Washington High. George had been teaching at Washington High for 10 years. He was a graduate of the school, who had returned to teach there after he completed his teacher education program. George teaches science in the EAP and regular Chemistry classes on the alternate days. Alex had been teaching at the school for 11 years. He teaches health and fitness classes in the EAP and regular health and fitness and outdoor recreation on alternate days for other grade levels. Mark, whose classes served as a comparison group in this study, teaches Inquiry 10. At the time this study was conducted he had more than 10 years of teaching experience. In addition to his teaching, Mark also participates in the curriculum and assessment projects organized by the school district and state organizations. All four teachers were National Board Certified and had received a number of district, regional and national awards. For instance, Philip, George and Alex were recognized as “Teachers of the Year” by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2006. In the same year, Alex was awarded the Northwest District High  49  School Teacher of the Year Award. In 2006, Mark was recognized by the students of the school as the “Best Teacher of the Year”.  Program Descriptions The section below provides in-depth descriptions of the two programs explored in this study. I draw upon teacher and student interview data, observations and document analysis to provide a detailed look at each program.  The Environmental Action Program One of the programs selected for this study was the Environmental Action Program (EAP), a yearlong Grade 10 outdoor and environmental program that combines three subject areas (science, language arts, health and fitness) and has a large servicelearning component that involves students in environmental service-learning in county nature parks. The program is taught by three teachers who work to integrate their subject areas around topics of environmental education, outdoors and stewardship. Initially, the program was designed as a course for at-risk students and students underachieving in language arts and science. However, since 2004 it enrolls students of all levels of achievement and behaviour. Students have to apply for the program by the end of grade 9. As the number of applicants usually is two or three times higher than the number of spaces in the program, teachers randomly select names from the list. Students who do not get into the program are randomly assigned into regular Inquiry 10 classes. In 20052006, 20% of students in the Inquiry 10 program had applied to the EAP.  50  According to the school district administration, the goal of the EAP is to improve student learning as well as to teach students to become environmentally literate citizens and life-long learners; to create a link between learning in school and the world around them; and to explore the local areas and the impact of humans on the environment (District representative, interview, September 2005). When asked about the goals of the program, George, Philip and Alex provided a unified answer: the program is about integration and relationships between students, environment and community. Its goal is to create an atmosphere that encourages learning, and critical thinking and helps students to become more successful in school and later in life. The program is also about promoting involvement with the community through service-learning and volunteering and learning about natural and environmental resources that are available. As a result, the teachers devote a lot of time and effort to create an environment and activities that promote community development and stewardship, and allow integration of science, language arts, health and fitness. Students meet every other day (the school has a rotating schedule) and stay in the EAP for an entire school day4. A typical day starts with a whole group session in the lecture hall when teachers and students discuss environmental issues using presentations, newspaper articles, books and guest lectures. Students then have time to discuss the issues with their peers and write reflections in their science journals. On other days, the time in the lecture hall is used to prepare for an outdoor trip or to catch up on some subject specific topics or assignments. This time is also used for guest speakers and for group work on integrated assignments. After the common lecture in the lecture hall, the  4  The EAP meets on “blue” days – every second day. On the alternative “gold” days students attend other courses and programs that are not part of the EAP.  51  group is divided into three groups: one per teacher. The groups rotate between the teachers for the rest of the day, and all students participate in one science, one language arts and one health and fitness class. During these classes all three teachers work to address the curriculum for their subject area as well as integrate the topic of environmental stewardship and introduce integrated assignments. However, the integration between subject areas and environmental topics differs from class to class and subject to subject. While there are classes when teachers work on integrated assignments, time is also devoted to subject specific strategies and concepts. The curriculum encompasses the themes of stewardship, environmental sustainability and responsibility and was designed by the three teachers who used existing resources on outdoor and environmental education and ecology and tailored them to the needs of their students. Table 3.3 presents the summary of the program topics and activities.  52  Table 3.3. Environmental Action Program Curriculum Topics and Activities  September-December Unit Topic: Man and Nature. Exploring humankind’s relationship with the natural world. Personification of nature.  Integrated Assignment: Research project on water/river issues  Language Arts  Health & Fitness  Science  Service-learning  Other Field Experiences  Old Man and the Sea • Characterization, metaphor, symbolism, allegory, allusion, and theme/motif  Fishing skills and activities • Fishing Equipment; casting, fly tying, & knots; casting competition; personification of Rod, Cast  Aquatic Invertebrates • Life cycles; classification; water quality (including chemistry, biology, environmental impact, needs)  Aquatic Invertebrate Survey  Hikes  River Runs Through It • Reinforcing skills from Old Man and the Sea; personification (reinforced with outdoor trips); foreshadowing; expository essay Additional reading materials • Stewardship  Stewardship • “Leave No Trace” approach5 Reading water Life cycle of aquatic invertebrates  Research component (river project) • Working with secondary sources Lord of the Flies (LOTF) • Theme/motif; symbolism; allegory; diction  Communities & ecosystems Managing human affected ecosystems  Fish identification River practice  January – March Unit Topic: World of life. Risk. Perseverance.  Experimental design (research project)  Symbolism • Spotted owl; salmon  Stewardship • identifying and reconciling issues Habitat Restoration • Invasive species removal Trail building  Habits of mind • Gathering data through the senses; • Responding with wonderment and awe • Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision • Listening with understanding and empathy  Links to curriculum • Personification work; theme work; symbolism work; reflective writing • Casting practice  River culminating project  Orienteering • LOTF exercise; GPS Rock Climbing  Organisms & Systems • Interrelationships; limiting factors; human-environment  Data collection • Erosion evaluation; soil data collection; mapping the area  Hikes and Snowshoeing Amazing race  5  Leave No Trace is an international program that educates people about how to reduce their impact on the environment when they engage in outdoor activities (hiking, camping, snowshoeing, running, fishing, skiing, climbing, biking and other activities) and helps participants understand and practice minimum impact skills and ethics.  53  Language Arts  Thematic unit (perseverance, ambition, dual nature, addiction to risk) • Into Thin Air • Touching the Void Integrated Assignment: writing assignment  April Unit Topic: Biking and poetry  Health & Fitness • Terminology & equipment; techniques; rescue; communication; safety; movement principles; and climbing activities Fitness Testing • Personal Fitness Plan  Science interaction; continuity of life; stream/river dynamics Cartography/Mapping • Soil  Service-learning  Other Field Experiences  Habitat Restoration • Invasive species removal; planting of native species  Habits of mind • Persistence • Taking responsible risks • Managing impulsivity  Trail building DNA  Other skills • GIS training • Arcview training  Touching the Void • Group discussion  Research project  Links to curriculum • Orienteering; rescue training  Literature Circles • Readings about nature and environment  Biking • Safety; maintenance; skills; field experience  Human Body Systems  Habitat Restoration  Bike trips  Trail building  Poetry  Fitness Testing • Personal Fitness Plan  Links to curriculum • Outdoor poetry  Habits of Mind • Thinking flexibly • Responding with wonderment and awe  Hikes and camping trip  WASL practice May-June Unit Topic: Field investigations  Integrated Assignment: “I went to the Woods” culminating project with stewardship focus  Into the Wild • Discussion skills; diction; irony Walden • Stewardship; text-totext connections; selfreliance & nature  Stewardship  Ecology  Habitat Restoration  River restoration  Identification of plants and animals • Field guides; systems; STELLA (modeling software)  Trail building  Conservancy exploration  Ethnobotony  Links to curriculum • Field survey/guide development • Outdoor reading/writing  “I went to the Woods” Personal narrative  54  Science. George teaches science using Biology: an Ecological Approach, a textbook developed by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study group, articles from local and national press, and materials such as Project Learning Tree, Project Wet and Project Wild. Over the course of the year he covers a number of topics such as communities and ecosystems, aquatic invertebrates, life cycles, water quality, interdependence between human and environmental systems, human body, ecology and ethnobotany, and experimental design and inquiry. He seldom lectures. Most of his lessons involve discussions, group work and student presentations. Students use articles, books and the internet to search for information. George’s goals for this program are to help students “create relationships with peers” as well as to teach them science related content. He also believes that the outdoors provide a unique context for learning science (as well as other subjects). During interviews, the students vividly talked about their science projects and activities. As seen from interview excerpts with Ann and Dale, experiments and hands on activities conducted outside the classroom were dear to the students’ hearts. The descriptions provided by students and my observations indicated that George used inquiry-based approaches and was teaching students how to design and conduct a proper experiment and collect valid data. We had to make a hypothesis on about the water, like the plants [and] how they grow and if there is more plants in this spot, and we had to make a whole science experiment, and then we had to do it and collect all the data, and that was fun. (Ann, student interview, 2006) Similarly, Dale talked at length about his water experiment: We’ve done a lot of with like rivers and bugs in the rivers and stuff. First, we wrote questions on what we want to do, questions about the river, and what would look like a good scientific investigation question. So I did some kind of bug  55  study. Like how logs in the river affect bugs. We had to go to the river and go to different sites and collect data and to into the river and get bugs. [I found] pretty much what I expected. I mean I thought that there will be more bugs kind of downstream than it would be upstream from the logs so, and it was pretty much what I thought. I did a lot of research in class to find out what it’s going to be before we went there, so I kind of based my stuff on that research. And it was right. I think because the water runs past the logs and there is material, organic stuff that comes off of it which bugs it, so there are more bugs downstream because all that stuff is washed off the log and they eat it. Downstream there is more food, so there are more bugs. (Dale, student interview, 2006)  Language Arts. Philip teaches language arts classes. Like the other teachers, he believes that learning happens better outside. In his view, integration and the use of the environment as a context for learning “lead to the process of reading”. Over the course of the year, the students read books about nature, human, and environment interactions such as The Old Man and the Sea, River Runs Through It, Touching the Void and Into the Wild. “There are a lot of books that you could use in the classroom,” Philip tells me during our interview, [There are] all sorts of materials about outdoors. So I am teaching the same skills [as in a regular program] but the novels are related to nature and outdoors and interconnectedness of humans and nature. So materials that I am using with these students are pretty similar to the regular classes. The content is different. (Phillip, teacher interview, 2005) During language arts classes students talk about characterization, metaphors, symbolism, and allegory, learn expository writing skills, develop skills on working with secondary sources of information, talk about stewardship, risk taking and control, and develop discussion and diction skills. All students commented that language arts were integrated with the other subjects in the program. When asked about activities that he did during the year, Sam described the different approach his EAP teachers use.  56  Usually we just write lab reports, and this time we did the lab and did all of that, and then we wrote a story about it. Which was different, it was more like an English paper than a science paper but it was connected. They [teachers] had a plot for us and it was a murder story. And we did DNA testing because that was what we were learning about, about DNA, to find who killed him, and then we had to do it as a story and connect everything. (Sam, student interview, 2006)  Health and Fitness. Alex teaches health and fitness both to the EAP students and to other grades on the alternate days. In his class, he focuses on “doing things”. When asked about his personal goal for the course, he reflects that he wants “students to become more independent about their fitness, rather me telling them what to do, do what they are able to do. And they know how to develop and implement and make it as a habit in their life.” Furthermore, while the skills and approaches he uses in EAP are not that different from other classes that he teaches, the content and context are. Actually it’s not different from my other classes. I think that the part that would be different from my other classes would be that instead of volleyball or basketball I may have students do more relevant and life-long activities. We go out on hikes and do heart rate monitor training. Things that they can use while going on a hike, things that could be more relevant than when they are playing basketball. [I am] trying to find something for them that they would want to continue on for the rest of their life. (Alex, teacher interview, 2006) So, while regular PE classes taught by Alex focus on athletic skills and games, EAP Health and Fitness incorporates fishing, rock climbing, hiking and biking throughout the year. These activities provide background skills and knowledge for language arts and science projects and assignments. In addition, service-learning activities that all students participate in during the year are also considered a part of health and fitness.  Environmental Education and Stewardship. Environmental education and stewardship are important parts of the program. The teachers integrate these topics into curriculum  57  through EE-based integrated assignments and discussions. Not every lesson in every subject has an EE focus, however. Teachers explained that “there is no unit or a specific lesson like that. [EE] is just a component of the whole program.” Environmental topics are included in discussions and presentations during the common hour in the morning. As George noted, In large group we usually talk about different issues. We talk about problems, current issues that appear in the papers, we talk about stewardship. So if something [is] going on, we usually include [it in] a discussion. We talk. (George, teacher interview, 2005) In addition, a number of research projects that focus on environmental issues such as water quality, and soil testing are conducted during the year. Students have one group research project in which they investigate an issue related to a local stream at one of the service-learning sites. Every student also completes a secondary research project that has them select an environmental issue or a stewardship topic and research it. Students are taught how to do the information search, work with information sources and write a report. As described by Dale, One day we wrote 30 or 40 different topics on the board. We started off with global warming and then things that were affected by global warming and then we kind of broaden it to this environmental stuff all over... you know, trees, fishing, life in oceans. Things to do with the environment. Then [we] started research them, and make note cards and write outlines. And now we are at the point when we are writing a paper. It’s kind of the whole research process. (Dale, student interview, 2006) Another student, Ann, talked about her project. We are doing a project right now, we chose [an issue] that we have to think about. I chose waste, and I found out what waste do to our environment. And everybody does his own topic. The teachers teach us about it, and we are still finding out facts, and then we’ll have to write a paper about it. I write how we can recycle, and that we need to reduce the waste because they affect our environment. What we do now will affect future generations. (Ann, student interview, 2006)  58  Finally, environmental and stewardship education was a part of outdoor activities during which students participated in service-learning projects and discussed environmental topics. According to George, “It’s something that we also do when we go outside. When we go on the field trips, we discuss how to be respectful and you know leave no trace. We talk about that a lot.” At the same time, all three teachers believed that there is a lot of room for improvement. One of their future goals was to find ways to integrate environmental education more effectively and fully into the program.  Service-learning. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that can be employed to achieve the “action” goals of environmental education. Some consider it to be one of the elements of a successful environmental education program (Athman & Monroe, 2004a, b). It allows educators to design programs that integrate academic learning with meaningful service that meets needs of the community and includes personal development and stewardship. All three teachers of the Environmental Action Program named “connecting” and “giving back to the community” as one of the main goals of their program. To meet this goal, two service-learning projects were designed and incorporated into the program. From September to June, students are involved in the restoration of the natural area at Log Cabin Reach where they work with the county representatives removing invasive species and planting native plants. As Ann (a student) described, “we planted trees at Log Cabin Reach, we planted like a lot, and then we removed blackberry bushes, because they are invasive and then we put this black mat  59  over the trees that we just planted, so the blackberry bushes cannot grow back and kill the trees. And that’s pretty cool.” Another service-learning project involves trail building and maintenance in a neighbouring nature park. “We went to Taylor Mountain and we cleaned all the trails, like we clean all the roots and stuff and the leaves, and that was interesting”, shared Ann in her interview. In addition to serving as a space for the service work, both sites are also used to teach classroom concepts and topics. For instance, students conduct a soil survey and water quality tests, the results of which are reported to the county officials. While in the out-of-doors, the students also learn fishing skills, rescue techniques and mapping and orienteering. The time is also used to reflect on the issues discussed in class and to write poems and journal entries. During in-class and outdoor activities the EAP teachers continuously work on helping students develop “habits of mind” (Costa & Kallick, 2000) such as gathering data through all the senses, listening with understanding and empathy, being persistent and managing impulsivity, and thinking and communicating with clarity and precision. To evaluate student learning in the EAP teachers use a variety of assessments that ranged from traditional quizzes and short reflections to large integrated research and writing projects. For example, students designed and carried out an investigation related to a water issue (science) during their outdoor classes and wrote a report summarizing their findings (science and language arts). They also wrote a paper on an environmental issue in which they had to demonstrate both understanding of the concepts related to the topic (science) and their ability to use, cite and reference various sources of information  60  (language arts). Other integrated assignments asked students to write a fiction/mystery story. Students were provided with the beginning of the story and the facts from a “crime scene” in the mountains and had to create a story (language arts) that would solve the mystery using knowledge of DNA concepts (science), and skills and knowledge of rock climbing learned during their health and fitness classes. Finally, at the end of the year, students had to reflect on their experiences in the program through the “I went to the Woods” writing project, in which they explored their relationship with the natural world and their understanding of stewardship ideas.  The Inquiry 10 Program Inquiry 10 is a course offered at Washington High. This is a yearlong course which is a continuation of the Inquiry 9 program that enrolled all students in grade 9. The goal of the course is to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to become science literate citizens and effectively prepare students for the WASL Science test. Mark uses BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach textbook developed by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study’s Center for Curriculum Development (BSCS, 2005). In 2005-2006, the Inquiry 10 course consisted of four units. Unit 1, Interactions are Interesting, focused on concepts of forces and motion. Unit 2, Inside Life, looked at ideas of genetics and evolution. Unit 3, Moving Material, examined the carbon cycle and tectonics. Unit 4, Sustaining Earth Systems, explored basic ecology concepts such as ecosystems, population interactions, and carrying capacity and discussed the topic of environmental quality. The course is organized around a 5E instructional model which  61  consists of the following phases: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation (BSCS, 2005) and engages students in inquiry explorations of the topics. During the year, Mark also focuses a lot on thinking and learning skills. Through different activities and discussions, he works to help students to understand what it means to learn, what are best practices for learning, and how their personal beliefs and understanding were changing throughout the year. Teaching and learning in the Inquiry 10 program is group oriented. Almost every class, students work in groups conducting experiments or completing tasks from the textbook or worksheets. Discussion is a major teaching and learning approach and a great deal of time is spent in having students talk about the concepts and share their ideas and understandings. To evaluate student achievement in Inquiry 10, Mark uses a range of assessment approaches that included quizzes, lab reports, and tests. In addition, at the end of the Sustaining Earth Systems unit students participated in a community forum on environmental issues where each class explored one issue from different perspectives. Students were assessed on their understanding of environmental issues as well as their ability to present and discuss information that related to the topic of the forum.  Comparison of Features in EAP and Inquiry 10 In summary, this study compares student experiences in two grade 10 programs (one with an environmental education theme and another with a science focus) and explores how participation in these programs influences students’ learning outcomes and achievement. As seen from the descriptions above the programs have a number of similarities and differences. Both are inquiry-based and focus on developing critical  62  thinking and inquiry skills. Teachers engage students in group work and discussions and emphasize the importance of communication and collaboration. All four teachers want students to connect school learning to their everyday lives and other subject areas. However, while the Inquiry 10 curriculum focuses more on connections between science areas, the EAP links not only three subject areas (science, language arts, and health and fitness) but also incorporates community and real life issues. Table 3.4 presents a comparison of the EAP and Inquiry 10 programs.  Table 3.4. Comparison of Features in EAP and Inquiry 10 EAP # of students Schedule  • •  # of teachers Assignment to the program Goals  • • •  • •  • Group work Outdoor activities Integration  • • •  Service-learning Component Instructional Activities and Approaches  • • •  79 Every second day/ entire school day Three Application followed by random assignment Learning about natural and environmental resources as well and subject specific knowledge and skills Stewardship Connections among students, environment and community Personal development (Habits of Mind) Yes Yes Science, language arts, and health & fitness Yes Integrated across subjects Some textbook based  Inquiry 10 • 102 • Every second day/ one period • One • Random assignment • • • •  Learning science Connections among science areas Communication Personal development (“Be a better person”)  • • •  Yes No Across science areas  •  No  •  Integrated across science areas Entirely textbook based  •  63  EAP Assessment Strategies •  •  Traditional (quizzes, tests, lab, writing assignments) Integrated  Inquiry 10 •  Traditional (quizzes, tests, lab, writing assignments)  In addition to learning subject specific knowledge and skills, all four teachers want their students to become better people and to acquire positive habits of mind. Teachers focus on teamwork, ethics, empathy, and on trying to help students develop new social skills. While both programs engage students in hands-on activities, students in Inquiry 10 remain inside and conduct experiments in the school science lab. The EAP students participate in fieldtrips and outdoor activities throughout the year, and conduct field investigations outdoors. The EAP students are also involved in service-learning projects with the purpose of supporting community environmental groups and helping students develop stewardship and a sense of responsibility. Due to the integrated nature of the EAP, students completed science, language arts and health and fitness courses as a part of the program. Because language arts and health and fitness are mandatory subjects for Grade 10 students, all Inquiry 10 students also attended one language arts and one health and fitness class. Thus, the exposure of students to science, language arts and health and fitness instruction (in hours) was the same in both groups. While I selected students in the Inquiry 10 program as my comparison group, I explored students’ experiences in other subject areas through interviews (these will be described below in detail). The interviews indicated that while some variations in terms of readings and assignments existed between the groups, teaching and assessment were similar across the subject areas. For example, according to 64  the interviews, Inquiry 10 students reported learning about characterization, metaphor, symbolism, allegory, allusion, and motif, and reading Lord of the Flies in their language classes, thus covering the same topics as EAP students. However, the EAP was the only program that used environmental and stewardship topics as a context for learning. This information suggests that with the exception of environmental and service-learning, experiences of students in both groups were comparable.  