Shifting from Saying to Doing: Evaluation of an Environmental Course Designed to Create Environmental Change Agents
This paper was a recipient of AASHE's Award for Student Research on Campus Sustainability.
Author(s): Dallase Alisa Scott
Program Name: Masters of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Institution: Tufts University
Publication Date: April, 2010
Paper Type: Masters Thesis
This study evaluated a semester-long environmental course designed to enable students to become environmental change agents. Sixteen undergraduate students self-selected into the program course, which integrated social science-focused materials with environmental literacy. Fifteen undergraduate students who have self-selected into a traditional environmental course constituted the comparison group.
Environmental literacy, environmental attitudes, environmental responsibility, self-efficacy, critical thinking, and environmental civic engagement, were measured by a survey at the start of the semester and again at the end of the semester. Results were examined using mixed-model analyses of variance and simple t-tests. Students in the program course showed increases over the semester in environmental attitudes and civic engagements; students in the comparison group did not show such increases. This study showed that empowerment is an important factor in environmental education, and enables students with the aptitude to act on their environmental concerns.
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