Research Approach Newman, Ridenour, Newman, and DeMarco (2003) argue that selection of research methods should start with understanding one’s research purpose and selecting the right research questions. The goals of this research are (1) to understand a complex phenomenon – student learning and (2) to add to the knowledge base about EE influence on student learning and to seek evidence that can support EE implementation in schools. To address these goals I adopted a mixed methods research strategy (Newman et al., 2003). I engaged in testing/measuring the effect of the programs using quantitative methods (GPA, standardized test scores and Inquiry tests and survey). I also examined student experiences and learning using qualitative methods that included semi-structured interviews and observations. There are both supporters and opponents of mixed methods research. The most vivid debate focuses on whether mixing of qualitative and quantitative paradigms is actually possible. Briefly summarized, the qualitative paradigm, based on a naturalistic worldview (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) is interested in exploring meanings of people’s experiences, and how people make sense of their lives and the world. In this paradigm,  65  reality is regarded as socially constructed. The researcher, who is actively involved in the research process, builds abstractions, concepts, and theories from observations, interviews and interactions using complex, interwoven descriptions and variables that are difficult to measure. In contrast, the quantitative paradigm, based on a positivist worldview, has been characterized as regarding reality as single, objective and fragmented (Creswell, 1994, 2003). This paradigm often concentrates on what can be measured and analyzed statistically. Facts and events are seen as objective reality and, thus, are independent of the researcher and learner. While these paradigms are based on different worldviews, logic and views of reality, Caracelli and Greene (1997) and Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004) identify several parallels between qualitative and quantitative research. These authors argue that the criteria of truthworthiness (or validity) in qualitative research (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; Lincoln & Guba, 1985) include the notions of credibility and transferability that are similar to the concepts of internal and external validity used by quantitative researchers (Johnson & Christensen, 2000, 2008). Furthermore, both qualitative and quantitative researchers attempt to minimize confirmation bias and other sources of invalidity (or lack of trustworthiness) that exist in every study (Sandelowski, 1986). Finally, both quantitative and qualitative methodologies “describe their data, construct explanatory arguments from their data, and speculate about why the outcomes they observed happened as they did” (Sechrest & Sidani, 1995, p. 78). Tashikorri and Teddie (2003) and Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004) argue that there is a third paradigm that is linked to mixed methods research. This paradigm is grounded in a compatibility thesis as well as in the philosophy of pragmatism (Johnson &  66  Onwuegbuzie, 2004; Tashikorri & Teddie, 2003). Proponents of this third research paradigm argue that quantitative and qualitative methods are compatible, and that they can both be used in a single research study. Supporters of the philosophy of pragmatism suggest using the combination of methods that work best in a real world situation, regardless of the philosophical or paradigmatic assumptions. One of the limitations of the mixed methods, however, is that this approach requires a researcher to be proficient in both qualitative and quantitative methods (Creswell & Plano, 2007). This can be addressed by forming a team of researchers who have qualitative and quantitative expertise or by training a single researcher in both methods. Furthermore, the researcher would need to move between the paradigms playing a role of an objective observer during quantitative data collection events and then becoming a participant observer who actively interacts with participants during qualitative data collection. Finally, as Creswell and Plano (2007) indicate, qualitative and quantitative studies often involve different sample sizes and different sampling strategies, and their convergence may present challenges for researchers as they interpret the results. My perspective on paradigm mixing is based on the “dialectic” stance as described by Tashikorri and Teddie (2003). I do not prioritize one paradigm over the other, but rather prefer to build upon the strengths of each method. To fully exploit strengths of each underlying paradigmatic position, I chose a mixed methods model that uses Triangulation Design (Creswell, Plano Clark, Gutmann, & Hanson, 2003) to obtain complementary qualitative and quantitative data on the same topic. Figure 3.1 presents the research design of my study. As seen from the figure, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis are marginally mixed which as described by Creswell (2003)  67  means that they are conducted concurrently during the same time frame and both methods are given equal weight. Each data set is analyzed using methods best suited for that data type. The integration of methods occurs primarily at the data analysis and interpretation stages where I attempt to bring my findings together to provide a more comprehensive and in-depth analysis (Greene & Caraselli, 1997).  Purpose of the Research  • To understand a complex phenomenon • To measure/test the effects of EE programs as compared to non-EE programs  Research Questions  • What learning outcomes occur in EE programs? • Are there differences in student learning experiences between EE and non-EE programs? Qualitative • To describe • To explore similarities and differences  Quantitative • To measure • To correlate & compare  Methodology Data Collection Instruments  Interview Observations  Tests Surveys  Data Analysis  Codes Themes  Statistical analysis (ttests, ANCOVA, etc.)  Interpretation  Synthesis of qualitative and quantitative findings  Figure 3.1. Research design of the study  My rationale for using mixed methods research is that this approach supports complementarity and triangulation (Johnson & Christensen, 2000; Tashikorri & Teddie, 2003). The usage of multiple methods allows a researcher to clarify and complement one set of results with another, to expand findings, and to discover facts and information that would have been impossible to gain through a quantitative or a qualitative approach 68  alone. While the quantitative approach allowed me to provide descriptive and correlational data about student achievement, test the differences between study groups and investigate the possible relationships between variables, qualitative methods provide an opportunity to obtain “thicker” description of the settings and the phenomenon under investigation, gain insights on diverse perspectives and points of view, develop descriptions of the settings, events and actions and explore the nature of student learning (e.g., What specific concepts and skills do students gain? What changes in student performance occur during the year?). Furthermore, by using diverse methods in a single study a researcher can check the consistency of findings obtained through different instruments, thus, increasing chances to control for, or at least assess, some of the threats/factors influencing the study results. This approach enabled me as a researcher to analyze outcomes for students that ranged from quantitative data such as test scores to specific knowledge and skills to qualitative data about the nature of the EAP and Inquiry 10 program and students’ views on learning their interpretations of their experiences. When combined, this constellation of methods provides a means to gather diverse data, make stronger inferences, answer research questions in a way that either methodology alone cannot answer, and present a greater diversity (and more complete representations) of values, views and opinions, thus, producing a more holistic and comprehensive study (Tashakorri & Teddlie, 2003).  Methods of Data Collection This study started in October 2005 and continued until the end of the academic year in June of 2006. A variety of quantitative and qualitative instruments was used to  69  gather data from students, teachers, and administrators. The quantitative instruments included the Washington State standardized achievement tests in math, language arts and science (WASL), Inquiry tasks developed by the Pacific Education Institute and surveys regarding attitudes, practices and demographics. The qualitative data were gathered through open-ended survey items, interviews and observations. The data obtained through multiple methods were triangulated to obtain more reliable results and inferences. Table 3.5 presents the timeline for the data collection activities.  Table 3.5. Data Collection Timeline Research activities  Fall  Winter  Spring  Summer  2005  2006  2006  2006  WASL scores and GPAs6  X  Inquiry Task  X  X  Student Survey  X  X  Student Interviews  X  X  Teacher Interviews  X  X  District representative Interviews  X  Observations  X  X  X  X  6  While the WASL tests are administered in spring, the scores are made available to school districts in the fall.  70  Quantitative data collection WASL Tests As one of the measures of student achievement, I used the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) test scores. The WASLs are state standardized tests that contain a mix of multiple-choice, short-answer and extended-response questions. The tests are administered to students in spring. Grade 10 students are tested in mathematics, reading, writing, and science. In 2004, the state Legislature adopted a law making the WASL one of the graduation requirements, starting in 2008 (OSPI, 2007). The results of the tests become available to schools and teachers at the end of the summer. The school district representatives helped me obtain the student scores from the district database. Two types of information about the WASL tests were obtained and compared: the percentage of students in each course who ‘meet standard’ (i.e. receive a ‘proficient’ score of 400) or are ‘above standard’ (i.e. receive an ‘excellent’ score of above 400) on the WASL and individual students’ WASL scores in math, reading, writing and science.  Grade Point Averages Another measure of student achievement used in this study was Grade Point Averages (GPAs). The school district provided me with information about student GPAs at the end of Grade 9, the end of the semester 1 of Grade 10 and the end of Grade 10.  71  Science Inquiry Tasks Lastly, to assess science and inquiry skills of students a Science Inquiry Task was administered to all students in EE and non-EE classes (N~181) participating in the study at the beginning and the end of the year. The Science Inquiry Task was developed by the Pacific Education Institute as part of the Environmental Education Assessment Project (Taylor et al., 2005) and was used for measuring one of the aspects of environmental literacy – student ability to conduct a scientific inquiry on an environmental issue. In this study the instrument is used to measure students’ inquiry skills and knowledge of environmental systems and ability to design a scientific inquiry to investigate a specific research question. These tasks were administered to both EAP and Inquiry classes at the beginning and end of the year. Both tasks were scenario-based, aligned with the state standards (EALR), and similar to the state standardized tests (WASL) in format. At the beginning of the year, all students did a Soil Percolation task that required them to design an experiment to investigate how different locations affect water percolation time through the soil. At the end of the year students completed a Hot Spot task that asked them to design an investigation into how different locations affect the surface temperature of the ground. Both tasks consisted of nine items: six multiple choice items, and three open-ended items. Open-ended items were scored using rubrics similar to those used for the operational WASL assessments. For each item a rubric was created that defined the possible scores and expectations. Multiple-choice items were scored using an answer key. Soil Percolation and Hot Spot tasks can be found in Appendices A and B.  72  Two trained raters, the researcher and a retired high school teacher who developed the assessments, scored each of the tasks. Blind scoring was conducted to avoid bias in scoring. The final scores were the average between the two raters’ scores. If raters’ item-level scores were discrepant by more than one point, a third rater – another member of the task development team - scored the item in question to ensure accuracy of the score.  Science Inquiry Tasks: Reliability and Validly Analyses To determine the reliability and validity of the Science Inquiry instrument item, reliability and validity analyses were conducted. These analyses were conducted using pre program data from EAP and Inquiry 10 groups. The results of these analyses are presented below.  Item analysis: Item difficulty. To investigate the difficulty of the task items, I examined item means and percent of students (both groups combined) earning each score point for all the task items. The common assumption regarding item difficulty is that the item is considered moderately easy if its mean is higher than half of the score possible for that item (Taylor et al., 2005). For example, the 2-point item with means greater than 1.0 or the 4-point item with means greater than 2.0 are considered moderately easy. If the possible score for an item is 1.0 (multiple choice items), the item would be considered moderately easy if its mean is greater that 0.50. As seen from Table 3.6, the majority of items were relatively easy for students. Only three items on the pre-program task and one on the post program task can be considered difficult (these had means less than half of  73  the total possible points). These items required students to apply prior science knowledge.  Table 3.6. Inquiry Science Inquiry Tasks: Item Means and Percent Earning Each Score Item  Item  Points  Mean  Possible  Percent 0  Percent 1  Percent 2  Percent 3  Percent 4  36%  29%  36%  23%  Pre-program task Item 1  .98  1  2%  98%  Item 2  .96  1  4%  96%  Item 3  .88  1  12%  88%  Item 4  1.00  2  20%  53%  Item 5  .83  1  17%  83%  Item 6  .95  2  25%  47%  Item 7  .31  1  67%  31%  Item 8  .43  1  57%  43%  Item 9  2.45  4  14%  12%  27%  28%  9%  Post-program task Item 1  .98  1  2%  98%  Item 2  .91  1  9%  91%  Item 3  .96  1  4%  96%  Item 4  1.13  2  12%  48%  Item 5  .80  1  20%  80%  Item 6  1.04  2  25%  34%  Item 7  .84  1  16%  84%  Item 8  .31  1  69%  31%  Item 9  2.33  4  10%  16%  40%  41%  15%  Item analysis: Item to total correlations. To examine whether the item performance is related to the performance on the task as a whole, I examined correlations between item  74  scores and the task final score. It is assumed that if the correlation coefficient is positive and greater than 0.25, there is a good relationship between the item score and the task final score or in other words performance on the item correlates with performance on the task (Taylor et al., 2005). Coefficients close to 0.0 indicate that no or little relationship exists between performance on the item and performance on the task. Negative correlations mean that students who had a high total score performed poorly on a particular item and vice versa. Analysis showed that the majority of the items on the preprogram and post-program assessments correlated well with the final Science Inquiry Task score. Items that involved designing an investigation had 0.83 (pre-program) and 0.75 (post-program) correlations with the final Science Inquiry Task score. Items that required students to apply prior knowledge of science concepts had lower correlation with the final score which ranges from 0.10 to 0.50.  Reliability of Science Inquiry Tasks and Scoring Rubrics. To obtain evidence of reliability of the Science Inquiry scores, I analysed the level of agreement between scores assigned by the two raters using inter-judge agreement data and internal consistency data. Inter-judge agreement was also analyzed to examine the reliability of the rubrics and the scoring process. Exact agreement illustrated how often raters assign the same score for the same item of the same student’s work. Exact + Adjacent agreement shows how often the scores assigned by raters are the same or differ by one point. Because multiple-choice items were scored using an answer key, there was no difference in raters scores for these items. Exact agreement, and Exact + Adjacent agreement for open-ended items of both pre and post program Science Inquiry tasks were also high, providing one measure of the reliability of the scoring rubrics. Table 3.7 presents the inter-judge agreement data for  75  open-ended items that were scored using scoring rubrics as well as the variability in scores between raters.  Table 3.7. Exact + Adjacent Agreement between Raters on Open-Ended Items Task  Item  Points  R1 & R2 Exact  R1 & R2 Exact +  Possible  Agreement  Adjacent Agreement  Inquiry pre-program task  Inquiry post-program task  4  2  85%  100  6  2  83%  99%  9  4  82%  100%  4  2  73%  100  6  2  75%  98%  9  4  76%  100%  I also examined the correlations between the two raters’ total scores using Pearson Correlation. The correlation coefficients were equal to .962 and .912 for preprogram and post-program tasks respectively which indicate that the scoring rubric and procedures are reliable and produce similar scores when used by different raters.  Internal Consistency of the Science Inquiry Tasks. To measure the internal consistency of the tasks, Cronbach’s alpha, a coefficient of internal consistency or internal reliability of an instrument, was calculated (Cronbach, 1951). As seen from Table 3.8, both tasks had moderately low coefficients. This could be explained by the fact that the tasks are not unidimensional and measure several constructs: inquiry and analytical skills as well as students’ prior knowledge of science concepts. However, the low Cronbach’s alpha also points to a possible limitation of the instrument, and indicates that the low internal 76  consistency of the instrument should be taken into account when the results are interpreted.  Table 3. 8. Means, Standard Deviation and Alpha Coefficient for Pre- and PostProgram Tasks Task  # of items  Mean  SD  Alpha coefficient  Pre-program task  9  8.80  2.343  .40  Post-program task  9  9.30  2.165  .42  Evidence for Validity: Correlation between Inquiry Scores and WASL Scores. To evaluate the validity of the Science Inquiry scores, final task scores were correlated with WASL scores in math, reading, writing and science. As the Science Inquiry tasks require the application of reading and writing skills, prior knowledge of science concepts and analytical skills, I expected to see correlations with the WASL scores, especially Science. As predicted, correlations between Science Inquiry final scores and WASL scores ranged between moderate to strong, with correlation with Science WASL being the strongest (Table 3.9).  77  Table 3.9. Correlations between Science Inquiry Final Scores and WASL Scores Final Science  Reading  Writing  Math  Science  Pearson Correlation  .547(**)  .484(**)  .531(**)  .626(**)  Sig. (2-tailed)  .000  .000  .000  .000  N  159  159  153  154  Pearson Correlation  .433(**)  .360(**)  .506(**)  .522(**)  Sig. (2-tailed)  .000  .000  .000  .000  N  162  163  156  157  Inquiry scores Pre-program  Post-program  ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).  Overall, the analysis indicates that Science Inquiry tasks are reliable and valid measures and can be used to assess inquiry skills.  Student Attitudes Survey To gather information about students’ interests, their attitudes towards school and learning in general, and towards environmental and outdoor learning in particular, a short Student Attitudes Survey was developed by the researcher. This survey was administered to all students twice: once at the beginning, and again the end of the year and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Survey items were constructed based on the items from existing surveys that measure attitude to school such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA, 2003) and literature on student motivation, engagement and attitudes to learning (e.g., Stipek, 2002). Environmental literacy items of the post-program survey were constructed with the help of the Pacific Education Institute staff and were based on the Environmental Education Standards of Washington State,  78  Environmental Education Benchmarks developed by PEI and curriculum materials such as Project Learning Tree, Project WET and Project WILD. The survey questions were piloted with a group of nine grade 11 students in Washington State, who were asked to read the items and explain their meanings to the researcher. Copies of the Student Attitude Survey are included in Appendices C and D.  Attitude-to-School Scale: Reliability Analysis A subset of survey items explored students’ attitudes to school, their motivation, engagement and behaviour. The Attitude-to-School Scale consisted of nineteen 5-point Likert items which ranged from “strongly agree” (2 points) to “strongly disagree” (- 2 points). Three items were worded negatively, and the scoring was reversed for these items, so the higher 2-point score would represent a positive response to the questions. To assess the initial reliability of the scale and identify items that are representative of the scale, I examined correlations between item scores and the total Attitude-to-School Score using Pearson Correlation coefficients (Andrews & Hatch, 1999; Stevens, 1996; Tabachnik & Fidell, 2001). Items that were not significantly correlated with the total score, or had coefficients less than 0.40 were removed from the questionnaire. Overall, all but one item (#5) had strong correlations with the total score, with correlation coefficients ranging between 0.474 to 0.697. Only one item (#5) had a correlation lower than 0.40 and was excluded from further analysis. Sixteen items were included in the calculation of the final Attitude-to-School Score. The Attitude-to-School Score was calculated as a sum of scores for all items and ranged from -32 to +32. Table  79  E.1 in Appendix E presents item to total score correlations for the Attitude-to-School scale.  Development of the sub-scales. To investigate the possible underlying factor structure of the scales and the number of underlying constructs, exploratory factor analysis was used (Kim & Mueller, 1978; SPSS, 1998; Stevens, 1996; Tabachnik & Fidell, 2001). Because I expected the factors to be correlated with one another I employed a promax (oblique) rotation (Marcoulides & Hershberger, 1997; Tabachnik & Fidell, 2001). I applied four criteria suggested in the literature to extract factors: 1) only factors with an eigenvalue higher than 1.0 were accepted as common factors; 2) only factors that appeared above the “elbow” of the scree plot were retained, the rest were rejected; 3) proportion of variance accounted for by a given factor had to be greater than 5%; 4) each factor had at least three items with loading greater than 0.40 and these items measured the same construct. I identified the number of meaningful factors using the scree test and the percentage of (common) variance accounted for by a given factor. As seen from the Table E.2 (Appendix E), factor analysis extracted three factors that included a robust set of items that were based on the same construct and were easily interpreted. These factors accounted for 54.9% of the total variance. The rotated solution was interpreted by identifying the conceptual meanings of items grouped into the same factors and the conceptual differences between factors. To be retained for the further analysis each factor should have had at least three items with loadings greater than 0.40 and these items should measure the same construct (Cattell,  80  1966; Hatcher, 1994; Stevens, 1996; Tabachnik & Fidell, 2001). Table E.3 in Appendix E presents the factors and loadings for individual items. According to the percentage of variance, the first factor was the most important as it accounted for 38.9% of variance. This factor consisted of six items (items 2, 3, 4, 7, 14, 15, 16) with loadings higher than 0.40. All these items looked at the students’ efforts/motivation to learning to learn. These items were grouped into an Efforts and Motivation Subscale. The second factor accounted for 8.4% of variance. It consisted of five items (Items 1, 11, 12, 13, 17), four of which had loadings higher than 0.40 and were retained. One item (#13) had a loading less than 0.40 and was excluded from the analysis. All items looked at student engagement and enjoyment in learning and were combined into an Enjoyment Subscale for further analysis. Finally, the third and last factor accounted for 7.6% of variance. That factor consisted of four items (Items 6, 8, 9, 10), all of which had loadings higher than 0.40 and were retained. These items looked at student behaviour during classes and attendance and were combined in the Behaviour Subscale.  Internal consistency of the Attitude-to-School Scale. To examine internal consistency of subscales, Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were calculated. As seen from Table 3.10, the Alpha coefficients for all three subscales and the overall Attitude-to-School Scale are high, ranging from 0.744 for the Behaviour Subscale to 0.828 for the Efforts and Motivation Subscale.  81  Table 3.10. Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficients for Attitudinal Subscales and Final AttitudeTo-School Scale Subscale  # of  Items  Alpha  items Efforts and Motivation Subscale  7  2, 3, 4, 7, 14, 15, 16  .828  Enjoyment Subscale  4  1, 11, 12, 17  .782  Behaviour Subscale  4  6, 8, 9, 10  .744  Total Attitude-to-School Scale  15  1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,  .866  12, 14, 15, 16, 17  To evaluate the internal consistency of the scale, I also looked at the correlations between the subscale scores and the total Attitude-to-School score. The coefficients of 0.884, 0.809 and 0.760 for Efforts, Enjoyment and Behaviour subscales respectively indicate strong correlation between the subscales and the total score.  Environmental Literacy Scale: Reliability Analysis This study also explored students’ attitudes to the environment and environmental issues. The Environmental Literacy Scale consisted of 28 items rated on a five-point Likert of “strongly agree”, “agree”, “don’t know”, “disagree”, and “strongly disagree.” Four items were worded negatively and the scoring was reversed for these items, so the 2-point score would represent a positive response to the questions. The Environmental Literacy Score was calculated as a sum of scores for all items. To reduce the length of the survey, this set of questions was included in the post program survey only. At the beginning of the year, students were asked about how important environmental protection and conservation and outdoor activities were to them.  82  To assess the initial reliability of the scale and identify items that are representative of the scale, I examined the correlations between the item scores and the final Environmental Literacy Score using Pearson Correlation coefficients. Four items (1, 2, 18, and 19) that had correlation coefficients less than 0.40 were removed from the analysis (Andrews & Hatch, 1999; Stevens, 1996; Tabachnik & Fidell, 2001). Twentyfour items were included in the calculation of the final Environmental Literacy Score. Table E. 4 in Appendix E presents information about coefficients and their significance. After analyzing constructs embedded in each item, items were organized into six subscales. The first subscale, Interdependence, combines items that focus on issues related to interdependence and similarities of elements of ecosystems. The second subscale, Interactions, includes items that look at interactions between human and environmental systems. The third subscale, Responsibility, consists of items related to the issue of responsibility of humans when dealing with environment and environmental issues. The Perspectives subscale is organized around items that look at how stakeholders with different perspectives use and view the environment. The Transferability subscale consists of items exploring whether and how students use information about the environment learned at school. To examine the internal consistency of subscales, Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were calculated. As seen from Table 3.11, the Alpha coefficients for all five subscales and the overall Environmental Literacy Scale in general are high ranging from 0.70 for Interdependence Subscale to 0.859 for Transferability Subscale.  83  Table 3.11. Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficients for Environmental Literacy Subscales and Total Environmental Literacy Scale Subscale  # of  Items  Alpha  items Interdependence  5  3, 5, 15, 24, 26  .700  Interactions  4  6, 8, 25, 28  .824  Transferability  5  4, 7, 9, 13, 14  .859  Responsibility  4  10, 16, 17, 20  .731  Perspectives and Communication  5  11, 12, 21, 22, 23  .781  Environmental Literacy Score  .941  As another measure of internal consistency, I also examined the correlations between the scores on the subscales and the total Environmental Literacy score. As seen from Table 3.12, the coefficients range from 0.795 to 0.890 and indicate a strong correlation between the subscales and total score.  Table 3.12. Pearson Correlation: Correlations between Attitudinal Subscale and Total Environmental Literacy Scores Interdepen-  Interactions  Transfer  .901(**)  .795(**)  Responsibility  Perspectives  dence Environmental Literacy Score  .859(**)  .888(**)  .890(**)  ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).  84  Qualitative Data Collection In this study four types of qualitative methods of data collection were used including student interviews, observations, teacher interviews and document analysis.  Student Interviews To gain more in-depth understanding of the impact of school programs on students, semi-structured, 30 minute interviews were conducted with selected students at the beginning and the end of the year. Students were invited to participate in the interviews at the beginning of the year, and 15 students from each program were randomly selected from those who volunteered. Interviews were conducted at the school before or after school hours or during lunch periods and were audiotaped and transcribed. At the beginning of the year students were asked about their attitudes towards the environment, knowledge of environmental problems, and goals for the academic year. In the second interview at the end of the year, students were asked about their learning experiences during the year, and their most memorable experiences and activities. The interview questions used in both interviews are included in Appendix F. To ensure the validity of student interview data, student responses were compared with responses of teachers and supplemented with the classroom observations.  Observations To gain an understanding of the teaching and learning contexts and to explore the ways in which students participate, interact and learn in EAP and the Inquiry 10 program, I conducted a series of observations of class activities four times during the year  85  (November, December, February, and May). On each occasion, classroom observations were conducted over two weeks. For each program I documented classroom events and interactions between students and teachers in a research journal. During group activities and projects, I observed the individual groups and listened to the conversations between students. I also observed the outdoor activities of the EAP when students were involved in service-learning projects.  Document Analysis To understand the goals and curriculum of the programs and to learn more about classroom activities and assignments, I collected course descriptions and outlines, classroom handouts, and descriptions of assignments and projects. I also examined teacher and student textbooks and workbooks and other materials produced to support their lessons during the year, as well as school publications such as the school course catalogue, the school website, and newsletter.  Teacher Interviews Student learning and achievement can be influenced by many external factors such as teaching and assessment practices of teachers, learning environments, curriculum, teachers’ experiences and perspectives (Henderson et al. 1998; House 2002; NEETF, 2000; Walberg, 1981, 1984). Because information about some of these factors could provide me with a deeper understanding of student experiences, I conducted interviews with the four teachers who participated in this study. Interviews with teachers were conducted at the beginning and the end of the school year to gain more in-depth  86  understanding of the teaching and learning practices and to discuss changes teachers might see in their students. The teacher interview questions are included in Appendix F. In addition, a representative from the school district who was involved in curriculum development for the programs and was the Department Head of Science of Washington High several years prior to this study was interviewed twice during the year. Teacher/ administrator interviews lasted approximately 40 minutes and were conducted at the school before classes or during lunch.  Data Analysis I employed qualitative and quantitative data analysis strategies to analyze the data in this study.  Quantitative Data Analysis: Analytical Procedures and Definitions Used The data from quantitative instruments were analyzed using two statistical programs: SPSS and EXCEL. T-tests and ANOVA/ANCOVA were used to investigate the differences in scores between students in the two programs. Information from the student surveys was used to identify and control possible influential variables such as gender and educational goals.  Covariates In past decades researchers and educators have conducted many studies and experiments to investigate the factors that affect (positively or negatively) student achievement. Many factors have been identified, and the established relationships  87  between them are very complex and dynamic. Student characteristics, living and learning environments and instruction activities contribute to student achievement (Garton et al., 1999; Hitz & Scanlon, 2001; House, 2002; Papanastasiou, 2002). The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (2000) divides factors that influence learning outcomes into five categories: external (e.g., gender, race, parents’ educational background), internal, social, curricular and administrative. While I was not able to control for all the factors that might possibly influence student achievement and performance, in this study several methods are used to limit/illuminate some of the factors. First, students were selected from the same school and grade level. The classes were similar in gender, ethnic composition and economic status (measured as the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch). Data obtained from the survey at the beginning of the year were compared to determine whether the groups were comparable in terms of socio-economic status (measured as mother’s education as reported by students) and educational goals (students’ expectations of how far they would go in their schooling). The comparison indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in mother’s education, X2(163) = 4.117, p = 0.249, and students’ educational goals, X2(162) = 1.887, p = 0.596 between EAP and Inquiry groups. Two variables were used as covariates: grade point average and gender. Bacon and Bean (2008) suggest that the use of GPA as a covariate is one of the most “productive” ways to use GPA in educational research even when there is no statistically significant difference in GPA between the groups, as long as there is a correlation between GPA and the dependent variable. The authors argue that “when used as a covariate, GPA can partial out individual differences in academic performance, thus  88  reducing the total amount of variance to be explained and increasing statistical power” (Bacon & Bean, 2008, p. 41). Gender is another variable used as a covariate in the analyses presented below. Research indicates that girls tend to have better grades in elementary, middle and high school and often graduate from high school with higher GPAs than boys (American Association of University Women Educational Foundation [AAUWEF], 1998; Pomerantz, AlterStas, & Saxon, 2002). While this study did not explore the differences between female and male students, gender was used as covariate in the analysis to control for pre-existing differences in achievement and attitudes related to gender. In addition to gender and pre-program GPA, each outcome measure was also controlled for performance on its corresponding pre-program measure. For example, Science Inquiry pre-program score were used a covariate in the analysis of Science Inquiry post-program scores.  Analysis of Covariance Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) is a statistical method used to “equate groups that are found to differ on a pretest or some other variable or variables” (Johnson & Christensen, 2008, p. 304). While some suggest that ANCOVA should be used in experimental studies with random assignment of participants into groups (Kline, 2009), others support the use of ANCOVA in quasi-experimental studies with non-equivalent groups (Campbell & Kenny, 1999; Colliver & Markwell, 2006; Johnson & Christensen, 2008; Overall & Woodward, 1977). Colliver and Markwell (2006) argue that “because of growing practical and ethical concerns associated with randomization in the human  89  sciences, ANCOVA is primarily seen today as a way to control or adjust for selection bias encountered with a quasi-experimental non-equivalent groups design” (p. 284). Also, Johnson and Christensen (2008) suggest using ANCOVA as a method of analysis in the non-equivalent comparison-group design that allows exploring the differences in pre and posttest scores by adjusting them for any differences that may exist on the pretest. As a method, ANCOVA has several key assumptions: independence of the groups; normality of population from which sample is chosen; homogeneity of variance; homogeneity of regression coefficients for the groups compared; a linear relationship between covariate and dependent variable; and independence of covariate and treatment effect (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). These were explored in more detail to ensure the validity of using ANCOVA in the study. Analysis indicated that data met independence and normality of population assumptions. Regression coefficients for the EAP and Inquiry 10 groups for all outcome measures were similar. There was a linear relationship between covariates and dependent variables with correlation coefficients ranging between 0.30 to 0.74 that were statistically significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed). All but two coefficients were higher than the 0.4 level identified by Keppel (1982) as a correlation level at which ANCOVA may produce more precise results. Also all covariates were independent of treatment. As discussed above, there was no statistically significant difference in gender distribution, pre-program grade point averages, educational goals, Science Inquiry task pre-program scores, or Attitudes-to-School pre-program scores between the EAP and Inquiry 10 groups at the beginning of the year.  90  Bonferroni Method As discussed above, both EAP and Inquiry 10 groups included students that attended regular classes in addition to the EAP or Inquiry 10 program or who were enrolled in advanced placement courses. Because it was expected that “advanced” students would perform better on the standardized tests, in addition to the comparison of EAP and Inquiry overall groups, I also examined the differences in achievement for (a) “regular” students and (b) “advanced” students separately. Thus, because several comparison analyses of each of the dependent variables were used (and several confidence intervals constructed), I employed the Bonferroni method to ensure the overall validity of the confidence coefficient (Cohen, 1988). This method allows one to calculate the alpha level to be used in a study that involves multiple comparisons by dividing the nominal significance threshold (0.05) by the number of independent tests or comparisons: α=γ/n (Cheverud, 2001; Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). While the traditional approach to Bonferonni method accounts for the total number of inferential tests conducted in a study (Cheverud, 2001; Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001), some researchers indicate that there are no strict rules on how to define a “family” of tests (e.g., Shavelson, 1996). Athman (2004) and Athman and Monroe (2004 a,b) suggest treating each outcome variable as a family controlling for the number of groups analyzed. As I have undertaken three levels of comparison (overall groups, “regular” and “advanced” students), I followed the approach suggested by Athman and Monroe and adjusted the alpha level to 0.017 (0.05/3).  91  Measures of Effect Sizes In this study, effect sizes (ES) were calculated to assess the magnitude of differences in scores on tests and the survey between EAP and Inquiry groups. Effect size is an estimate of magnitude of effect and indicates how large the difference is between the groups (Cohen, 1988). When two independent groups are compared, Cohen (1988) suggests using ES expressed as the standardized difference between two means (Cohen’s d) by dividing the mean difference between the groups by standard deviation of the outcome variable. When the groups have different sample sizes, a weighted (pooled) standard deviation is used to calculate d (Thompson, 2006). Cohen (1988) considered a value for d equal to or less than 0.2 as small effect size, a value for d around 0.5 as medium effect size, and a d value equal to or greater than 0.8 to be large effect size. For ANOVA and ANCOVA, effect size is a measure of the degree of association between the dependent variable under scrutiny and the independent variable (Fisher, 1973; Pearson, 1911; Thompson, 2006). These effect sizesare often expressed as Eta squared, η2 (for ANOVA) or Partial Eta squared, ηp2 (for ANCOVA) and can be interpreted as the proportion of variance in the dependent variable that is attributable to each effect. Partial Eta squared has some limitation, though, as it measures the association between dependent and independent variables with some of the covariates partialed out. As such, unlike other measures of associations, it is not additive, nor is it a percentage of the total sum of squares, and can overestimate the strength of the association (Cohen, 1973; Levine & Hullett, 2002). Researchers consider a value of ηp2 equal to or less than 0.01 as small, an effect size value around 0.06 as medium, and a  92  partial eta squared (ηp2) value of 0.14 or higher as large (Kittler, Menard, & Phillips, 2007). Overall, two types of effect sizes were calculated in this study. When ANCOVA tests were conducted, Partial Eta squared was calculated as a measure of association between independent and dependent variables with gender and Grade 9 GPA as covariates partialed out. For each achievement measure (GPA, test scores, Science Inquiry tasks and survey scores), Cohen’s d was also calculated as the standardized difference between the two means that did not account for the influence of the covariates.  Qualitative Data Analysis Qualitative data from interviews and observations were analyzed using qualitative software NVivo 7 designed for analysis of rich text-based and/or multimedia information. The program allows researchers to code and thematically group textual data as well as to build models and explore the relationships between categories and themes. Each interview was transcribed verbatim, imported in NVivo 7 and then read and analyzed using the constant comparative method (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Student responses were compared to information from teacher interviews and my fieldnotes. The data were used to gain an understanding of student learning experiences and learning outcomes, and construct a "thick description” of settings. Using NVivo 7, interviews were coded using initial themes that were based on the published literature on learning in EE programs (Athman & Monroe, 2004a, b; Lieberman & Hoody, 2002; NEETF, 2000; Rickinson, 2001), and included among others such codes as stewardship, participation in environmental activities, self-esteem, learning about environmental issues, sense of  93  community, empowerment, engagement in school activities, motivation to learn. I looked for interviewees’ responses to my specific questions (e.g., what did you learn during the year?), themes explicitly raised by the interviewees that could provide insights on student learning (e.g., students’ descriptions of program activities and assignments); and themes indirectly revealed during the conversations (e.g., emotions such as feeling of pride and ownership when describing accomplishments). The groups of codes were reviewed and compared, and codes that focused on related issues were organized in eight more general categories (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Rubin & Rubin, 2005): subject specific learning; environmental learning; social learning; attitude to school; performance and achievement; personal learning; community and service-learning; and transfer of learning. Based on these categories I developed “learning maps” for each program to visually represent the diverse learning that occurred.  Assessing the Validity of Research In any type of study, the concepts of validity are integral to the determination of the soundness of the research endeavor. In my mixed methods study I evaluated findings using criteria suggested for qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research (Johnson & Christensen, 2000; Tashikorri & Teddie, 2003).  Quantitative methods. As presented in the Methodology section above, to establish reliability of the instruments, instruments used in the study were piloted and the reliability analyses were conducted. Results indicated the instruments had high internal consistency (with the exception of Science Inquiry tasks which were not  94  unidimensional). For instruments that employed scoring, correlations between raters and between item and total scores were calculated, and found to be sufficient. The internal validity of the study design refers to the extent to which an intervention has an impact on dependent variable and whether there is sufficient evidence to support the claim. Campbell and Stanley (1963) identify nine potential threats to internal validity which include: selection/subject characteristics, history, maturation, repeated testing, instrumentation, regression to the mean, experimental mortality, selection-maturation interaction, and experimenter bias. The EAP and Inquiry 10 programs were selected for this study based on the type of instructional model, my familiarity with the school and the interest from teachers and school administration. While Inquiry 10 students were randomly assigned to the program, EAP students completed an application and then were randomly selected from the pool of applicants, which may lead to sample bias. Several strategies were used to address this issue. I used matching strategies to ensure the groups’ compatibility (groups were similar in age, gender, GPA and other demographic and academic factors) (Johnson & Christensen, 2000, 2008), and statistically controlled the results using gender, prior achievement level and performances on the pre-program instruments as covariates. While in my study I did not assign students into groups randomly, a degree of randomization was still present in participants’ assignment into groups. The EAP students were randomly selected from the pool of applicants, and the rest were randomly assigned to various Inquiry 10 groups along with those who did not apply for the EAP. I also used matching strategies (Johnson & Christensen, 2000) to ensure the groups’ compatibility (groups were matched by age, gender and other demographic factors).  95  Furthermore, ANCOVA tests allowed me to statistically control for pre-existing differences between the two groups. Both groups had similar EE-related history, with all students having been exposed to environmental education and inquiry in the previous grades. Because students were selected from the same grade level and were observed for the same time period, it was expected that the maturation process would be similar in both classes. Both groups were tested during the same week using the same instruments and the teachers were provided with identical instructions on how to administer the tests. However, the current study did not control for the variability in the testing environment (e.g. classrooms) or for the impact of teachers who administered the tests. External validity refers to the degree to which the conclusions in the study can be generalised to other populations, times and settings. As described above, students enrolled in the EAP were primarily from White, middle to upper middle socio-economic groups and were exposed to environmental education in the past. Furthermore, the school was one of the top schools in the state, and has been employing advanced teaching and learning strategies. These characteristics of the school context and sample may affect the generalizibility of the results to other settings and school groups.  Qualitative methods. Guba (1981) identifies four criteria to evaluate the quality of qualitative studies: credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability. To ensure credibility of my data and interpretations, I undertook prolonged and varied observations of the program activities, recorded my thoughts, ideas and reflections in a field journal, and employed data triangulation. I also developed detailed, “thick”  96  descriptions of the settings and subjects of the study, and detailed description of the data collection, analysis and interpretation strategies to ensure that the results are transferable. Dependability of the interpretations was established through sharing my interpretations and observations with participating teachers through informal ongoing conversations. A manuscript was prepared for publication that described the EAP program and activities and was shared with the participant teachers. Finally, to ensure confirmability of the results was also ensured by triangulating results from different methods. To conclude, this research examines the impact of EE program on student learning and achievement. Using a mixed research methodology I conducted a comparative study of two high school programs in one school in Washington State: an integrated yearlong environmental course and a regular science course. The next chapter presents results of quantitative data analysis and interpretation of the findings.  Limitations of the Study The study presented here has several limitations that should be taken into account when considering the results.  Sample bias. The EAP and Inquiry 10 programs were selected for this study based on the type of instructional model, my familiarity with the school and the interest from teachers and school administration. While Inquiry 10 students were randomly assigned to the program, EAP students completed an application and then were randomly selected from the pool of applicants, which may lead to sample bias. Several strategies were used to address this issue. I used matching strategies to ensure the groups’  97  compatibility (groups were similar in age, gender, GPA and other demographic and academic factors) (Johnson & Christensen, 2000, 2008), and statistically controlled for gender, prior achievement level and performances on the pre-program instruments.  Program context. The school district where the Washington High School is located is one of the top districts in the state. Students are exposed to best educational practices and approaches including integrated learning, environmental education and inquiry based instruction among others. Thus, the results of a similar study conducted in a different district and school culture may be different.  External and internal factors affecting achievement and learning. As I discussed in previous chapters, academic achievement and learning are affected by numerous factors, including but not limited to parental education background, socio-economic factors, internal motivation and external support and encouragement. While I attempted to control for some factors (SES, gender, mother’s education), other factors (e.g., level of encouragement from parents and peers, family educational and environmental practices and beliefs, learning experiences in earlier grades) were not controlled for and may have influenced the results of this study.  Science Inquiry Task. The reliability analysis showed low internal consistency of the Science Inquiry Tasks suggesting that the instrument might be multidimensional, measuring both the knowledge of inquiry process and the prior science content knowledge. Thus, the total Science Inquiry score is a composite score that reflects  98  students’ overall performance in both areas. Low internal consistency also indicates that the results should be interpreted with caution and more research on the reliability of the instrument is needed.  Use of volunteers for interviews. In this study interviews students were invited to participate in the interviews and the interviewees were randomly selected from those who volunteered. This approach might have introduced a selection bias as there is a possibility that students who initially volunteers might have been interested in the topic of the study, and thus, may have different characteristics than the overall study sample. This limitation applies to the qualitative data only.  99  CHAPTER FOUR QUANTITATIVE DATA: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  In this chapter I discuss quantitative findings of my study. Through quantitative methods I explore (1) what is the impact of an integrated environmental education program on high school students’ academic achievement across subject areas (measured in GPA, WASL test scores and Science Inquiry task scores), attitude to school, engagement and motivation and environmental literacy; and (2) whether there are difference in learning outcomes for students who participate in EE and traditional programs. I also compare “regular” and “advanced” students in both groups separately to explore whether the program has a stronger influence on more and less academically oriented students.  Grade Point Average (GPA) Grade Point Average is a variable used widely in educational research as a predictor of student performance on standardized tests, graduation, college admission and overall success, university performance and salary rates (Ramist, 1984; Woo & Frank, 2000). At the same time some argue that this measure lacks predictive validity as "there are no common grading standards across schools or across courses in the same school” (Camara & Michaelides, 2005, p. 2). Over the years numerous studies have explored the issue of GPA reliability and validity (see Bacon & Bean, 2008; Reily & Warech, 1994;  100  Roth, BeVier, Switzer III & Schippmann, 1996; Roth & Clark, 1998), and confirmed its reliability and validity; however, the majority of these studies looked at college and university students. In this study Grade Point Average was used in two ways: as one of the indicators of student achievement and as a covariate in the analysis of state standardized test scores, inquiry scores, attitude-to-school scores and environmental literacy scores. In the analysis I used a cumulative Grade Point Average at the end of Grade 9, middle of Grade 10 and the end of Grade 10.  GPA: All Students As seen in Figure 4.1, at the end of Grade 9 and at the end of semester 1, the average GPA for the Inquiry 10 group (Grade 9: M = 2.89, SD = 0.775; Grade 10 Semester 1: M = 2.73, SD = 0.632) was slightly higher than for the EAP class (Grade 9: M = 2.84, SD = 0.646; Grade 10 Semester 1: M = 2.71, SD = 0.740). Interviews with EAP students indicated that some who participated in the EAP program did not consider themselves as high achieving students, and selected the program because they thought it would be less academic and easier. This may partially explain the slightly lower GPA average for the EAP class at the beginning of the year. According to Independent Sample t-tests, there was no statistically significant difference in the students’ GPA between EAP and Inquiry programs at the end of Grade 9, t(173) = -0.459, p = 0.647; d = -0.07, and at the end of Semester 1 of Grade 10, t(170) = -0.163, p = 0.871; d = -0.02.  101  3 2.84  2.89  2.86  Average GPA  2.71  2.73 2.63  2.5  2 Grade 9  Semester 1 Grade 10 EAP  Semester 2 Grade 10  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.1. Average GPA for EAP and Inquiry 10 classes  To analyze the changes in GPAs at the end of Grade 10, an ANCOVA test was run. With prior academic achievement (measured as end of Grade 9 GPA) and gender (Bacon & Bean, 2008) controlled, the analysis indicated that by the end of Grade 10 the EAP group (M = 2.86, SD = 0.683) had a higher GPA than the Inquiry group (M = 2.65, SD = 0.799), and this difference was statistically significant, F (1, 167) = 10.447, p = 0.001. Partial Eta squared was equal to 0.059, indicating medium association between GPA and program type when controlling for gender and pre-program achievement level. Cohen’s d which does not take into account covariates was equal to 0.3 also suggesting that the group difference was of a medium magnitude.  102  GPA: “Regular” Students As discussed previously, both the EAP and Inquiry groups included students who attended regular classes besides EAP and Inquiry programs, and students who were enrolled in advanced placement and pre-advanced placement courses. I compared descriptive statistics and conducted ANCOVA tests which controlled for pre-existing achievement levels and gender for these two groups, “regular” and “advanced” students, separately. The Type I error for each outcome variable was adjusted to 0.017 using the Bonferroni method to assure an overall validity of the confidence coefficient (Cohen, 1988). When only “regular” students were compared, the average GPA at the end of Grade 9 was higher for the EAP students (M = 2.69, SD = 0.638) than their counterparts from the Inquiry program (M = 2.53, SD = 0.699). Similarly, at the end of Semester 1 of Grade 10, the EAP group (M = 2.56, SD = 0.701) slightly outperformed the Inquiry students (M = 2.34, SD = 0.732). However, the results indicate no statistically significant difference between the two groups at the beginning of the year, t(115) = 1.298, p= 0.197; d = 0.24, or at the end of the Semester 1 of Grade 10, t(116) = 1.682, p = 0.095; d = 0.31. Figure 4.2 presents the mean GPAs for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students.  103  3 2.76 Average GPA  2.69 2.59  2.53 2.5  2.37 2.21  2 Grade 9  Semester 1 Grade 10 EAP  Semester 2 Grade 10  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.2. Average GPA for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students.  By the end of the year, the average GPA continued to be higher for the EAP group (M = 2.76, SD = 0.691) than for the Inquiry students (M = 2.20, SD = 0.783). According to the ANCOVA test, which used gender and Grade 9 GPA as covariates, this difference was statistically significant, F (1, 110) = 16.067, p < 0.001). Partial Eta squared was equal to 0.127, indicating medium to strong association between GPA and program type when controlling for gender and pre-program achievement level. Cohen’s d equal to 0.74 also indicated a large program effect.  GPA: “Advanced” Students In both groups approximately 30% of students were enrolled in advanced placement courses in addition to the EAP and Inquiry programs during the year. Because the prerequisite for enrolment in the AP courses is completion of regular Grade 10  104  courses and high academic performance, it was expected that these “advanced” students would have high GPAs and show high motivation and performance on the state tests. Analysis of the descriptive statistics indicates that “advanced” students from the Inquiry 10 program on average had a higher GPA at the end of Grade 9, and at the middle and end of Grade 10. Figure 4.3 presents the average GPAs for EAP and Inquiry groups at the end of Grade 9 and middle and end of Grade 10.  4 3.51 Average GPA  3.5  3.36  3.24 3.02  3.36 3.1  3  2.5  2 Grade 9  Semester 1 Grade 10 EAP  Semester 2 Grade 10  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.3. Average GPA for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  The T-tests indicate that there was no significant difference between students in EAP and Inquiry students at the end of Grade 9, t(40) = -2.173, p = 0.036; d = -0.59, and middle of Grade 10, t(30) = -1.899, p = 0.067; d = -0.54. Furthermore, according to the ANCOVA test that used gender and Grade 9 GPA as covariates, there was no statistically significant difference at the end of Grade 10 between the two groups (F (1, 53) = 0.932, p = 0.339). Partial Eta squared was equal to 0.017, indicating a small association between 105  GPA and program type when controlling for gender and pre-program achievement level. Cohen’s d was equal to -0.49, a medium effect size. As stated previously, the EAP program initially attracted more educationally challenged and less motivated students, and students who were planning to apply for a college or university programs chose to enroll in the advanced placement courses instead of the EAP. This may explain some of the differences in GPA at the end of Grade 9 as well as the differences in GPA between the “advanced” students from both groups.  Performance on the State Standardized Tests The Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) tests are state standardized tests that measure skills and knowledge in reading, mathematics, science, and writing and serve as the high school graduation examination in Washington State. This study analyzed two types of WASL-related information: (a) the percentage of students in each group who “met standard” or were “above standard” (received “proficient” or “excellent” score) on the WASL, and (b) individual students’ WASL scores in math, reading, writing and science.  WASL Tests: Comparison of Percentages of Students Who Met Standards When the percentages of students who met/were above standard on the WASL were compared, I found that the EAP group outperformed the Inquiry class in all four areas. In most cases, the EAP percentage was also higher than study school, district and/or state averages. Figures 4.4 - 4.7 compare the percentages of students who met the standard on WASL tests.  106  % of students who met standard  100 92.41 90  92.4  90.7  84.16  81.9  80 70 60 50 40 EAP  Inquiry 10  Study School  District  State  Figure 4.4. Percentage of students who met the standard on the WASL reading test  100 % of students who met standard  92.41  90.3  90  87.9  82.18  79.7  80 70 60 50 40 EAP  Inquiry 10  Study School  District  State  Figure 4.5. Percentage of students who met the standard on the WASL writing test  107  % of students who met standard  100 90 80 70 60  59.49 54.45  56.9  54.5  50 40  34.9  30 EAP  Inquiry 10  Study School  District  State  Figure 4.6. Percentage of students who met the standard on the WASL math test  % of students who met standard  100 90 80 70  68  67.09  65.3  60.4 60 51 50 40 EAP  Inquiry 10  Study School  District  State  Figure 4.7. Percentage of students who met the standard on the WASL science test  108  The differences between the EAP and Inquiry groups were explored using Independent Samples T-tests. The results indicate that while the EAP group had higher percentages of students who met the standard in all four areas, the difference was statistically significant only in reading, t(169) = 2.094, p = 0.038; d = 0.33, and writing, t(169) = 2.125, p = 0.035; d = 0.33. Cohen’s d for both subject areas was equal to 0.33 indicating the program effect was of medium magnitude. Because no subgroup comparison was conducted on this variable the unadjusted alpha of .05 was used. Analysis of the percentages of students who met the standard showed no statistical differences between the two groups for math, t(163) = 0.660, p = 0.510; d = 0.10, and science, t(162) = .830, p = 0.408; d = 0.13.  WASL Tests: Comparison of Individual Student Scores The second level of WASL analysis was conducted by examining individual student scores for the EAP and Inquiry groups. To investigate the differences between the EAP and Inquiry classes, I compared descriptive statistics and explored three questions: 1) is there a statistically significant difference in WASL scores between the EAP and Inquiry 10 classes when all students are compared; 2) is there a statistically significant difference in WASL scores between “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students; and 3) is there a statistically significant difference in WASL scores between “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students.  109  WASL Scores: All Students EAP students slightly outperformed Inquiry 10 class in all four areas. Figure 4.8 shows the average WASL scores for the EAP and Inquiry groups.  Average score (in t scores)  60 55 50.2450.00  50.26 50.00  50.3450.00  50.4950.00  Reading  Writing  Math  Science  50 45 40 35 30  EAP  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.8. Average WASL scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 classes  When all students were compared, the ANCOVA test that controlled for Grade 9 GPA and gender indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between EAP and Inquiry 10 students in two out of four areas: math and science. There was no statistical difference between the groups, however, in WASL reading and writing scores. Similarly, Partial Eta squared for math and science approached the medium limit, while Cohen’s ds were small. Table 4.1 summarizes the results of ANCOVA tests and presents Cohen’s d for the four subject areas.  110  Table 4.1. ANCOVA Results and Cohen’s ds: WASL Scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 Programs ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA and gender as covariates)  Cohen’s d (no  F (df)  Sig.  Partial Eta Squared  covariates)  Math  8.106 (1, 135)  .005  .057  .03  Science  7.416 (1, 135)  .007  .052  .05  Reading  2.899 (1, 139)  .091  .020  .02  Writing  1.200 (1, 139)  .275  .009  .03  Subject  WASL Scores: “Regular” Students Basic descriptive statistics indicates that “regular” EAP students on average had higher WASL scores than their counterparts from the Inquiry 10 classes. Figure 4.9 presents the average WASL scores for “regular” students from the two groups.  Average score (in t scores)  50  48.99  48.59 45.69  48.53 46.20  45.50  48.51 45.25  45  40  35  30 Reading  Writing EAP  Math  Science  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.9. Average WASL scores for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  111  An ANCOVA test was used to explore whether these differences were statistically significant if controlled for prior academic achievement and gender. While the average WASL scores were higher for the EAP students in all four areas, this difference was statistically significant only in math, F(1, 83) = 10.255, p = 0.002, and science, F(1, 83) = 6.612, p = 0.012. Table 4.2 summarizes the results of ANCOVA tests and presents Cohen’s ds for the four subject areas. As seen from the table, Partial Eta squared which measures the strength of association between WASL scores and the type of program can be considered as large for math and science. Cohen’s ds, on the other hand, are similar for all four areas and fall within the medium range. It is necessary to emphasize, however, that the Cohen’s ds do not take into account the effect of gender and prior academic achievement and measure only the magnitude of mean difference.  Table 4.2. ANCOVA Results and Cohen’s ds: WASL Scores for “Regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 Students Subject  ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA and gender as covariates)  Cohen’s d (no  F (df)  Sig.  Partial Eta Squared  covariates)  Math  10.255 (1, 83)  .002  .110  .33  Science  6.612 (1, 83)  .012  .074  .34  Reading  2.482 (1, 87)  .119  .028  .34  Writing  .150 (1, 87)  .699  .002  .23  WASL Scores: “Advanced” Students Analysis of WASL scores for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry students showed that the average WASL scores were higher for Inquiry 10 students in all four areas. Again,  112  this might partially be explained by the fact that the EAP program attracted the less academically oriented students. Figure 4.10 compares the average WASL scores for the two groups.  Average scores (in t scores)  60 55  57.07 53.42  54.48  56.22  55.28  56.87  55.39  56.66  50 45 40 35 30 Reading  Writing EAP  Math  Science  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.10. Average WASL scores for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  While Inquiry 10 “advanced” students demonstrated higher WASL scores, this difference was not statistically significant in any of the four subject areas. Table 4.3 presents ANCOVA results and Cohen’s ds for math, science, writing and reading scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 groups.  113  Table 4.3. ANCOVA Results and Cohen’s d: WASL Scores for “Advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 Students  Subject  ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA and gender as covariates)  Cohen’s d (no covariates)  F (df)  Sig.  Partial Eta Squared  Math  2.047 (1, 44)  .160  .044  -.21  Science  1.043 (1, 45)  .313  .023  -.27  Reading  1.200 (1, 45)  .279  .026  -.46  Writing  .629 (1, 45)  .432  .014  -.27  Science Inquiry Tasks Science Inquiry tasks (SIT) were administered to EAP and Inquiry groups twice: at the beginning and the end of academic year. Seventy-one students from the EAP class and 98 from the Inquiry 10 class completed the first task. Seventy-five and 94 students from EAP and comparison group completed the second task. Students completed the tasks during their regular class hours under supervision of their teachers. To investigate the differences in SIT scores between the EAP and Inquiry 10 classes, I compared descriptive statistics and explored three questions: 1) is there a statistically significant difference in SIT scores between EAP and Inquiry 10 classes when all students are compared; 2) is there a statistically significant difference in SIT scores between “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students; and 3) is there a statistically significant difference in SIT scores between “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students classes.  114  Science Inquiry Tasks: All Students Figure 4.11 presents average SIT for EAP and Inquiry 10 groups at the beginning and the end of the year. Detailed descriptive statistics are included in Appendix H.  10  Average score  9.5 9.5 9.14 9  8.76  8.83  8.5 8 Pre-program EAP  Post-program Inquiry 10  Figure 4.11. Average SIT scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 groups: pre and post program  At the beginning of the year the average SIT score was higher for the Inquiry group (M = 8.83, SD = 2.631) than for the EAP class (M = 8.76, SD = 1.891). However, according to the ANCOVA test controlling for pre-existing differences in GPA and gender, this difference was not statistically significant, F(1, 160) = 0.020, p = 0.889. Partial Eta squared was 0.000; and Cohen’s d was -0.03. By the end of the year, however, EAP students outperformed Inquiry 10 group on the post-program task. The mean scores on the post-program Inquiry task were 9.50 (SD = 2.029) for the EAP group and 9.14 (SD = 2.267) for the Inquiry group. However, while the EAP group outperformed non-EAP students at the end of the year, the difference was not statistically  115  significant when results were controlled for prior academic achievement, pre-program SIT and gender, F(1, 150) = 1.871, p = 0.173. Partial Eta squared was 0.012; and Cohen’s d also indicated a small program effect (d = 0.17).  Science Inquiry Tasks: “Regular” Students When only “regular” students were compared, the average SIT score for the EAP group was higher both at the beginning and the end of the year. Figure 4.12 compares the average SIT on pre and post program tasks for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students.  10 9.32  Average score  9.5 9  8.6  8.5 8  8.07  7.98  7.5 7 Pre-program EAP  Post-program Inquiry 10  Figure 4.12. Average SIT for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  While EAP students outperformed the non-EAP students on the pre-program task, this difference was not statistically significant, F(1, 106) = 0.995, p = 0.321; Partial ηp2 = 0.009; d = 0.26. However, at the end of the year, EAP students significantly outperformed the non-EAP students and showed higher scores on the post program task, F(1, 97) = 11.946, p = 0.001; Partial ηp2 = .110; d = 0.61. Both pre and post program data  116  were controlled for prior academic achievement and gender. The post-program data were also controlled for differences in performances on the pre-program Science Inquiry task.  Science Inquiry Tasks: “Advanced” Students Finally, “advanced” students from the non-EAP classes outperformed students from the EAP class on both pre and post program Science Inquiry tasks (Figure 4.13). However, according to the ANCOVA test which controlled for pre-program achievement level and gender, there was no statistically significant difference between these two groups of students on the pre-program task, F (1, 50) = 2.421, p = 0.126; Partial ηp2 = 0.046; d = -0.58. Interestingly, at the end of the year the non-EAP students who attended AP classes outperformed their EAP counterparts, and this difference was statistically significant, F (1, 48) = 7.337, p = 0.009. Both Partial ηp2 of 0.133 and Cohen’s d equal to -0.59 indicated that program effect was large for the Inquiry 10 group. 10.87  11  Average score  10.5  10.22 9.93  10 9.5  9.22  9 8.5 8 Pre-program EAP  Post-program Inquiry 10  Figure 4.13. Average SIT scores for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  117  Overall, the data and my analyses indicate that Inquiry 10 students who were enrolled in AP classes seemed to perform better than their EAP counterparts while Inquiry 10 students who took regular classes tended to score lower than the EAP students. This result is interesting, particularly since the Inquiry 10 program was designed to develop scientific inquiry and investigation skills for all students. My findings suggest that the EAP program with its hands-on approach may be more effective for developing scientific inquiry and investigation skills for less academically oriented students.  Student Attitudes Survey To examine students’ attitudes to school and learning, and their environmental literacy, a survey was administered at the beginning and the end of the school year. The survey consisted of four sections: personal information; attitude to school; information about school activities and experiences; and attitudes towards the environment. Two sections (attitude to school and environmental literacy) were converted into the Attitudeto-School and Environmental Literacy scales, and scores were calculated for these sections. This section presents the analysis of the survey results.  Attitude-to-School Scale To examine the changes in students’ attitudes to school, motivation and engagement, I analyzed pre-program and post-program scores on the Attitude-to-School Scale and subscales. I also explored whether “advanced” and “regular” students demonstrated the same changes in their attitude toward school and learning. Specifically, I explored whether there is:  118  1) a statistically significant difference in Attitude-to-School scores (and subscores) between EAP and Inquiry 10 classes when all students were compared; 2) a statistically significant difference in Attitude-to-School scores (and subscores) for “regular” EAP and non-EAP students; and 3) a statistically significant difference in Attitude-to-School scores (and subscores) between “advanced” EAP and non-EAP students.  Attitude-to-School Scale: All students At the beginning of the year the Inquiry 10 class had slightly higher scores on the Efforts and Motivation and Behaviour Subscales and a slightly higher total Attitude-toSchool score, but this difference was very small and statistically insignificant. Figure 4.14 compares average pre-program scores on Attitude-to-School scales for EAP and Inquiry 10 groups. The Enjoyment score was slightly higher for the EAP group (M = 1.36, SD = 2.789 and M = 0.89, SD = 3.051 for EAP and Inquiry 10 groups respectively), but the difference was not significant. Table 4.4 presents the results of Independent ttests that compared pre-program scores for the two groups. Effect sizes (d) for the preprogram were 0.0 for the Efforts and Motivation subscale and the Total Attitude-toSchool score, 0.16 for the Enjoyment subscale, and -0.15 for the Behaviour subscale, all indicating that the difference between the two groups was small and not practically significant.  119  14 11.69 11.7  Average score  12 10 8 6  5.31 5.32  4.92 5.31  4 1.36 0.89  2 0 Efforts & Motivation  Enjoyment  EAP  Behavior  Total  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.14. Pre-program Attitude-to-School subscale and total scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 classes  Table 4.4. Individual Samples T-Test: Analysis of the Pre-program Attitude-to-School Scale and Subscales Scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 Classes Levene's Test for Equality of Variances  t-test for Equality of Means  F  Sig.  t  df  Sig. (2tailed)  Mean Differe nce  Efforts  .673  .413  -.023  141.25  .982  -.015  Lower Upper -1.308 1.279  Enjoyment  .788  .376  1.024  149.83  .307  .472  -.438  Behaviour  .310  .579  -.923  135.93  .358  -.385  -1.210 .440  .105  .746  -.009  136.33  .993  -.011  -2.526 2.503  Pre Program Attitudeto-School score  95% CI of the Difference  1.382  120  At the end of the year, the EAP class had a more positive attitude to school, which was demonstrated by higher scores on the Efforts and Motivation and Enjoyment Subscales and total Attitude-to-School post program score. Behaviour scores continued to be higher for the Inquiry 10 group. Figure 4.15 presents post-program Attitude-toSchool subscale and total scores for the EAP and Inquiry 10 classes. Interestingly, for both groups both Efforts and Motivation and Behaviour scores decreased from preprogram to post program assessment.  14  12.21 11.06  Average score  12 10 8 6  5.11 4.75  4  4.4 4.78 2.51 1.53  2 0 Efforts & Motivation  Enjoyment  EAP  Behavior  Total  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.15. Post-program Attitude-to-School subscale and total scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 classes  When all students were compared, and analyses controlled for pre-existing differences in gender, pre-program Attitude-to-School and prior academic achievement, there was no statistically difference between the two groups at the end of the year on the Efforts and Motivation and Behaviour Subscales or the Total Attitude-to-School Score  121  (Table 4.5). However, the EAP class had a significantly higher score on the Enjoyment subscale, which indicated that students in the EAP program continued to enjoy school by the end of the year - the time when the toll of tests and classes starts to show, and students are tending to think more about summer holidays and having fun rather than enjoying going to school.  Table 4.5. ANCOVA Tests: Post-Program Attitude-to-School Scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 Groups.  Variable  ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA, pre-program Attitude-to-School score and gender as covariates)  Cohen’s d (no covariates)  F (df)  Sig.  Partial Eta Squared  Efforts & Motivation  .614 (1, 130)  .435  .005  .08  Enjoyment  5.973 (1, 130)  .016  .044  .35  Behaviour  1.202 (1, 130)  .275  .009  -.14  .986 (1, 130)  .323  .008  Post Program Attitude-toSchool total score  .14  Attitude-to-School Scale: “Regular” Students “Regular” EAP students had slightly better attitudes to school than their counterparts at the beginning of the year. Descriptive statistics indicate that they scored slightly higher on the Attitude-to-School items and showed a more positive attitude toward learning (Figure 4.16). Given that some students in EAP applied for the program expecting it would be more interesting and exciting than the regular classes it seems reasonable (and perhaps expected) that students’ attitude to school would be more  122  positive for the EAP group. Still, according to the Individual Samples T-test, this difference was not statistically significant for any of the subscales, and the p value was greater than the preset alpha level of 0.017. Table 4.6 presents the results of Individual Samples T-Tests comparing pre-program Attitude-to Score Total scores and subscores for “regular” EAP and Inquiry groups.  14 11.53  Average score  12  9.43  10 8 6  5.04  4.87 5.07  4.12  4 1.48  2  0.28  0 Efforts & Motivation  Enjoyment  Behavior  EAP  Inquiry 10  Total  Figure 4.16. Pre-program Attitude-to-School subscale and total scores for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10.  123  Table 4.6. Individual Samples T-Test: Pre-Program Attitude-to-School Scores for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 Students Levene's Test for Equality of Variances F  Sig.  t-test for Equality of Means  t  df  Sig. (2tailed)  Mean Difference  95% CI of the Difference Lower  Upper  Efforts & Motivation  .011  .917  1.175  93.39  .243  .923  -.637  2.482  Enjoyment  .668  .416  2.228  104.26  .028  1.196  .131  2.260  Behaviour  .440  .509  -.372  93.11  .711  -.194  -1.232  .843  .005  .944  1.356  91.29  .178  2.102  -.977  5.182  Pre-Program Attitude-to-School total score  At the end of the year the difference in attitude to school between ”regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students became larger, with EAP students scoring higher on the Effort and Enjoyment subscale (and as a result having a higher Attitude-To-School total score) than the Inquiry 10 group (Figure 4.17). However, only on the Enjoyment subscale did the difference between the two groups approach significance, F (1, 78) = 5.431, p = 0.022. Table 4.7 summarizes the results of the post-program ANCOVA tests with differences in gender, pre-program achievement level and pre-program Attitude-toschool scores controlled.  124  14  12.25  Average score  12 9.74  10 8 6  5.23 4.09  3.93 4  4.56  2.64 1.25  2 0 Efforts & Motivation  Enjoyment  Behavior  EAP  Total  Inquiry 10  Figure 4.17. Post-program Attitude-to-School subscale and total scores for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  Table 4.7. ANCOVA Tests: Post-program Attitude-to-School Scores for “Regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 Students Variable  Cohen’s d (no Attitude-to-School score and gender as covariates) ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA, pre-program  covariates) Partial Eta F (df)  Sig.  Squared  Efforts and Motivation  .593(1, 75)  .444  .008  .30  Enjoyment  5.431 (1, 78)  .022  .065  .49  Behaviour  2.888 (1, 77)  .093  .036  -.16  .433 (1, 75)  .513  .006  Post-program Attitude-toSchool total score  .30  125  Attitude-to-School Scale: “Advanced” Students I also analyzed and compared the changes in attitudes to school for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry students. Descriptive statistics indicate that at the beginning of the program Inquiry 10 students had higher scores on all three attitudinal subscales and higher total Attitude-to-School score. However, this difference was not statistically significant on any of the subscales or the total scale with the p value being greater than 0.017 (pre program: t[efforts] = -1.268, p = 0.212; t[enjoyment] = -0.920; p = 0.364; t[behaviour] = - 0.958, p = 0.344; t[total score] = -1.637, p = 0.110). Figure 4.18 presents the mean scores for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students on Attitude-to-School scales.  18  15.46  16 Average score  14  12.05  12 10 8  7.31 5.95  5.05  6 4 2  1.05  5.7  1.86  0 Efforts & Motivation  Enjoyment  Behavior  EAP  Inquiry 10  Total  Figure 4.18. Pre-program Attitude-to-School scores for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  126  At the end of the program the only subscale that showed a change was the Enjoyment Subscale, on which the EAP group had a higher average score than the Inquiry class (2.23 and 1.97 for EAP and Inquiry classes respectively). However, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups on either the subscales or on the total Attitude-to-School score. Figure 4.19 and Table 4.8 compare the postprogram Attitude-to-School scores for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students.  13.17 12.14  14  Average score  12 10 8 6  6.06  5.05 5.14  4.86  4  2.23 1.97  2 0 Efforts & Motivation  Enjoyment  Behavior  EAP  Inquiry 10  Total  Figure 4.19. Post-program Attitude-to-School scores for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  127  Table 4.8. ANCOVA Tests: Post-Program Attitude-to-School Scores for “Advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 Students Variable  ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA, pre-program  Attitude-to-School score and gender as covariates)  Cohen’s d (no covariates)  Partial Eta F (df)  Sig.  Squared  Efforts & Motivation  .044 (1, 46)  .835  .001  -.28  Enjoyment  1.481 (1, 46)  .230  .031  .09  Behaviour  .165 (1, 46)  .686  .004  -.03  .336 (1, 46)  .565  .007  Post Program Attitude-toSchool total score  -.13  To conclude, efforts, enjoyment and motivation to learn tended to change throughout the year. For both groups, Efforts and Motivation and Behaviour scores decreased by the end of the program. In contrast, the Enjoyment score increased for both classes by the end of the year. Further, when all students were compared, the EAP group had a significantly higher Enjoyment score (and a higher total Attitude-to-School score) than the Inquiry10 group. However, the program impact was stronger for “regular” than “advanced” students.  Environmental Literacy Scale To investigate the differences in environmental literacy between the EAP and Inquiry 10 classes, an Environmental Literacy Scale was administered to students at the end of the year. While this scale was included in the post-program survey only, at the beginning of the year students were asked about their attitudes toward environmental  128  protection and conservation and outdoor activities. To investigate students’ environmental literacy, I employed descriptive and inferential statistics and explored three questions: 1) is there a statistically significant difference in Environmental Literacy scores (and subscores) between EAP and Inquiry 10 classes when all students were compared; 2) is there a statistically significant difference between Environmental Literacy scores (and subscores) of “regular” students in EAP and Inquiry 10 groups; and 3) is there a statistically of “advanced” students in EAP and Inquiry 10 classes.  Environmental Literacy Scale: All Students At the beginning of the year, 61% of students from the EAP and 69% of students from the Inquiry 10 group indicated that environmental protection and conservation was important to them. At the end of the year, when all students were compared, the EAP group had higher scores for all four subscales as well as a higher total Environmental Literacy (EL) score. Figure 4.20 presents the average post-program Environmental Literacy scores for the EAP and Inquiry 10 groups.  129  3.54 5  Perspectives  Inquiry 10 EAP  2.93 3.42  Responsibility -1.07  Transferability  1.41  Interactions  3.67 4.17  Interdependence  3.27 4.02 9.971  Total EL Score -5  0  5 10 Average score  18.02 15  20  Figure 4.20. Average post-program Environmental Literacy scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 students  Analysis indicates, however, that the difference between the EAP and Inquiry students was statistically significant only for the Transferability subscale (see Table 4.9). Significantly more students in the EAP class reported being interested in environmental topics and wanted to apply the information they had learned in school to out-of-school contexts (e.g., looking for more information, wanting to learning more about the topics).  130  Table 4.9. ANCOVA Tests: Post-Program Environmental Literacy Scores for EAP and Inquiry 10 Groups. Variable  Interdependence  ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA and gender Cohen’s d (no as covariates) covariates) Partial Eta Squared F (df) Sig. 1.797 (1, 138) .182 .013 .22  Interactions  1.136 (1, 138)  .288  .008  .15  Transferability  8.425 (1, 138)  .004  .058  .52  Responsibility  1.194 (1, 138)  .277  .009  .16  Perspectives  5.409 (1, 138)  .021  .038  .37  Environmental Literacy Score  4.713 (1, 138)  .032  .033  .51  Figure 4.21 presents the comparison for average scores for individual items of the Transferability subscale. A higher average score indicates higher agreement with the statement and a more positive attitude towards it. As seen from the Figure, on average, students in the EAP class thought about the environment and wanted to learn more about it when they were not in school. They also reported seeking opportunities to apply their knowledge of the environment and outdoors to their everyday situations.  131  Participating in environmental actions  Inquiry 10 EAP  Learning about environment outside of school Applying knowledge about environment in everyday life Thinking about environment when not in school Careers in EE field -0.8  -0.6  -0.4  -0.2  0.0  0.2  0.4  0.6  0.8  Average score  Figure 4.21. Average scores for the Transferability subscale items for EAP and Inquiry 10 groups  Environmental Literacy Scale: “Regular” Students Analysis of the descriptive statistics for “regular” EAP and non-EAP students indicates that at the end of the year the average Environmental Literacy score was higher for the EAP group on all subscales and the total Environmental Literacy instrument. Figure 4.22 presents the comparison of average scores for the “regular” EAP and nonEAP students. ANCOVA tests, controlled for pre program academic achievement and gender, showed that at the end of the year the difference between “regular” EAP and non-EAP students was statistically significant for Transferability and Perspectives subscales (Table 4.10). EAP students not only indicated that they tried to learn more about the environment and apply knowledge and skills gained in school outside of school but also showed better awareness that different groups of stakeholders have different views of the environment and use the environment in different ways.  132  2.51  Perspectives  4.8  Inquiry 10 EAP  2.17 3.02  Responsibility -1.39  Transferability  1.38 2.86 3.91  Interactions  2.13 3.62  Interdependence  8.33  Total EL Score -5  0  5 10 Average Score  17.3 15  20  Figure 4.22. Average post-program Environmental Literacy scores for “regular” EAP and non-EAP students  Table 4.10. ANCOVA Tests: Environmental Literacy Scores for “Regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 Students Variable  Cohen’s d (no covariates)  Interdependence  ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA classes and gender as covariates) F (df) Sig. Partial Eta Squared 2.549 (1, 84) .114 .029  Interactions  1.482 (1, 84)  .227  .017  .30  Transferability  7.846 (1, 84)  .006  .085  .56  Responsibility  2.404 (1, 84)  .125  .028  .25  Perspectives  6.034 (1, 84)  .016  .067  .55  5.389 (1, 84)  .023  .060  Environmental Literacy Score  .42  .53  133  Environmental Literacy Scale: “Advanced” Students Finally, when “advanced” students were compared, the average score for the EAP group was higher on the total Environmental Literacy score and Transferability and Perspectives subscales and slightly lower on Interdependence, Interactions and Responsibility subscales (Figure 4.23). This indicates that students in the Inquiry 10 group showed higher awareness of issues related to interdependence of human and environmental systems and the role different elements play in an ecosystem. However, according to ANCOVA tests, the differences were not statistically significant any of the subscales or the total score (Table 4.11).  4.75 5.19  Perspectives  Inquiry 10 EAP  4.06 3.59  Responsibility -0.43  Transferability  0.91  Interactions  4.69 4.41  Interdependence  4.69 4.45 17.66 19.1  Total EL Score -5  0  5  10 Average score  15  20  25  Figure 4.23. Average post-program scores for the Transferability subscale items for “advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students  134  Table 4. 11. ANCOVA Tests: Environmental Literacy Scores for “Advanced” EAP and Inquiry 10 students Variable  Cohen’s d (no covariates)  Interdependence  ANCOVA (Grade 9 GPA and gender as covariates) F (df) Sig. Partial Eta Squared .102 (1, 50) .751 .002  Interactions  .160 (1, 50)  .691  .003  -.10  Transferability  1.118 (1, 50)  .296  .022  .31  Responsibility  .562 (1, 50)  .457  .011  -.22  Perspectives  .006 (1, 50)  .938  .000  .14  Environmental Literacy Score  .007 (1, 50)  .933  .000  .11  -.08  To conclude, at the end of the year EAP students on average had higher Environmental Literacy scores than Inquiry students. However, analysis found no statistically significant difference between groups on all but the Transferability subscale. No difference in Environmental Literacy scores was found for students attending advanced courses.  Closing Remarks Analysis of the quantitative measures indicates that the EAP has a positive impact on student academic performance, attitude to school and environmental literacy. When all students were compared, the EAP students outperformed their Inquiry 10 counterparts on all measures (see Table 4.12). However, this difference was statistically significant for GPA, WASL science and math scores, and Enjoyment and Transferability subscales at the end of the year. The program also seems to influence “regular” students, who were  135  less academically oriented, more than “advanced” students. EAP “regular” students performed better than Inquiry 10 students on all measures and demonstrated significantly higher GPA, WASL science and math scores, Science Inquiry Task scores and Transferability and perspectives subscales of the Environmental Literacy Scale. On the contrary, “advanced” EAP students showed no change between the beginning and the end of the year on all measures except the Environmental Literacy Scale. While the current study does not allow identifying the factors that influenced “regular” students more than “advanced”, it is possible that “advanced” students who chose to participate in the EAP program were different in some way from “advanced” students that attended the Inquiry 10 program. Fore example, perhaps “advanced” EAP students were less interested in academic aspects of the program and more in the environmental component. Unfortunately, the data collected within this study is not sufficient to draw such a conclusion (or any other) and further investigation is needed.  136  Table 4.12. Results on Quantitative Assessments for EAP and Inquiry 10 Groups Outcomes  All students Pre-program  “Regular” students  “Advanced” students  Higher for Inquiry  Post-program (controlled for covariates) Higher for EAP*  WASL tests Reading Writing Math Science  -  Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP* Higher for EAP*  Inquiry tasks  Higher for Inquiry  Higher for EAP  Higher for EAP  Higher for EAP*  Higher for Inquiry  Higher for Inquiry*  Attitude to school Motivation Enjoyment Behaviour  Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for EAP Higher for Inquiry  Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP* Higher for EAP  Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for Inquiry  Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP** Higher for EAP  Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry  Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry  -  Higher for EAP**  -  Higher for EAP**  -  Higher for EAP  -  Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP* Higher for EAP Higher for EAP**  -  Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP* Higher for EAP Higher for EAP*  -  Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP  GPA  Environmental Literacy Interdependence Interactions Transferability Responsibility Perspectives  Pre-program  Higher for EAP  -  Post-program (controlled for covariates) Higher for EAP*  Higher for Inquiry  Post-program (controlled for covariates) Higher for Inquiry  Higher for EAP Higher for EAP Higher for EAP* Higher for EAP*  -  Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry Higher for Inquiry  Pre-program  * Statistically significant difference at alpha = .017. ** Approaching significance. - Not assessed  137  CHAPTER FIVE QUALITATIVE DATA: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  This chapter presents results of my qualitative analysis of data from my study of student learning in an environmental program. These findings are based on analysis of the student and teacher interviews and my observations of the program activities. I explore the learning outcomes that occurred in the EAP and Inquiry 10 programs and compare the differences in learning outcomes. I include two ‘maps’ of learning outcomes that summarize the results of my analysis and illustrate the categories of learning outcomes identified in the interviews or observed during the year. The first map (Figure 5.1) summarizes the learning outcomes and experiences for the students in the EAP program. The second map (Figure 5.2) presents a summary of student experiences in the Inquiry 10 program. Overall, through the analysis of the interviews and observations, eight broad categories of learning outcomes emerged. These included: •  subject specific learning,  •  environmental learning,  •  social learning,  •  attitude to school,  •  performance and achievement,  •  personal learning,  •  community and service-learning, and  •  transfer of learning.  138  In what follows, I present the comparative analysis of the interview data using quotes from student interviews to illustrate the differences in learning experiences between the two programs.  139  Figure 5.1. Learning outcomes in the EAP program  140  Figure 5.2. Learning outcomes in the Inquiry program  141  Subject Specific Learning My analysis indicates that while students from both the EAP and Inquiry 10 groups were introduced to a variety of curricular units and gained new knowledge, the EAP students developed deeper and more personal understanding of the curriculum and more diverse life-long skills. In addition to topics and skills learned by both groups (e.g., DNA, evolution, genetic engineering, cycles, tectonics, populations, and carrying capacity and developed inquiry and problem solving skills), EAP students also talked about learning outdoor and everyday skills that they saw as relevant to real life, and commented that outdoor activities and hands-on integrated projects helped them to see the connections between different subject areas. In their view, learning became more personal and relevant and resulted in the development of deeper understanding of subject specific concepts. We learned a lot about the experimental design and collecting data and procedures to find levels of DO [dissolved oxygen]. We had to make a hypothesis on about the water and the plants, how they grow and if there is more plants in this spot, and we had to make a whole science experiment, and then we had to do it and collect all the data, and that was fun. Some of the books we [read] had to do with what we were doing at that time. Like we read about fishing when we were learning the fish and water, and it made it more personal. (Ann, EAP student, 2006) In contrast, a number of Inquiry 10 students struggled with understanding the material and commented on their lack of deeper understanding of topics learned. Table 5.1 compares subject specific learning reported by the EAP and Inquiry 10 students.  142  Table 5.1. Subject Specific Learning Outcomes Identified by Students Learning Outcomes  EAP  Inquiry 10  1. Gaining new knowledge  Yes  Yes  2. Deeper understanding of concepts and topics  Yes  Yes (some)  3. Developing problem solving skills  Yes  Yes  4. Developing inquiry skills  Yes  Yes  5. Developing outdoor skills/Everyday/Life skills  Yes  No  6. Understanding connections between subjects  Yes  No  7. Learning became more personal  Yes  No  Environmental Learning While for the EAP program environment was the topic around which the curriculum was build, the Inquiry 10 program spent two weeks at the end of the year studying topics related to population growth (carrying capacity, ecological footprint). The interviews with students from both groups showed similarities and differences in what the students reported as their environmental learning outcomes. Table 5.2 compares the environmental learning outcomes that emerged from interviews with the EAP and Inquiry students.  Table 5.2. Environmental Learning Outcomes Identified by Students Learning Outcomes  EAP  Inquiry 10  1. Better attitude toward the environment  Yes  No  2. Care for the environment  Yes  Yes  3. Environment became more interesting  Yes  Yes/ No  4. Participation in environmental actions/ sense of empowerment  Yes  No  5. Rethinking personal lifestyle and choices  Yes  Yes  143  Learning Outcomes  EAP  Inquiry 10  6. Developing a sense of stewardship and responsibility  Yes  Yes  7. Understanding cultural perspectives  Yes  Yes  8. Understanding of human-environment interactions  Yes  Yes  9. Understanding environmental concepts and issues  Yes  Yes  Learning about environmental concepts and issues. Students in both groups learned about environmental concepts and issues such as pollution, global warming and logging, and talked about the impact of humans on the environment and balance of natural and social systems. Over the course of the year EAP students conducted a number of research projects on environmental issues that integrated science, language arts and health and fitness. In their research and analysis they looked at different information sources and points of view, held class discussions and gave presentations. This appeared to aid them in developing a deeper understanding of environmental issues. We picked an environmental issue that we liked, like I picked deforestation, some picked like air pollution and stuff, and learned how it’s affecting the world in general and what’s the problem are because of it right now, stuff like that. And I think it’s really important issues that we are learning about them and we are more aware about it. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006) Environmental topics were not the primary focus of the Inquiry 10 course; however, students did explore issues through textbook readings followed by class discussions. The effectiveness of this approach appeared to be limited as not everyone developed understanding of these issues. Some students did recognize they were studying environmental topics when these were embedded in the subject area content. As Luke reflected during his end-of-the-year interview at the end of the Ecology unit, “I don’t really know if we really went into environmental issues at all.”  144  Stewardship and sense of responsibility. Participation in the EAP and Inquiry 10 programs encouraged students to think about their personal lifestyles and choices and how they can act responsibly towards the planet. All interviewees from the EAP group reported thinking about human impact on the environment and responsibility to protect it for generations to come. EAP students were aware of the fact and explained that their sense of responsibility emerged from experiential aspects of the program that gave them numerous opportunities to enjoy the ‘great outdoors’. As Sam commented, I think that the whole idea of the class is to think about stewardship. To make the earth a safe place, to take care of it, be a part of it, help it. I think we are doing a good job because we do things to help nature, and we learn how to be a part of the environment, how not to harm it. I am a lot more conscious now about what I do, as like, not litter, because we’ve been picking stuff up, so I know [what it means to] clean up. And I have a lot more respect for everything. (Sam, EAP student, 2006) The Ecology unit in the Inquiry 10 program that taught students about populations and engaged them in discussions of their ecological footprint also motivated students to think about their lifestyles and choices. For some like Maya these topics were ‘eye opening”. I think all this research on population was hugely eye opening on everything. I think I am a lot less wasteful than I used to be. I am trying to recycle everything that needs to be. But I am too lazy to like wash out the pan, or something like that. So I am just trying to drive less. (Maya, Inquiry 10 student, 2006) Attitude towards the environment. While the EAP students developed a better attitude towards the environment, the majority of interviewees who participated in the Inquiry 10 program reported no attitudinal change. EAP students indicated that the program helped them to appreciate the environment more. They developed deeper respect towards the environment and the  145  planet, became more conscious of their actions, and saw environment as more interesting. For instance, as Alice reflected in her interview: [My attitude] has changed since I first took the class. Before I did not really care as much. I was like “Oh, environment, cool I guess”. And right now I can see the hard work that goes in keeping it the way it is and notice how much effort goes into it. So, I have more respect than I used to. (Alice, EAP student, 2006) While students who participated in the Inquiry 10 program also reported that environmental topics were interesting, they believed that their attitudes toward the environment and interest in environmental issues had not changed much as a result of the program. It [attitude toward the environment] is closer to the same because I am not, you know, the complete environmentalist. I don’t litter and if I can, I’ll pick up trash sometimes, but I don’t go out of my way to clean everything up. [So, my] view did not really change at all. (Kate, Inquiry 10 student, 2006) A lot of the environmental stuff, I don’t think I will be using it in the future, because I don’t plan on being environmental scientist or environmentalist. I am sure, it’s helpful because it’s good to know, always good to know, things like that. But when it comes to actually using it, I don’t think I’ll use a lot of the environmental stuff. (Harry, Inquiry 10 student, 2006)  Environmental action. All EAP students who participated in the interview reflected that the program changed their everyday behaviour and empowered them to take environmental actions. Students talked about volunteering for environmental organizations, using knowledge and skills gained in the program at home and in the community. The care for the environment is not just you know…Take care because you have to, it’s really [because] you want to do it. It’s really trying to understand it, to learn about the environment. Do not just think about it as an obligation, but to think of it as… People think about it as they need to do it. But you should think about it as what is expected from everybody because of people you love. We talk  146  about what [care] should look like. And when we go there, on field trips, before we went we got to learn what it is like to ‘properly act’ out there. We learn like [the] ‘leave no trace’ thing, when we leave none of our garbage behind. We don’t break stuff, we leave the environment as it was before we came. When we began it was just a role, but they don’t need to tell us any more. We just do it, because we understand what the problem is, and what we can do about it. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006) After an Ecological footprint activity that involved analyzing how many resources their families consume, some Inquiry 10 students also thought about their impact on the environment and tried to change their personal lifestyles. For example, Alex reported that discussions in class made him think about the impact of his personal choices on other countries and described the changes that he had made in his everyday behaviours. [After the Footprint activity] I recycle a lot more, I eat more produce grown in Washington. I try not to drive very much. I walk a lot more. And I skateboard, so I skateboard to a lot of places because Mr. S. said if you are using this gas which is gotten all the way over in Afghanistan, you have an ecological footprint over there. So I looked at how many people use that gas, and I am thinking, well, there are large enough [ecological] footprints over there. I can take mine out. They don’t need more pressure over there. And locally grown produce, it will help. It’s not as expensive, and probably is a bit safer, because you know where it came from, it’s not a processed stuff, you know. (Alex, Inquiry 10 student, 2006) Not every Inquiry 10 student felt empowered, however. In fact, 10 out the15 Inquiry students who participated in the interviews felt powerless to tackle environmental issues which, in their view, are too large to address as an individual. For instance, while Stas felt that there is a need to protect the environment from harmful human impact, he did not see himself as an agent of change but rather as a lone individual whose actions can not affect the situation. It’s like a guilt factor. I have a small feeling of like want to change it, you know. You want to change how you protect the environment because obviously, our population as human species is definitely rising, and the animals and environmental vegetation because of humans are definitely declining. And this won’t last forever. So, you have a small feeling of "I should change” for the better  147  of the mankind. But really, if you just alone, you won’t change [anything]. If you don’t get more, it’s your neighbour, he will take what is left. And it’s kinda like a never-ending movie, unless very serious laws are put into actions. For instance, we are not cutting down any more trees. Unless something serious, something like that would happen. You can’t stop it, I guess. (Stas, Inquiry 10student, 2006) Similarly, while the footprint activity made Kate think about her impact on the environment, she felt that she was not ready to change her lifestyle. It was really interesting to see how much of the footprint you make. It really makes you think about everything that you use. Like ”Oh, I use all this stuff, and maybe I don’t need it?” But, I am so used to it, so I can’t even imagine living without for even a day (Kate, Inquiry 10 student, 2006) For Bruce, taking care of the environment was seen as “someone else’s job”. While he talked about recycling and littering, he did not see himself actively involved in environmental actions. Honestly, I understand that if someone does not take care of it, it’s not going to be good when my kids or my kids’ kids get older, they are not going enjoy what I can enjoy now. But it’s not honestly something I want to go and do. I’ll be aware, you know, not throwing trash out of the window. I hope to slow it down by not littering and try to do my best job, but I won’t go out and do someone else’s job. (Bruce, Inquiry 10 student, 2006) While Inquiry 10 students reported being more aware of environmental issues and paying more attention to news reports on the topic, some were not convinced that a real concern existed. Some continued to believe that these issues ‘can wait’. As Luke put it, As for the environmental issues, I‘ve never really bothered with them myself. Because to me a real environmental issue would be if it was threatening the stability of the planet where it was causing death in multiple places or something. There are maybe slightly major environmental issues, [however] in my mind they are only minor, but that’s how I think, I’ll start caring about environmental issues, after I can stop caring about public school, after I graduate from high school. I have to get out of high school first. But I am starting to pay attention to it more and more, like on the news and stuff. (Luke, Inquiry 10 student, 2006)  148  Overall, these findings indicate that inclusion of environmental topics in the curriculum without providing students with direct, hands-on experiences is not enough for students to develop emotional connection towards the environment in ways that can lead to changes in lifestyles and perspectives. While Inquiry 10 students developed conceptual knowledge and became aware of environmental problems and possible solutions, their textbook learning did not provide them with sufficient opportunities to develop and practice skills that are needed for solving environmental issues. This appeared to leave students feeling powerless and inert.  Community and Service-learning Service-learning was a large part of the EAP program. Unlike the Inquiry 10 students who explored a limited number of environmental issues from a textbook, the EAP students became engaged in two yearlong service-learning projects: a habitat restoration and park trail building and maintenance. All 15 EAP students who participated in the interviews commented on the importance of the service-learning projects and the impact of these projects on their attitudes toward the environment, community, environmental protection and conservation. Students not only developed a deeper sense of stewardship and responsibility, and understanding of how their personal actions affect the environment, but also became engaged and empowered about environmental work. Through hands-on projects in the community conducted under the guidance of teachers and county officials, students also developed appreciation of environmental work. As Jenny and Mary explained,  149  I was ignorant before this [project], you know. All I saw was what happened around me. And I was like, oh, there are already people out there whose job is to do it. But when you go out there, you understand there is so much they have to do. They can’t do everything by themselves. And the feeling you get from helping them out. It’s just an amazing feeling. Like, I did this, I cleared this plot, I did something good. And I think all the students should get chance to do that. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006) I didn’t know that there are so many people in Issaquah trying to fix King County and trying to bring back native species. But there are so many people that care so much, and that makes me want to work harder when we go out and do these things because there are so many people that like depend on us (Mary, EAP student, 2006) Students valued participation in the service-learning projects and felt their actions made a difference in the community. They also developed a sense of pride and accomplishment from their work and felt they were doing “professional” quality work. It’s rewarding to go through a whole day with a bunch of people and working plant, by plant, by plant, one at a time, and then you step back and look at it at the end of the day, and you’ve just changed the whole field. And it means a lot to a lot of people, so it starts to mean a lot to you. You start to respect it a lot more, and it’s a lot more rewarding when you actually do it. (John, EAP student, 2006)  Learning Transfer The topic of how school activities affected out-of-school life was mentioned only by the EAP students. While “school” skills and knowledge that students applied outside of school varied from hiking technique to adopting a ‘leave no trace’ habit to planting and gardening, all students emphasized the importance of what they learned that they could apply and use in their everyday lives. For instance, after participation in the program Mary started spending more time in the garden with her mother sharing the planting skills she had learned from participating in habitat restoration and trail building projects.  150  I’ve never wanted to work in the backyard with my mom and my family just because I’d rather sleep. And now I am doing all this cool stuff at Log Cabin Reach and Tailor Mountain, so I want to go back and [share] with my mom. It makes me want to be outside more. And just show off what I know, show off my skills. (Mary, EAP student, 2006) Similarly, Jenny started seeing the chores of maintaining her family property as her responsibility. At home we have a big piece of property. And my parents would have me help out. And I only helped out because they really wanted us to work, so I did it to make them happy and it was just like another chore. I was expecting a reward and now I don’t, you know. It’s not that I have a job to do that. But it’s my responsibility as a person who… I use these resources, I live here, it’s my job, it’s my duty to take care of it. And the environment. Because without the environment we have nothing. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006) According to the interviews, the EAP program also affected family relationships, with some students starting to spend more time together with their parents and siblings doing outdoor, environmental, and recreational activities. As Jenny explained, This class has made my family closer together. I am not the only one excited about this class, they [my parents] are excited about it. And now they want to try new things because I am trying new things. We are really close. Now we hang out more because of [this program]. We do more family oriented things together. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006)  Social Learning Learning is a social process; thus, it is not surprising that students from both groups reported learning social skills over the course of the year. The results indicate, however, that the programs differed in the extent of social learning experiences, with students in EAP reporting more diverse learning outcomes. Table 5.3 presents social learning outcomes reported by interviewees.  151  Table 5.3. Social Learning Outcomes Identified by Students Learning Outcomes  EAP  Inquiry 10  1. Better relationships with peers  Yes  Yes  2. Becoming more accepting of other people’ perspectives,  Yes  -  3. Responsibility for the group  Yes  -  4. Developing group work skills  Yes  Yes  5. Developing social skills (communication)  Yes  -  6. Learning about perspectives and others  Yes  Yes  7. Sense of community  Yes  -  8. Learning to help others  Yes  Yes  cultures and points of views (inclusion)  - Not Mentioned  The EAP students reported developing stronger relationships with all of their classmates regardless of social groups. While cliques and groups do exist in the school and the EAP students belong to some of them, participation in the program led to the development of new friendships and social groups. Through the program involvement students enlarged their social circles and made new friends; they were aware of groups becoming more inclusive and accepting of others. At the beginning it was they all separated themselves. We are this group, or we are that group. [Now] we have a comfort level that we did not have at the beginning. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006) The EAP students attributed the strong social networks they developed to the “whole day” nature of the program and the fact that they all had been engaged in group work and outdoor service-learning projects. When you go on a hike in the mountain and hacking down blackberry bushes, you get to know people better, just because you see how they react, and they see how you react and just by that you get to kinda figure out what kind of person they are. 152  But if you are just sitting in the classroom, I don’t know. There are people in some of my other classes and I still don’t know their names. (Dale, EAP student, 2006)  As both programs had an emphasis on group work, EAP and Inquiry 10 students developed better skills of how to work with peers, help each other, be open minded to other peoples’ ideas and value others’ opinions and perspectives. However, while all the EAP interviewees commented on how working in groups made their projects easier and more collaborative, four out of 15 Inquiry 10 interviewees expressed their concerns regarding the unequal sharing of work and a lack of committment from some of the group members. For instance, Maya complained, I really don’t have a problem with anybody in class. It’s just... it frustrates me that some of them don’t care, and they make me do all the work, or they make somebody else do all the work. And they are just like “ok, so what is your answer?” or “can I copy down your answers” and that’s frustrating. I worked really hard on this, you have not contributed at all. We are so behind everybody else because you have not helped me. That’s frustrating. (Maya, Inquiry 10 student, 2006) Unlike Inquiry 10 students, who did not form strong social bonds with their classmates, the EAP students developed a strong sense of community. They referred to their class as family, emphasizing that they felt responsibility for other people in the group and for their success in the program that resulted in students helping each other on class assignments as well as on hikes and outdoor projects. I feel like comfortable and like being a family, and you don’t have to struggle by yourself, people are always there to help you. (Mary, EAP student, 2006)  153  Personal Learning Results indicate that more diverse personal learning occurred in the EAP program (Table 5.4). The EAP students developed time management, communication and public speaking skills, and learned how to work independently and in groups. Through group projects inside and outside the classroom, group discussions and reflections on readings and experiences, students in the EAP class developed a better understanding of themselves and their classmates. They reflected on their life choices and personal goals; discussed their views on social, moral and environmental issues and compared them with the views of their classmates. As John described, I think I learned more about myself, what I want to do, where I want to go. Being more outgoing, more comfortable with speaking in front of people, presenting, being myself I guess. I learned what my perspective [is] on a lot of different issues, politics and things like that. I learned a lot about what my beliefs are, how to handle myself in situations, how to push myself, to try harder and motivate myself, and how to be open minded to other people’s ideas. (John, EAP student, 2006)  Table 5.4. Personal Learning Outcomes Identified by Students Learning Outcomes  EAP  Inquiry 10  1. Learning to challenging yourself  Yes  Yes  2. Developing confidence  Yes  -  3. Learning public speaking  Yes  -  4. Developing communication skills  Yes  Yes  5. Learning to work independently  Yes  -  6. Understanding yourself better  Yes  -  7. Learning to persevere  Yes  -  8. Developing time management skills  Yes  -  - Not Mentioned  154  While Inquiry students talked about dealing with challenging textbook and science topics, challenges for the EAP students were physical, mental and intellectual. The large integrated research projects required students to apply knowledge and skills from science, language arts and health and fitness, and often went beyond regular high school curriculum. For example, collecting and analyzing soil and water quality tests for the county was a challenging task for some EAP students. In addition to curriculum challenges, the program included intense physically demanding activities, such as tree planting, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. For many, especially girls without prior outdoor or recreational experience, the level of difficulty was challenging. All EAP students who participated in the interviews reflected that the program taught them perseverance and how to push yourself, and that is was important to take responsibility for your decisions. They [the teachers] don’t tell you how to make it up to the top like. You can just sit down and wait for them to come back down when they are on the hike. The challenge is to keep up going like, no, I am making it to the top. Because they gave the option of not doing it and doing it. And you want to show them you can. I am not in this class just because I thought it was easy, I am in this class because I am gonna do what we gonna do. So challenges really… because they [the teachers] are not there to push you anymore, you have to push yourself. And the challenge is to keep on pushing yourself to make it better. And that’s one of the hardest things. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006) You have to push yourself, because you can give up and you can sit on the side. But then when everyone else in your class makes it to the top but you, you feel like you’ve let them down and yourself. And you are climbing up that mountain, that was not necessarily put there for people to climb, but if you can make to the top of this mountain, you feel like you can accomplish anything. And those other problems that you have in your life right now don’t seem so big when you are standing on the top of the mountain. (Mary, EAP student, 2006)  155  Attitude to School Analysis of the Student Attitudes Survey results presented earlier showed that while at the beginning of year there was no difference in Attitude-to-School scores between EAP and Inquiry 10 students, by the end of the year EAP students had higher scores than their counterparts. Furthermore, while the scores of the EAP students increased by the end of the year, the scores of the Inquiry 10 students decreased slightly. Interviews with the EAP and Inquiry 10 students provide evidence that supports quantitative findings and indicate that the EAP students showed a better attitude toward school, higher motivation and engagement than the Inquiry students. Table 5.5 illustrates outcomes of both programs related to motivation and attitude to school.  Table 5.5. Attitude to School and Motivation Learning Outcomes  EAP  Inquiry 10  Increased enjoyment  Yes  Yes  Increased interest in subjects  Yes  Yes  Increased interest in learning  Yes  No  Increased attention  Yes  -  Better attitude to school  Yes  Mixed  Increased motivation/engagement  Yes  Mixed  - Not Mentioned  For EAP students, the program provided enjoyment and extra motivation to engage in learning. All the EAP students who participated in the interviews reported looking forward to the “Blue” EE days in their school schedules. Having this class improved my attitude to school because if I had a bad day on a gold day, I could just think “tomorrow is the blue day, I’ll have a good time tomorrow because it will be the EAP”. And then on blue day, I’d be having so  156  much fun that I would forget that the next day is the gold day. And then I’d go to the gold day thinking that it will be a good day, and sometimes it would turn out to be a good day, sometimes it would not. But then I could just think “the blue day is the next day”. (Sanders, EAP student, 2006) When asked about the reasons why the EAP was so engaging, students mentioned the social aspects of the program, hands-on learning, the encouraging teachers who created fun and interesting lessons, and that the program activities often had real-life applications (such as collecting research data for county officials on water and soil quality). As a result, the EAP students expressed positive attitudes to school even at the end of the year, when interest in school typically tends to decline. As Dale explained, Personally for me, especially at this time of the year, like the last couple of months, it’s hard to stay focused at school a lot of the times and stay motivated. And this class, it kind of helps you. It’s almost easier to stay focused. It’s easier to just get your work done and do a lot of stuff because all these things, you enjoy them I guess. (Dale, EAP student, 2006) Unlike the EAP students, the Inquiry 10 students’ reflections regarding motivation and attitude to school and learning were not uniform. While some reported being interested and engaged in Inquiry 10 classes, others were less motivated. Maya, one of the Inquiry students, provided a description of her classmates’ attitude toward the program. In her view, while some students were interested and successful, others “did not care” about the course and put little effort into class activities or homework. As she explained, There is a huge range of people in [this class]. I mean, you see there are really smart people like Jim and Lea. They are like way up here in their understanding; they just comprehend everything very, very easily. And then you see people down there that just don’t care, and they just make arguments for absolute zero reason or they destruct the class. I think everybody in there has the potential to learn all of this stuff. I mean, it’s mostly about care: do you care enough? (Maya, Inquiry 10 student, 2006)  157  This lack of concern about the coursework and disruptive classroom behaviour was mentioned by several Inquiry 10 students and was evident during my classroom observations.  Performance and Achievement This study explored the differences between the EAP and Inquiry 10 programs in terms of student academic achievement using quantitative methods, and the results of this quantitative analysis were presented in the previous chapter. These quantitative findings illustrate that EAP students outperformed their counterparts on standardized tests and had higher grade point averages at the end of the year than students in the Inquiry 10 program, although the difference on some measures was not statistically significant. While the topic of achievement was not a focus of the interviews, a number of students from both program groups commented on their grades and overall school performance. The EAP students spoke about performing better academically, having better grades and developing deeper understanding of topics and issues. This was especially noteworthy when these comments came from students who were not always successful in school and had struggled to achieve in previous years. For instance, as Jenny explained, I am not one of those A, B, C students, I am usually a D, C student, and I have an A- in science for the first ever like… My other science classes, I understood it, but they did not make me want to learn science. And Mr. N. really makes me want to learn science, and I understand it all. (Jenny, EAP student, 2006) These reflections support the results of quantitative analysis that showed that the program impacted “regular” students more than their more academically oriented peers. Another difference between the EAP and Inquiry 10 students was their views about the significance of grading and grades. While several Inquiry 10 students talked  158  about their concern about the grades, the EAP students (and their teachers) defined their achievement in terms of skills and experiences rather than grade point averages. According to Mary from the EAP program, while in previous years, she and her friends tended to be focused on grades and GPAs, in the EAP “it’s not about the grades anymore” but rather about mastery of skills and concepts, group work and engagement.  What Counts as Learning? Research indicates that students and adults can hold a variety of conceptions of learning. Marton, Dall’Alba, and Beauty (1993) identified six conceptions of learning that ranged from reproductive to transformative (Table 5.6). The authors categorize the first three conceptions (increasing one’s knowledge, memorising and reproducing and applying) as reproductive conceptions that focus on the “what” aspect of learning. The last three conceptions (understanding, seeing things in a different way, and changing as a person) focus on the “how” aspect of learning and are considered transformative. McGuinnes (2005), who analyzed learning outcomes of 12 school programs within the Teaching and Learning Research, identified a two dimensional system of concepts of learning. The first dimension was similar to that of Marton et al. (1993) and described learning concepts that ranged from “knowing what” to “knowing how”. The second dimension proposed to view learning as a continuum from acquisition to participation. To analyse the views of learning held by students in the EAP and Inquiry 10 programs, I combined the categories of Marton et al (1993) and McGuinnes (2005).  159  Table 5.6. Conceptions of Learning by Marton et al. (1993) and McGuinnes (2005) Marton et al. (1993) Reproductive  McGuinnes (2005) Conception A. Increasing  Quantitative (“what”)  Acquisition  one’s knowledge Conception B. Memorizing and reproducing Conception C. Applying Conception D. Understanding  Qualitative (“how”)  Conception E. Seeing things a different way Conception F. Changing as a  Transformative  person Participation  In the interviews students from both classes were asked about their view on learning. Analysis indicated that while the Inquiry 10 students expressed more reproductive/quantitative views focusing on the “what” aspect of learning, the EAP students expressed more participatory and transformative views. All students believed that learning means increasing one’s knowledge and skills. However, while Inquiry 10 students spoke about learning the facts and skills covered by the textbook, for 50% of the EAP students interviewed learning was about acquisition of everyday life skills as well as knowledge. Over 80% of the EAP students believed that learning is about applying things learned to other situations at school or in everyday life, as compared to 40% of the Inquiry 10 students. Lastly, no Inquiry 10 students referred to learning as a social activity, or a form of participation that leads to personal change and growth. Figure 5.3 compares the conceptions of learning expressed by the EAP and Inquiry 10 students.  160  Participation Learning as social activity  Inquiry 10 EAP  Changing as a person Seeing things in a different way Mastery Understanding Applying Memorizing/reproducing Increasing one's knowledge 0%  20%  40%  60%  80%  100%  Figure 5.3. Conceptions of learning: EAP and Inquiry students  Closing Remarks To conclude, the qualitative analysis of interview data (supported by observation) illustrates that students who participated in the EAP program report a wider range of learning outcomes ranging from subject specific learning to environmental and servicelearning to personal and social growth. The results suggest that the yearlong environmental program provides more opportunities for learning about environmental issues and topics and improved attitude to school, motivation and engagement. These findings agree with and corroborate the results of my quantitative analysis. Qualitative analysis findings also provide insights on the types of learning outcomes that were not measured by the quantitative instruments (e.g., personal and social learning). These assisted me as a researcher to develop a better understanding of the impact of the EAP  161  program on students and identify similarities and differences in student learning experiences in the EAP and Inquiry 10 programs.  162  CHAPTER SIX SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this research was to examine student learning experiences and outcomes in an environmental education program and investigate how these experiences and outcomes differ from student experiences and outcomes in “traditional” programs. I explored how involvement in environmental education influences high school students’ learning and performance across subject areas, their attitude to school and the environment, and their social competency skills by comparing students enrolled in two Washington State high school programs at the same school: an integrated yearlong environmental education program and a traditional Grade 10 Science program. My analysis revealed that the EAP program provided a wide range of learning outcomes and experiences, and was more effective in improving students’ academic performance, attitude to school and motivation and environmental literacy. In this chapter I summarize my research findings by revisiting the questions that guided my study 1. What is the impact of involvement in an integrated environmental education program on high school students’ learning in terms of a. environmental literacy (knowledge, attitudes and behaviours); b. academic achievement across subject areas; c. motivation and engagement towards learning; and d. social competency (such as cooperation, sense of responsibility, peer interactions)?  163  2. What are the differences in learning experiences and achievement for students participating in EE and traditional programs? In this chapter I summarize the results, draw conclusions and discuss implications and recommendations for future research and policy.  Summary To explore students’ learning experiences and outcomes resulting from participation in an environmental program I conducted a comparative study of grade 10 students enrolled in two different high school programs in one public school in Washington State, USA: an integrated environmental education program and a traditional science program. For this study I adopted a mixed methods research design, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data included standardized achievement test scores in math, language arts and science, Science Inquiry tasks, GPAs and surveys regarding attitudes, practices and demographics. The qualitative data were gathered through open-ended survey items, student, teacher and staff interviews and observations. The data were analyzed using statistical analysis and qualitative procedures and the results obtained through multiple methods were compared. My results are presented below.  Research Question 1: What is the impact of involvement in an integrated environmental education program on high school students’ learning in terms of environmental literacy; academic achievement across subject areas; motivation and engagement towards learning; and social competency.  164  EAP students developed understanding of environmental concepts and issues and demonstrated a sense of responsibility, care for the environment, respect for environmental work and were actively engaged in environmental service-learning projects. They learned about environmental concepts and issues such as pollution, global warming and logging, and developed understanding of the impact of humans on the environment and balance of natural and social systems. Quantitative analysis showed an increase in environmental literacy scores for the EAP group between the beginning and the end of the year. Interviews showed that EAP students developed deeper respect towards the environment and the planet, and became empowered to take environmental actions. Academic performance of EAP students increased between the beginning and the end of the year. Quantitative analysis of GPA and Science Inquiry Task scores indicated that EAP students performed better on these measures at the end of the program. In the interviews EAP students also reflected on their improved performance. This was especially true for less academically oriented students. EAP students demonstrated increased engagement and motivation and better attitude to school by the end of the academic year. Analysis of the Student Attitudes Survey results showed an increase in attitude-to-school scores for EAP students by the end of the year. Interviews provide evidence that support the quantitative findings and indicate that the EAP students continued to feel positive about school, and remain motivated and engaged. Students attributed this to the social aspects of the program, hands-on learning, encouraging teachers who created fun and interesting lessons, and that program activities often had real-life applications.  165  EAP students developed a variety of social and personal skills. Participation in the EAP program led to the development of new friendships and social groups. Through the program students enlarged their social circle and made new friends, becoming more become inclusive and accepting of others. They also developed time management, communication and public speaking skills, and developed a better understanding of themselves and their classmates.  Research Question 2: What are the differences in learning experiences and achievement for students participating in EE and traditional programs? EAP students demonstrated better performance on WASL tests and higher GPA. Analysis of the grade point averages and WASL test scores indicate that students in the EAP program outperformed the non-EAP group. In terms of statistical and practical significance, this difference is significant for GPA and WASL science and math scores. Furthermore, the difference was especially large for “regular” students, which suggests that the EAP program was especially beneficial for the less academically oriented participants. EAP students developed better inquiry skills than their non-EAP counterparts. When all students were compared, the Science Inquiry Task (SIT) scores were higher for the EAP group, although this difference was not statistically significant. It is necessary to emphasize, however, that the Inquiry 10 group had higher SIT scores at the beginning of the year, and that the Inquiry 10 program was specifically focusing on the development of inquiry skill. Thus, the fact that EAP students were able to outperform their  166  counterparts at the end of the program illustrates the effectiveness of the EAP program in the development of inquiry skills. EAP students had a better attitude to school and enjoyed school more than Inquiry 10 students. Both qualitative and quantitative data indicate that EAP students developed a more positive attitude to school, higher motivation to learn and better behaviour. While the difference was statistically significant for the Enjoyment subscale only, EAP students changed from being an underperforming group on the pre-program assessments to outperforming the Inquiry group on the final survey. EAP students had higher environmental literacy than Inquiry 10 students. Results of the survey and interview analysis indicate that students in the EAP program developed a deeper understanding of environmental issues and concepts. The EAP students outperformed the non-EAP group on the Environmental Literacy scale, and the difference was statistically and practically significant on the Transferability and Perspectives items. However, because this scale was used as a post-program assessment only, it is not possible to assess the initial differences in the level of environmental literacy between the groups. On the one hand, we can expect that students who apply to an environmental program would have higher interest in environmental topics and issues. On the other hand, the attitudes towards conservation and environmental protection were the same for both groups at the beginning of year. Furthermore, because the Inquiry 10 program included an ecology unit at the end of the year that dealt with some environmental topics and concepts, it is possible that this affected students’ responses on the post-program survey. Overall, it is necessary to conduct a more in-depth investigation and to assess environmental literacy before and after the program in order to draw  167  definitive conclusions on the impact of the EAP program on students’ environmental literacy. Unlike the Inquiry 10 group, EAP students became empowered and engaged in environmental actions and projects. Interviews with EAP students indicated that the program changed their everyday behaviour and empowered them to take environmental actions. On the contrary, the Inquiry students felt powerless to tackle environmental issues that in their view are too large to address as individuals, and did not see themselves as agents of change but rather as lone individuals whose actions can not make a difference. This finding indicates that inclusion of environmental topics in the curriculum without providing students with direct hands-on experiences is not enough for students to develop an emotional connection towards the environment or change their lifestyles and perspectives. While Inquiry 10 students developed conceptual knowledge and became aware of environmental problems and possible solutions, textbook learning did not provide them with opportunities to develop and practice skills needed for solving environmental issues and left the students feeling powerless and inert. Data suggest that the EAP program had more impact on “regular”, less academically oriented students. Analysis of the GPA, WASL scores and survey results for “regular” and “advanced” groups separately indicates that students who were not enrolled in any advanced placement courses during the year of the study benefited from the EAP program the most. The mean differences between average scores for “regular” EAP and Inquiry 10 students were statistically significant for GPA, WASL science and math scores, Inquiry scores, and two of the Environmental Literacy subscales (Perspectives and Transferability). In contrast, “advanced” students seem not to have  168  been as influenced by the EAP program, as their scores remained lower than scores for the Inquiry 10 group at the end of the year, except for the Environmental Literacy score which was higher for the EAP students. EAP students reported a wider range of learning outcomes ranging from subject specific learning to environmental and service-learning to personal and social growth. Analysis of student interviews indicates that participation in the EAP program led to more diverse learning experiences. The EAP students not only gained deeper understanding of subject specific concepts and science inquiry skills (which was evident from their higher WASL and Inquiry test scores and GPAs) but also developed better social and communication skills, personal knowledge, a sense of community, and respect for environmental work. Furthermore, the interviews support the results of the survey and suggest that students become more engaged and motivated to learn and developed more positive attitudes towards schooling. Finally, the interviews elaborate on the results of the survey regarding students’ environmental literacy as they provided evidence that EAP students had better attitudes towards the environment, a sense of responsibility towards the planet and community, and were actively seeking opportunities to become engaged in environmental actions and projects. EAP students demonstrated participatory and transformative views of learning. Qualitative data also indicated that there was a difference in EAP and Inquiry students’ views of learning. While the Inquiry students expressed more reproductive/quantitative views focusing on the “what” aspect of learning, EAP students expressed more participatory and transformative views. However, because this question was explored in  169  the post-program interviews only, it remains unclear if this more transformative view for EAP students is the result of participation in the EAP program. Hands-on activities, interactions with peers and community members, and the real-life contexts appeared to be effective in helping EAP students construct meanings and understandings of topics and issues. Supporters of transactional constructivism (which is sometimes referred to as situated cognition) argue that learning cannot be constructed without active mental and physical interaction of the learner with real-life contexts (Bredo, 1994; Geary, 1995; Gredler, 1997; Huges & Sears, 2004; Lave & Wenger, 1991). Individuals create meaning through their engagement in social activities and interactions with each other and with their environment. As a social activity, learning is ultimately associated with and influenced by other human beings (e.g., teachers, peers, and family) and influenced by social, cultural and natural environments (Bredo, 1994; Gredler, 1997). This study illustrates the importance of the social, cultural and natural contexts and their role in developing deeper and lasting understandings and values. The study also shows that the EAP students started to consider themselves a part of the environmental “community of practice” as they had an opportunity to observe, communicate and work side by side with those in the profession.  Recommendations for Future Research and Program Development While this study provides quantitative and qualitative evidence of learning experiences and outcomes in environmental programs, there are issues that require further investigation.  170  Analysis of the existing research indicates that there is a need for more rigorous examinations of the outcomes of environmental education programs. While a number of studies provide anecdotal or suggestive evidence of the possible impacts of environmental education on students, there is a need to improve the quality of studies and to incorporate diverse methods and approaches, including mixed methods, case studies, and ethnography. It is necessary to expand the focus of EE outcome research. Although there are many studies that explore the development of environmental knowledge, behaviour and attitudes, there are other components of environmental education requiring research attention. For instance, my review of the literature indicates that very little is known about how participation in environmental programs in elementary and secondary school influences graduation rates and career choices of youth. It is necessary to conduct more in-depth studies on the effect of environmental education on student achievement, critical thinking skills, motivation and engagement, career choices, and graduation rates. Such studies would provide supporters of environmental education with research evidence about the positive impact of EE on students. Furthermore, in addition to outcomes research, there is a need to conduct studies of learning processes in environmental programs. While I agree with Dillon (2003) and Rickinson (2001) who encourage researchers to move beyond measuring the changes in learning outcomes and investigate the learning processes that occur in environmental programs, this was not the focus of the present study. Although the interviews with EAP students and my observations of classroom activities conducted during the year provided  171  some insights on the learning processes that took place, more investigation of this issue is needed. There is a need for longitudinal studies that would explore the changes in students over an extended period of time. My literature review indicates that the majority of studies look at immediate outcomes of EE programs through pre-and post-test designs; however, few have studied the long term impacts of programs. More mixed methods research should be conducted. While qualitative methods help to obtain “thicker” description of the settings and programs and yield insights on diverse perspectives and points of view, quantitative methods allow us to test for the differences between study groups and investigate the possible correlations and relationships between variables. When combined, these methods have the potential to produce stronger inferences and more complete representations of the phenomenon and the settings. While this study provides evidence on the positive impact of an environmental program on students, the sample consisted of mostly white middle class non-ESL students. In addition, the school district where the Washington High School is located is one of the top districts in the state. Students are exposed to best educational practices and approaches including integrated learning, environmental education and inquiry-based instruction among others. It is not clear if an environmental program similar to the one described in this study would yield the same results for student populations with different demographic and socio-economic characteristics in other geographic locations. Thus, more studies are needed to replicate the research presented here to investigate if these results can be generalized to other places and communities.  172  Implications for Program Development The results of this study have ramifications for school program and curriculum development. This study provides evidence of the positive impact of EE programs on studies; demonstrates the value of environmental education; and identifies the several approaches that positively influenced student learning and attitudes. Use of environmental topics as an integrating context for learning. Investigating environmental topics requires students to apply knowledge and skills from different subjects. Used as a basis for integration, environmental education can allow for integration of school disciplines and involve students in investigations of various multidimensional environmental issues. Through this process, students can develop analytical, problem solving and critical thinking skills valuable in any traditional subject. Direct hands-on experiences. This study illustrates the importance of direct hands-on learning experiences. In this study, students who were involved in outdoor and service-learning projects developed better understanding of environmental issues, and a deeper sense of stewardship and responsibility and became engaged and empowered about environmental work. The study illustrates that while students may learn about issues and topics through textbooks and classroom demonstrations, it is the hands-on learning in the environment that helps students develop and practice environmental skills needed to be actively engaged in environmental actions. Also, the direct engagement with the natural world that engages all the senses and feelings helps students develop an emotional connection with the environment, a sense of care and respect which may  173  encourage them to rethink their lifestyles and seek action opportunities in their communities. “Whole day” experiences. This study shows the benefits of “whole day” programs for students as they create stronger relationships, a sense of community and respect. Participation in such programs may lead to the development of new friendships and social groups teaching students about acceptance and inclusion. While designing such whole day programs is challenging, especially at the high school level, such programs can provide opportunities to create connections between various subject areas and develop an inclusive community of learners. Service-learning. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that can be employed to achieve the “action” goals of environmental education. As this study demonstrates, this approach allows educators to design programs that integrate academic learning with meaningful service that meets needs of the community and includes personal development and stewardship. At the same time, designing and incorporating service-learning programs into the school curricula is not an easy task, as it requires support from school administration and community, changes in the school timetable, and additional planning and organization from teachers involved.  Conclusions To conclude, this study indicates that students who participate in a yearlong integrated environmental program demonstrate better achievement on state standardized tests and Science Inquiry Tasks, higher GPA, and better attitudes towards school and the environment than students in a non-EE program. In addition, EAP students experience  174  more diverse learning and report gaining more social skills, better understanding of themselves and others, developing a sense of community and respect for the environment which led to active participation in environmental actions and projects. While for some measures used in this study no statistically significant difference between EAP and Inquiry 10 students was observed, the results still have practical and educational significance. This study illustrates that students in EE programs can achieve at least at the same level as students in non-EE classes. Students who participate in environmental programs gain understanding of environmental issues and concepts and gain skills that are crucial for our survival as a species in this age of current environmental crisis and degradation. They learn about natural systems and interactions of the environment and society, gain inquiry, problem solving and decision making skills and develop understanding of how they can participate in society as citizens. In other words, by doing environmental education teachers can help their students become better readers, writers and thinkers as well as develop awareness about environmental issues, and a sense of responsibility and care for the world and the environment. This dissertation contributes empirical evidence on the impact of environmental education programs on student learning and achievement, thereby filling a gap in the literature. The study suggests that through environmental education programs we can provide learners with a richer, more comprehensive experience that ties learning to the real world, advances thinking abilities and helps students to perform at high levels. Moreover, it allows us to educate citizens of the future who would have knowledge and skills to address the environmental problems the world is facing - the very skills and knowledge that we do want our children to have.  175  Furthermore, with the current focus on accountability and testing, studies like the one presented here support teachers who want to teach EE in their classrooms. Some educators critique the efforts of the EE community to find evidence of EE efficacy. Gruenewald (2004) believes that such efforts shift the priorities from transformation of the society, culture, and educational system to being able to “satisfy problematic state learning goals” (p. 82). At the same time, these so-called “legitimatization” efforts can be seen as the first steps in a transformation of the educational system. Elements of the educational culture are closely interconnected, and a radical change in one of them might lead to changes in the others (Hargreaves, 1994; Sarason, 1990). As such, changing teaching requirements and guidelines, adopting more EE-friendly administrative and educational policies, and providing teachers with more empirical evidence could be the first steps in this process of systemic change. Changes in cultural values and practices take years to happen. Teachers and administrators need research to support their instructional choices. This thesis provides information on the efficacy of environmental education that can inform policy and curriculum development in North America and internationally and hopefully will inspire teachers and administrators to imagine integrated environmental programs for secondary students that can enhance learning, their empowerment, and environmental consciousness.  176  REFERENCES  Alvarez, P., de la Fuente, E., Perales, F. J., & Garcia, J. (2002). Analysis of a quasiexperimental design based on environmental problem solving for the initial training of future teachers of environmental education. 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Journal of Environmental Education, 31(1), 5-10. Zimmerman, L. K. (1996). The development of an environmental values short form. Journal of Environmental Education, 28(1), 32-38.  194  APPENDIX A SOIL PERCOLATION: PRE-PROGRAM SCIENCE INQUIRY TASK AND SCORING RUBRIC  Soil Percolation  195  Soil Percolation Will and Jen wondered about the effect of location at Lewis and Clark’s Schoolyard on the time it takes for water to go through soil (percolation). They did the following investigation. Question: How does location (under a bush, on the grass sod, or in an area with few plants) in the schoolyard affect percolation time through the soil? Hypothesis (prediction): The area with few plants will have the fastest percolation time through the soil because the soil has more sand. Materials: 9 soup cans same size open at both ends Measuring beaker Water Stopwatch Hammer and board Ruler 3 locations (under bush, grass sod, and area with few plants) Investigation Set Up Diagram  Grass sod  Can  Bush  Under bush  On the grass sod  Few plants  Plant  240 ml water Can  2 cm  soil  196  Procedure: 1. Record study site location, date, and time 2. Record description of study site 3. Hammer (pound) 4 soup cans under the bush into the ground 2 cm as shown in diagram. 4. Pour 240 ml of water into one can 5. Record the time for the water to completely disappear as Percolation Time for Trial 1. 6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other 3 cans under the bush. Record as trials 2, 3, and 4 7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 for the other 2 locations ( grass sod, area with few plants) Data: August 15, 2005, 2:30pm Lewis and Clark School, Spokane, Washington Hot sunny afternoon 88 F Location of Can vs. Percolation Time Percolation Time Minutes  Location of can Trial 1  Trial 2  Trial 3  Trial 4  Average  Under the bush  5  7  8  7  7  Grass Sod  22  19  19  20  20  Area with few plants  1  1  2  2  2  197  Soil Percolation  1  2  3  Which variable was a controlled (kept the same) variable in this investigation?  o  A. Amount of water poured  o  B.  o  C. Time for water to disappear  o  D. Type of soil at each location  Plant cover on the ground  Which variable was the manipulated (changed) variable in this investigation?  o  A. Size of cans used  o  B. Depth of can in soil  o  C. Location of the can  o  D. Time to pour water in can  Which variable was the responding (dependent) variable in this investigation?  o  A. Soil type  o  B. Can height  o  C. Water amount  o  D. Percolation time  198  4  Write a conclusion for this investigation. In your conclusion, be sure to: • Answer the investigative question. • Include supporting data from the Location of Can vs. Percolation Time. • Explain how these data support your conclusion.  Question: How does location (under a bush, on the grass sod, or in an area with few plants) in the schoolyard affect percolation time through the soil?  199  5  Why did the students hammer (pound) the cans into the soil 2 cm in this investigation?  o A. To help the plants grow in that area o B. To identify the location each time o C. To keep the type of soil the same each time o D. To make sure water goes through the soil the same way  6  Will and Jen’s teacher needed to make the clay soil in her yard percolate in less time because she wanted to plant a garden. What are 2 ways their teacher could improve the flow of water through the clay soil? • •  Describe two ways to improve the flow of water through clay soil Use words, labeled pictures, and/or labeled diagrams in your answer.  One way  Second way  200  7 Which of these properties of soil indicate that plants have been a part of the soil formation?  8  o  A. Gritty feel of soil  o  B. Dark color of soil  o  C. Large particle size of soil  o  D. Few tiny air spaces of soil  How are spaces between soil particles important to plants?  o  A. Give energy to plants  o  B. Provide food for plants  o  C. Storage of water for plants  o  D. Allow water to go through plants  9 What is one role percolation plays in the water cycle? o  A. transfers water in gas form to the air  o  B. allows water to recharge ground water  o  C. condenses water around particles  o  D. precipitates water to the ground  201  10  Just as soil percolation is important to plants so is soil temperature. William and Jennifer asked the following question. How does depth of soil affect soil temperature under the bush? In your plan, be sure to include: • Hypothesis (prediction) • Materials needed to do the investigation • Procedure that includes:  logical steps to do the investigation two controlled (kept the same)variables one manipulated (changed) variable • one responding (dependent) variable • how often measurements should be taken and recorded • • •  Question: How does depth of soil affect soil temperature under the bush?  Hypothesis (prediction):  Materials:  Procedure: You may use this space for a labeled diagram to support your procedure.  202  Soil Percolation Rubrics Scoring Rubric for Item 1. Which variable was a controlled (kept the same) variable in this investigation?  o o o o  A. B. C. D.  Amount of water poured (1 point) Plant cover on the ground Time for water to disappear Type of soil at each location  Scoring Rubric for Item 2. Which variable was the manipulated (changed) variable in this investigation?  o o o o  A. B. C. D.  Size of cans used Depth of can in soil Location of the can (1 point) Time to pour water in can  Scoring Rubric for Item 3. Which variable was the responding (dependent) variable  in this investigation?  o o o o  A. B. C. D.  Soil type Can height Water amount Percolation time (1 point)  Scoring Rubric for Item 4: Write a Conclusion Performance Description A 2-point response demonstrates that the student understands the GLE: IN03 Apply understanding of how to construct a scientific explanation using evidence and inferential logic. Example: Area with few plants had the fastest percolation time. The average of the area of few plants was 2 minutes to percolate. The average time for water to percolate in the grass sod was 20 minutes. The area with few plants percolated 18 minutes faster than the grass sod. A 1-point response demonstrates that the student has partial understanding of the GLE. A 0-point response demonstrates that the student has little or no understanding of the GLE.  Value Points  4  2–3 0–1  203  Scoring Rubric for Item 4: Write a Conclusion Performance Description A 2-point response demonstrates that the student understands the GLE: IN03 Apply understanding of how to construct a scientific explanation using evidence and inferential logic.  Value Points  Example: Area with few plants had the fastest percolation time. The average of the area of few plants was 2 minutes to percolate. The average time for water to percolate in the grass sod was 20 minutes. The area with few plants percolated 18 minutes faster than the grass sod. A 1-point response demonstrates that the student has partial understanding of the GLE. A 0-point response demonstrates that the student has little or no understanding of the GLE.  4  2–3 0–1  Attributes of a Conclusion for Awarding Value Points Note: The italicized print is the part of the “Example” that is credited for the value point  Conclusive statement correctly answers the investigative question (or correctly explains whether the hypothesis/prediction was correct): Area with few plants had the fastest percolation time.  Value Points 1  Attribute Note: A vague conclusive statement (e.g. the manipulated variable did affect the responding variable) cannot be credited but other value points can be credited.  Supporting data should at least be over the entire range of the conditions investigated. Thus the minimum reported data are the lowest and highest conditions. Supporting Data for Lowest Condition: The average time for water 1 to percolate in the grass sod was 20 minutes. Supporting Data for Highest Condition: The average of the area of 1 few plants was 2 minutes to percolate. Explanatory language, separate from the conclusive statement, is used to connect or compare the supporting data to the conclusive statement: The area with few plants percolated 18 minutes faster than the grass sod. Attribute Note: 1. This point can only be credited when at least one numeric value (or the text from a descriptive data table) for the responding variable is included in the response. 2. A copy of the conclusive statement cannot be credited for explanatory language. However, a re-phrased credited conclusive statement can be credited. 3. Explanatory language comparing the range of the manipulated and responding variables may be credited (e.g. When the manipulated variable was Xlowest, the responding variable was the lowest, Ylowest). 4. If a response misquotes trend data between the highest and lowest conditions, this value point cannot be credited. 5. Transitional words (e.g. however, therefore, because, so, then, clearly, but) cannot be credited as explanatory language even when added to a  1  204  conclusive statement. 6. A compound sentence as a conclusive statement may be read as two separate sentences.  Total Possible Value Points  4  Attributes of a Conclusion for Awarding Value Points (continued): Notes: 1. A response with an incorrect conclusive statement or no conclusive statement may not be credited any value points. 2. If a response just copies the whole data table verbatim, supporting data value points may not be credited even with a correct conclusive statement and explanatory language. For grades 3-5, a translation of the whole data table into sentences is acceptable. 3. Supporting data must be the precise numerical values or precise descriptive language from the data table for both the manipulated and responding variables. a) For grades 3-5, the manipulated variable may be implied. b) Rounded numerical values cannot be credited. c) Units and significant figures are not necessary for credit. d) Minor language differences in descriptive data may be acceptable as decided in range finding (e.g. give authentic samples). 4. Average data (if given) rather than trial data, or data from the end of the investigation, must be included. a) Consistent trial data, or data before the completion of the investigation when measuring a responding variable over time, can be credited only in grades 3-5. 5. Responses giving their own derived data between conditions can be credited for supporting data and explanatory language (e.g. at the end of the investigation, the plant with 12 hrs. of light was 18cm taller than the plant with 2 hrs. of light). a) When the derived data uses the lowest and/or highest conditions, one or both supporting data points can be credited. b) Minor arithmetic errors in derived values are acceptable as decided in range finding. (e.g. give authentic samples).  Scoring Rubric for Item 5.  o o o o  A. B. C. D.  Why did the students hammer (pound) the cans into the soil 2 cm in this investigation?  To help the plants grow in that area To identify the location each time To keep the type of soil the same each time To make sure water goes through the soil the same way (1 point)  205  Scoring Rubric for Item 6. Will and Jen’s teacher needed to make the clay soil in her yard  percolate in less time because she wanted to plant a garden. What are 2 ways their teacher could improve the flow of water through the clay soil? •  Describe two ways to improve the flow of water through clay soil  Performance Description A 2-point response demonstrates that the student understands how science and technology could be used to solve all or part of a human problem Ways to improve soil percolation Examples: and must connect to improves water flow through soil Aerate the soil Dig large deep pit fill with sand and rock Mix organic material with clay Add living organism Add minerals with soil Add sand or silt to the clay Build holding ponds  A 1-point response demonstrates that the student has partial understanding of the GLE. A 0-point response demonstrates that the student has little or no understanding of the GLE.  Scoring Rubric for Item 10: Plan a New Investigation Performance Description A 4-point response demonstrates that the student has understanding of the GLE IN02 Understand how to plan and conduct scientific investigations. A 3-point response demonstrates that the student partially understands the GLE. A 2-point response demonstrates that the student has limited understanding of the GLE. A 1-point response demonstrates that the student has very little understanding of the GLE.  Value Points 8-9  6-7 4-5 2-3  206  Attributes of a Controlled Investigation for Awarding Value Points Investigation Attributes Prediction  Description of Attribute  Value Point  The prediction portion of the hypothesis must answer the given question including the effect of the manipulated (depth of soil) variable on the soil temperature. A hypothesis must give a related reason for the prediction.  1  1  Prediction Reason Attribute Note: This point cannot be awarded without an attempt at a prediction.  A list of the minimum materials needed to perform the procedure (e.g. thermometer, under the bush location, ruler, stopwatch if used) Attribute Notes:  1. The ‘right’ amount of ingredients (e.g. ‘x’ mL or ‘y’ Materials  2. 3.  grams) needed to carry out the procedure do not need to be given in the materials list. If pre-measured amounts of materials are listed in the materials list, a measuring device may not be needed in the materials list. Standard Classroom Materials do not need to be listed: paper, pencil, and safety equipment (e.g. goggles, aprons, gloves, tongs).  Procedure: The written or diagrammed procedure is evaluated as follows. Controlled (kept the At least one controlled variable is identified or implied same) in the procedure or the materials list (e.g. under a bush, Variable same thermometer? Type of soil) Only one manipulated (changed) variable (depth of soil) Manipulated (changed) is identified or implied in the procedure or data table (if Variable given). The responding (dependent) variable (temperature of Responding (dependent) soil) is identified or implied in the procedure or data Variable table (if given). The procedure states or implies measurements are recorded periodically or gives a data table. Record Measurements  Trials are Repeated Logical Steps  Attribute Note: 1. If artificial data for the responding variable is given, no value point may be awarded. 2. The phrase ‘take measurement’ cannot be used to mean record.  More than one trial for all conditions is planned, or implied in a data table, to measure the responding variable. The steps of the procedure are detailed enough to repeat the procedure effectively (examples of illogical steps: no  1  1 1 1  1  1 1  207  ending time indicated, states “Set up as diagrammed” but diagram is inadequate, recording vague data or results).  Total Value Points Possible  9  Notes:  1. If the response does not plan an appropriate procedure for the given question, the response may not earn any of the possible procedure value points. Examples: a) repeats the procedure from the scenario b) plans for only one measurement to be taken thus there are no controlled or manipulated variables c) purposefully changes more than one variable simultaneously d) writes a procedure that is too vague to possibly be appropriate e) writes a prediction instead of a procedure 2. If the response names a bulleted attribute listed after “Procedure that includes:” without including that attribute in the procedure, the attribute point cannot be credited. When a bulleted attribute is named and implied in the response, both must be correct to be credited. 3. Vagueness in procedural steps shall be clarified as follows: a) Vague materials used in the procedure (e.g. add 1mL) may be credited if the vagueness is clarified in the materials list (e.g. 1mL, 2mL, and 3mL of solution). b) Measuring a vague parameter (e.g. size of plant instead of height) may be credited as a responding variable but is too vague to repeat, so the logical steps value point cannot be credited. c) The term “repeat” at the end of a step refers to that step only. d) The term “repeat” as a separate step (or in a new paragraph) refers to the whole procedure. e) The term “repeat” when qualified as “if necessary” cannot be credited. f) A vague action that calls for the manipulated variable to be changed (e.g. increase the temperature by 5˚ C) without indicating how many times, gives no end to the investigation so the logical steps value point cannot be credited. g) A vague action that calls for the manipulated variable to be changed (e.g. change the temperature by 5˚ C) without indicating how many times, cannot be credited for more than two conditions of the manipulated variable. When a procedure and the labeled diagram are inconsistent, the procedure is too illogical to be effectively repeated. Therefore, the logical steps value point cannot be credited but the procedure can be scored for attributes that are not inconsistent.  208  APPENDIX B: HOT SPOT: POST-PROGRAM SCIENCE INQUIRY TASK  209  Hot Spot Maya and Bud wondered about the effect location had on the surface temperature of the ground on their school campus. They did the following investigation. Question: How do different locations (on the open grass, under trees, or on the black top) affect the surface temperature of the ground on the school campus? Hypothesis (prediction): Under trees will have the lowest temperature because it is shaded all day. Materials: Thermometer Stopwatch Campus study site-3 locations- open grass, under trees, black top  Investigation Setup  School Campus  Thermometer  Open grass  Thermometer  Under Trees  Black top  Note: Not to scale  210  Hot Spot Procedure: 1. Record date, time, and school campus where investigation takes place (study site) 2. Describe weather (cloudy, sunny) and study site of investigation (types of vegetation, slope of land) 3. Leave thermometer outside 5 minutes to make sure first readings are accurate 4. Go to one of the locations, on the open grass, under trees, or on the black top. 5. Place the thermometer on the ground. 6. Wait 2 minutes and then record the temperature in °C without lifting the thermometer. 7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the 2 other locations 8. Repeat the entire investigation 3 more times  Data: March 18, 2005, 2:30 pm Dearborn Park Elementary, Seattle, Washington Sunny afternoon Location vs. Surface Temperature °C of the Ground Location Trial 1  Surface Temperature °C of Ground Trial 2 Trail 3 Trial 4  Average  On the open Grass  10.0  10.6  9.4  8.9  9.7  Under Trees  10.6  12.2  10.0  10.0  10.7  On the Black top  18.3  20.0  15.0  15.0  17.0  211  Hot Spot  1  2  3  Which variable was a controlled (kept the same) variable in this investigation?  o  A. location on campus where the thermometer was placed  o  B. time the thermometer was left on the ground  o  C. type of soil next to the thermometer  o  D. wind speed during the investigation  Which variable was the manipulated (changed) variable in this investigation?  o  A.  o  B. temperature of the ground without lifting the thermometer  o  C. placement of the thermometer on the ground to record temperature  o  D. location of the thermometer to record temperature on the school campus  wait time of 2 minutes before recording temperature  Which variable was the responding (dependent) variable in this investigation?  o  A. temperature  o  B. date  o  C. weather  o  D. location  212  4  Write a conclusion for this investigation. In your conclusion, be sure to: • Answer the investigative question. • Include supporting data from the Location vs. Surface Temperature °C of the Ground table. • Explain how these data support your conclusion.  Question: How do different locations (on the open grass, under trees, or on the black top) affect the surface temperature of the ground on the school campus?  5  Why was it important for Maya and Bud to describe the weather in this field investigation? .  o  A. The weather temperature should be controlled.  o  B. Temperatures should only be taken when the weather is sunny.  o  C. Temperature differences among locations may be different when the weather is different.  o  D. The weather indicates what the temperature differences among locations should be.  6  Increases in pavement contribute to cities being warmer than surrounding natural areas. From Maya and Bud’s investigation results what is one thing cities could do to lower surface temperatures of the ground?  o  A. Use black top instead of concrete  o  B. Plant trees and grass  213  o  C. Wash the streets with cool water  o  D. Plant flower boxes  7  Describe the transfers of energy from the sun to the thermometer when temperature is being measured on the black top in this temperature investigation.  In your description, be sure to: • Identify the form of energy before and after each transformation • Describe where each transfer took place. You may use words, labeled pictures, and/or labeled diagrams in your answer.  8  The average surface temperature of the ground on the black top was 6.3 °C warmer than the average surface temperature under the trees. What does this indicate about the speed of the surface air molecules? (What can we infer about the relative speed of the air molecules above each surface?)  o  A. Air molecules above the black top were slowing down and so were the surface air molecules under the trees  o  B. Air molecules above the black top were moving slower than surface air molecules under the trees  o  C. Air molecules above the black top were moving at the same speed as the surface molecules under the trees  o  D. Air molecules above the black top were moving faster than the surface air molecules under the trees  9  On a cool clear morning in March, Bud noticed that the open grass was covered with dew (water droplets) but the forest floor had none. Which is the major reason dew is formed?  214  o o o o  10  A. The open grass allows water to evaporate during the night forming dew B. The open grass holds in heat making the air more humid forming dew C. The open grass lets heat escape lowering the temperature forming dew D. The open grass transpires (releases) water during the night forming dew  Maya and Bud wanted to investigate a new question, “How does change in elevation up the west side of a Cascade mountain affect the amount of rain?” In your plan, be sure to include: • Hypothesis (prediction) • Materials needed to do the investigation • Procedure that includes: • logical steps to do the investigation • two controlled (kept the same)variables • one manipulated (changed) variable • one responding (dependent) variable • how often measurements should be taken and recorded  Question: How does change in elevation up the west side of a Cascade mountain affect the amount of rain? Hypothesis (prediction):  Materials:  215  Procedure: You may use this space for a labelled diagram to support your procedure.  216  APPENDIX C PRE-PROGRAM STUDENT ATTITUDES SURVEY  Section A. Background Information 1. What grade are you in? _______________  How old are you?  _______________ 2. Are you  a girl  a boy  3. Is English the main language use in your home?  Yes  No  4. In your family, what is the highest level of education your mother/your guardian successfully completed? Less than high school diploma High school diploma Some college or university College diploma or university bachelor’s degree Master’s Doctorate Other (specify) ___________________________________  Section B. What do you think about school? 5. What have MOST of your high school grades been? (Select ONE response only) Mostly As Mixed As and Bs Mostly Bs Mixed Bs and Cs Mostly Cs  Mixed Cs and Ds Mostly Ds Below Ds Grades not used Don’t know  6. How far do you think you will go in school? Will not finish high school Certificate of completion without a diploma High school diploma 2-year college degree 4-year college degree Master’s degree PhD or other advanced professional degree (law, medicine, etc.) Don’t know 217  7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (Select ONE response) Strongly agree a) b)  I do my best work in school  d)  It is important for me that I thoroughly understand my class work  e)  Learning is often hard for me  f)  My behaviour at school is good  g)  I try very hard to understand all of my lessons I sometimes skip coming to the class when I’m supposed to be there I don’t really care whether I arrive on time to class I try hard to be on time and not to be absent In general, I am excited about my classes When I work hard in school, an important reason is because I enjoy it The teacher in this program encourages me to do my best Things that I am learning in class will help me in my life  i) j) k) l) m) n) o)  I take pride in my school work  p)  I put forth a great deal of effort when doing my school work The support I get at school encourages me to learn more My school work makes me curious to learn about other things I value rewards (grades, awards, etc.) that I get at school for my work  q) r) s)  Not sure  Disagree  Strongly disagree  Most days I am happy to come to school. One of my goals is to learn as much as I can at school  c)  h)  Agree  8. How often did you do the following activities at school last year? Never  a  Had a lesson outside  b  Talked about the environment at school Visited a nature park, conservation area  c  Less than 1 time a month  Less than 1 time a week  More than 1 time a week  218  Never  d e f g  h i  Less than 1 time a month  Less than 1 time a week  More than 1 time a week  Went on a field trip to a nature/outdoor center Conducted an environmental project in your community Worked with other students on projects/assignments during class Put together ideas and concepts from different subjects when completing assignments or participating in class discussions Applied information to real-world problems Enjoyed your class  Section C. What do you do when you are not in school? 9. In general, how would you rank yourself in terms of the amount of outdoor activities that you engage in? Very active Somewhat active Not very active Not active at all Please explain your answer _____________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________  10. How do you think it is important to protect the environment? Very important Somewhat important Not very important Not important at all Please explain your answer _____________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 16. What does it mean to care for the environment? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________  Thank you for your time and support! Please return completed questionnaire to your teacher.  219  APPENDIX D  POST-PROGRAM STUDENT ATTITUDES SURVEY  Section A. Background Information 1. Age______ 2. Gender :  Male ___  Female ___  Section B. What do you think about school? 3. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about school and learning? Strongly agree  a)  Most days I was happy to come to school.  b)  One of my goals is to learn as much as I can at school  c)  I did my best work in school all year  d)  It is important for me that I thoroughly understand my class work  e)  Learning is often hard for me  f)  My behaviour at school was good  g)  I tried very hard to understand all of my lessons  h)  I sometimes skipped coming to the class  i)  I don’t really care if I arrive on time to class I try hard to be on time and not to be absent  j) k) l) m)  Agree  Not sure  Disagree  Strongly disagree  In general, I am excited about my classes When I worked hard in school this year, an important reason was because I enjoyed it Things I learned in class will help me in my life  n)  I take pride in my school work  o)  I put forth a great deal of effort when doing my school work  220  p) q)  Strongly agree  Agree  Not sure  Never  Sometimes  Often  Disagree  Strongly disagree  Very often  Not sure  The support I was getting at school encouraged me to learn more My school work made me curious to learn about other things  4. This year how often did you …..  a  Had a lesson outside  b  Talked about the environment at school  c  Went on a field trip to a nature/outdoor center Conducted an environmental project in your community Worked with other students on projects  d e f g  Put together ideas from different subjects when completing assignments or activities Applied information to real-world problems  h  Enjoyed your class  5. How much has your school experiences this year contributed to your growth in the following areas: Very much  a  Learning work-related skills  b  Writing effectively  c  Speaking effectively  d  Thinking critically  e  Using math concepts and skills  f  Learning on your own  g  Solving real-world problems  h  Understanding environmental issues  i j  Making your community a better place Understanding yourself  k  Working well with others  Quite a bit  Some  Very little  Not sure  221  l  Understanding the environment  m Developing clear career goals  6. How much do you feel you learned about the following at school this year? A lot  a)  Human impact on the environment  b)  Biodiversity  c)  Sustainable way of living/sustainability  d)  Conservation of natural resources  e)  Global warming  f)  Environmental protection  g)  Interdependence of humans and environment  h)  Outdoor recreation  i)  Community service  j)  Population growth  k)  Your community (place where you live)  l)  Environmental issues in WA State  A bit  Little  Very little  None  Section C. What do you think about nature and the environment? 7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about environment? Strongly agree  a) b) c) d) e)  Agree  Not sure  Disagree  Strongly disagree  We are approaching the limit of the number of people the Earth can support Humans have the right to modify the natural environment to suit their needs. When humans interfere with nature, it often produces disastrous consequences The Earth had plenty of natural resources if we just learn how to develop them Being involved in environmental activities and events is a key part of who I am  222  Strongly agree  f)  Humans are subjects to the laws of nature  g)  I can see myself working in environmental field in the future The Earth is like a spaceship, with limited room and resources The balance of nature is very delicate and easily upset. I am interested when I hear things about the environment and nature outside of school I love talking about the environment/ outdoors I think about the environment and environmental issues when I am not at school It is useful for my future studies or work to learn about the environment I seek out opportunity to apply my knowledge of the environment in my everyday life. Plants and animals have as much rights as humans to exist The so-called “ecological crisis” facing humankind has been greatly exaggerated Learning about the environment is interesting  h) i) j) k) l) m) n) o) p) q)  Agree  Not sure  Disagree  Strongly disagree  Thank you for your time and support! Please return questionnaire to your teacher.  223  APPENDIX E STUDENT ATTITUDES SURVEY DEVELOPMENT  Table E.1. Item to Total Score Correlation: Attitude-to-School Scale Item  Pearson  Sig. (2-  N  Correlation  tailed)  Item 1. Most days I am happy to come to school  .656(**)  .000  156  Item 2. My goal is to learn as much as I can  .665(**)  .000  156  Item 3. I do my best work in school  .534(**)  .000  156  Item 4. It is important for me that I thoroughly understand  .670(**)  .000  156  Item 5. Learning is often hard for me  .280(**)  .000  156  Item 6. My behaviour at school is good  .523(**)  .000  156  Item 7. I try very hard to understand all of my lessons  .570(**)  .000  156  Item 8. I sometimes skip coming to the class when I’m  .474(**)  .000  156  Item 9. I don’t really care whether I arrive on time to class  .614(**)  .000  156  Item 10. I try hard to be on time and not to be absent  .596(**)  .000  156  Item 11. In general, I am excited about my classes  .697(**)  .000  156  Item 12. When I work hard in school, an important reason  .524(**)  .000  156  .582(**)  .000  156  Item 14. I take pride in my school work  .694(**)  .000  156  Item 15. I put forth a great deal of effort when doing my  .577(**)  .000  156  Item 16. The support I get at school encourages me to learn .609(**)  .000  156  .000  156  my class work  supposed to be there  is because I enjoy it Item 13. Things that I am learning in class will help me in my life  school work  more Item 17. My school work makes me curious to learn about  .633(**)  other things ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).  224  Table E.2. Extracted Factors and Percentage of Variance Accounted for by the Factors Rotation Sums of  Component  Initial Eigenvalues  Total  % of  Cumulati  Variance  ve %  Extraction Sums of Squared  Squared  Loadings  Loadings  % of  Cumula  Total  Variance  tive %  Total  1  6.606 38.860  38.860  6.606  38.860  38.860  5.469  2  1.435 8.441  47.301  1.435  8.441  47.301  4.620  3  1.292 7.597  54.899  1.292  7.597  54.899  4.377  4  .990  5.821  60.719  5  .830  4.881  65.601  6  .791  4.655  70.255  7  .721  4.243  74.499  8  .684  4.021  78.520  9  .600  3.528  82.048  10  .535  3.150  85.198  11  .481  2.830  88.028  12  .412  2.424  90.451  13  .396  2.330  92.781  14  .371  2.182  94.963  15  .314  1.847  96.811  16  .284  1.673  98.484  17  .258  1.516  100.000  Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.  225  Table E.3. Rotated Component Matrix for Attitude-to-School Scale Items  Component 1  2  3  .952  -.124  -.197  Item 14. I take pride in my school work  .713  .199  -.066  Item 7. I try very hard to understand all of my lessons  .695  -.102  .092  .601  -.024  .268  Item 3. I do my best work in school  .596  -.184  .216  Item 2. My goal is to learn as much as I can  .595  .247  -.007  .538  .387  -.174  -.155  .948  -.160  Item 11. In general, I am excited about my classes  .011  .724  .146  Item 1. Most days I am happy to come to school  -.149  .647  .356  .246  .595  -.038  .181  .364  .151  -.200  .075  .797  Item 9. I don’t really care whether I arrive on time to class  .059  .017  .772  Item 10. I try hard to be on time and not to be absent  .104  -.054  .759  Item 6. My behaviour at school is good  .266  -.066  .511  Item 15. I put forth a great deal of effort when doing my school work  Item 4. It is important for me that I thoroughly understand my class work  Item 16. The support I get at school encourages me to learn more Item 12. When I work hard in school, an important reason is because I enjoy it  Item 17. My school work makes me curious to learn about other things Item 13. Things that I am learning in class will help me in my life Item 8. I sometimes skip coming to the class when I’m supposed to be there  226  Table E. 4. Item to Final Score Correlation: Environmental Literacy Scale Item #  Item Description  Environmental Literacy Score (N=145)  ELit.1  Humans have the right to modify the natural environment to suit their needs.  ELit.2  The Earth had plenty of natural resources if we just learn how to develop them  .337(**)  .174(*)  ELit.3  Humans are subjects to the laws of nature  .525(**)  ELit.4  I can see myself working in environmental field in the future  .556(**)  ELit.5  The balance of nature is very delicate and easily upset.  .666(**)  ELit.6  Restoration, conservation, and enhancement of natural habitats benefit humans.  .694(**)  ELit.7  I think about the environment when I am not at school  .620(**)  ELit.8  Our individual lifestyle decisions affect the environment  .704(**)  ELit.9  I seek out opportunity to apply my knowledge of the environment/outdoors in my everyday life.  ELit.10  People share the responsibility of conserving resources  ELit.11  Cultures throughout the world view natural resources in different ways  ELit.12  Environmental issues can be explored from different perspectives  ELit.13  It is my responsibility to participate in environmental campaigns to protect and restore the environment  ELit.14  I am interested when I hear things about the environment and nature outside of school  ELit.15  All living things have same basic needs  ELit.16  People want to preserve the environment but are not willing to pay more for products and services  ELit.17  Solving environmental problems involves interests of many stakeholders  ELit.18  It’s difficult to tell the difference between factual information and propaganda about the environment  .643(**) .711(**) .677(**) .688(**) .718(**)  .580(**) .503(**) .515(**)  .642(**)  .262(**)  ELit.19  It’s not difficult to measure the health of the environment  .214(**)  ELit.20  People should solve environmental problems by working together  .732(**)  ELit.21  People often express their relationship with the environment through art  .605(**)  227  Item #  Item Description  Environmental Literacy Score (N=145)  ELit.22  Different groups use the environment to sell products or ideas  .730(**)  ELit.23  Writers and artists use the environment as a source of inspiration  .706(**)  ELit.24  All elements of an ecological system are interdependent  .537(**)  ELit.25  The well-being of humans and wildlife depend on the quality of the environment  .752(**)  ELit.26  Climate and habitats influence species diversity  .680(**)  ELit.27  Health of the environment is directly related to politics  .471(**)  ELit.28  Human cultures and societies, past and present, are affected by the environment  .787(**)  * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).  228  APPENDIX F  STUDENT INTERVIEW GUIDE  Student Interview 1 The purpose of these interviews is to gain a sense of students’ experience with nature, the environment, nature, and nurture, their expectation from the program, and attitudes to school and schooling. Introductory questions 1. Tell me about yourself. 2. What do you like to do in your free time? 3. What types of places do you find special to you? Where (how) do you like to spend time that you have to yourself? 4. Have you ever worked on a outdoor/environmental projects with your parents / other family members/ at school/ community groups? Please describe. Attitude to school and schooling 5. Do you like going to school? Why? Why not? 6. What subjects to you the most/the least and why? 7. What you like to achieve this year? Program related questions 8. Why do you participate in this program? 9. What do you expect to learn this year in this program? What would you like to learn? 10. What activities you’ve been involved so far? What do you think about them? What are you learning? Environment questions 11. When you hear the word “environment” what do you think about? 12. What sorts of issues in nature / environment have you heard about? What environmental issues /problems are in your community/school neighbourhood? 13. What does it mean to care for the environment? 14. What does it mean to live sustainably?  229  Student Interview 2 The purpose of these interviews is to explore what students gained from the program, their attitudes to the program, school and learning, their attitudes toward the environment and the changes that occurred in students’ views, attitudes and experiences over the course of the program.  Questions about the program and how they value this experience 1. Now that the school year is almost over, is there anything that stands out in your mind? Something you will really remember? What? Why? 2. What part of the program (activities, units) did you like most of all? Least of all? Why? What other activities have you been doing that you enjoy… or don’t enjoy? 3. Do you think your participation in this program will be helpful to you in your future plans [how?] Attitudes to school and learning 4. How did you like going to school this year? How is it different from your previous years/classes? Please explain. 5. What do you think about learning outside? How does it differ from learning in the classroom? 6. What counts as learning and why? Learning outcomes 7. What have you learned this year? a. Have you learned something about science? Math? Art? Language arts? Other subjects?? Please explain… 8. Do you feel that you’ve learned something about the environment? Can you definite “environment” for me now? 9. What does it mean to care for the environment? 10. What would you tell your friends about this program? Would you recommend it? Why or why not? What would you say?  230  APPENDIX G  TEACHER INTERVIEW GUIDE  Teacher Interview 1 The purpose of the interview is to gain information about the program, teaching and learning practices teachers use, teachers’ perspectives on and practices in teaching EE. Information about the program: goals, differences, comparison 1. Could you please tell me about the program? a. What are the goals of the program? b. What does the program include? What subjects/ units? 2. Why did you decide to become involved in this program? 3. How long have you been teaching this program? What subjects/units do you teach? 4. Do you teach other classes (besides this program) as well? a. If yes – Are any differences between this program and the other classes you are teaching? What are the differences? (teaching practices, assessment strategies, curriculum…) b. What do you think about the students in your program this year? Are there any differences between the group that you have in this program and in your other classes? 5. What are your goals for this year? Integration of the curriculum and the environment aspects 6. Do you introduce controversial issues? Give me an example 7. What environmental issues do you usually introduce in class? What EE units do you teach? a. Could you describe the units? b. What were the goals of the units? c. What were the tasks and activities? d. How long are the units/topics? 8. What are the problems/challenges of integrating EE and your subject curriculum? 9. Do you typically use an integrated approach in your classroom? Do you teach in integrated way? (Please elaborate. “Yes” – tell me about it; “No” – why not?) 10. What are the problems/challenges/benefits of integration a) for you? b) for your students?  231  Teacher Interview 2 The purpose of the interview is to gain information teaching and learning practices teachers used during the school year, teachers’ thoughts about the impact of the program of students, and the changes in student learning and achievement. Program summary 1. Let’s look back at this school year… What parts of the program went as you expected? What surprised you? What worked well for your students/you? What did not? What would you do differently? How do you feel have you achieved your goals? 2. What EE/outdoor units and topics did you teach this year? a. Could you describe the units? b. What were the goals of the units? c. What were the tasks and activities? d. How long were the units/topics? e. Was it successful? Why/why not? f. What would you do differently if you have to teach it again? Students’ learning 3. What do you think your students gained from this program? What do you think students have learned? a. Do you see any changes in their attitudes and behaviour? How do you think do students develop environmental attitudes? b. Do they develop an attachment and a caring feeling for the environment? Why do you think so? c. Have you seen changes in your class? (how they related to each other, cooperate, etc.) d. What are the problems/challenges/benefits of this program for your students? Other 5. Do you want to add anything else? Maybe there is a topic or an issue that we have not talked about?  232  APPENDIX H  DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS Table H. 1. Descriptive Statistics  N  Mean  SD  95% CI Lower  Upper  Grade Point Average GPA – Grade 9 EAP Inquiry 10  78 97  2.843 2.892  0.646 0.775  2.697 2.738  .2987 3.063  GPA –Grade 10 Semester 1 EAP Inquiry 10  78 99  2.707 2.726  0.740 0.795  2.540 2.629  2.873 2.946  GPA – Grade 10 end of the year EAP Inquiry 10  78 95  2.858 2.631  0.683 0.876  2.704 2.467  3.012 2.828  Science Inquiry Tasks (SIT) SIT pre program EAP Inquiry 10  71 98  8.76 8.83  1.891 2.631  8.18 8.53  9.25 9.63  SIT post-program EAP Inquiry 10  75 94  9.50 9.14  2.029 2.267  9.01 8.62  10.26 9.62  Attitude to School Efforts & Motivation – pre program EAP Inquiry 10  65 93  5.31 5.32  3.980 4.142  4.67 4.68  6.81 6.46  Enjoyment – pre program EAP Inquiry 10  67 97  1.36 .89  2.789 3.051  .50 .65  2.21 1.88  Behavior pre program EAP Inquiry 10  66 97  4.92 5.31  2.656 2.551  4.57 5.04  6.01 6.06  Attitude-to-School Total– pre program EAP Inquiry 10  64 93  11.69 11.70  7.803 7.870  11.04 11.53  15.87 15.16  233  N  Mean  SD  95% CI Lower  Upper  Motivation – post program EAP Inquiry 10  66 93  5.11 4.75  3.552 5.128  4.07 3.68  6.18 5.96  Enjoyment – post program EAP Inquiry 10  69 93  2.51 1.53  2.477 3.109  1.86 .93  3.22 2.31  Behavior post program EAP Inquiry 10  68 93  4.40 4.78  2.569 3.032  3.78 4.34  5.31 5.61  Attitude-to-School Total- post program EAP Inquiry 10  66 93  12.21 11.06  7.210 9.415  10.05 9.36  14.36 13.47  Environmental Literacy Score Environmental Literacy Total EAP Inquiry 10  64 81  18.02 9.971  9.971 20.093  15.53 7.89  20.51 16.78  Interdependence EAP Inquiry 10  64 81  4.02 3.27  2.134 4.388  3.48 2.30  4.55 4.24  Interactions EAP Inquiry 10  64 81  4.17 3.67  1.882 4.213  3.70 2.74  4.64 4.60  Transferability EAP Inquiry 10  64 81  1.41 -1.07  3.874 5.540  .44 -2.30  2.37 .15  Responsibility EAP Inquiry 10  64 81  3.42 2.93  2.301 3.629  2.85 2.12  4.00 3.73  Perspectives EAP Inquiry 10  64 81  5.00 3.54  2.482 5.028  4.38 2.43  5.62 4.65  234  APPENDIX I ETHICS CERTIFICATE  235  

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