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An Evaluation of the Advanced Placement Program in Environmental Science

University of Florida Institutional Repository

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AN EVALUATION OF THE ADVANC ED PLACEMENT PROGRAM IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE By REBECCA ANN PENWELL A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORI DA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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I dedicate this dissertation to my late fath er, Harold Russell Penwell, Jr., who I never had the chance to know, and my late grandfather, Edward Kolaczynski, who was always there to make me laugh and brighten up my life. I al so dedicate this disse rtation to my mother Karen Penwell, who showed me that life is no t always the way we perceive it, that we have the chance to make it better, and to learn to understand each othe r. I also dedicate this work to my grandmother, Anna Kolaczyns ki, who gave me so much love and support and made sure that I always had good food to eat, and to my little sister, Maria Friday, who was always there to remind me that I shoul d finish school because I was getting old.

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iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First of all I would like to thank the memb ers of my doctoral committee. My chair, Dr. Linda Jones, has encouraged me to write proposals and present papers at conferences over the years, but she has also been pa tient, supportive, and helpful during the frustrating times of my doctoral experience. Dr. Rose Pringle has always had her office door open to me when I needed to talk, yell, scream, or cry because of difficult students or when I was fighting my lack of motivati on during the writing of my dissertation. Dr. Randall Penfield has always had his office door open to me when I needed advice, or just had so many ideas and questions about statis tics that I wanted to explore. Dr. Susan Jacobson made me really expand my mind for my qualifying exams, but that was eventually greatly appreciated. E.O. Wils on should be an inspiration to us all. I would like to also acknowledge my gra ndfather, Harold Russell Penwell, and my grandmother, Kathleen Penwell, whom I did not have the opportunity to spend as much time with as I would have liked, but who we re always so supportive and proud of me. I would like to thank my many friends near a nd far, especially Sherine El-Sawa, Chris Wickson, Tony Dominick, Cindy McCallum, Co urtney Johnson, Meral Hakverdi, Steve Swanson, and Kathryn Hammer, for listening to all of my frustrations and triumphs and especially for reading part s of my dissertation. Wit hout all of their patience, understanding, support, and love, I never would have had the motivation to complete this work

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 History of the Advanced Placemen t Environmental Science Program........................1 Importance of the Study................................................................................................2 Purpose of the Study.....................................................................................................4 Research Questions.......................................................................................................4 Description of the Study...............................................................................................5 Theoretical Framework.................................................................................................5 Attitude Model.......................................................................................................5 Evaluation Model..................................................................................................6 Definition of Terms...............................................................................................9 Methods......................................................................................................................10 Survey Study Sample..........................................................................................10 Observation/Interview Study Sample..................................................................11 Data Collection and Analysis..............................................................................11 Limitations of the Study.............................................................................................14 Delimitations of the Study..........................................................................................14 Summary of Chapters.................................................................................................14 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................15 Introduction.................................................................................................................15 Status of Environmental Knowledge..........................................................................15 High School Accelerated Programs............................................................................18 Curriculum Compacting......................................................................................19 Subject Acceleration............................................................................................20 Honors courses.............................................................................................20 International Baccalaureate Program...........................................................21 Advanced Placement Program.....................................................................22 Mentorships.........................................................................................................26

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v Dual Enrollment..................................................................................................26 Early Admission to College.................................................................................27 Advanced Science Courses.........................................................................................27 Environmental Science Courses.................................................................................28 Goals of Environmental Science Courses...........................................................30 Difficulties Inherent in Teach ing Environmental Science..................................31 Importance of Studying Students' Attitudes Toward Science....................................31 Students' Attitudes Toward Science...........................................................................32 The Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program......................................35 Advanced Placement Environmental Science Guidelines...................................36 Advanced Placement Environmental Science Teacher Training Workshops.....36 The Advanced Placement Environmental Science Exam...................................37 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................39 Introduction.................................................................................................................39 Description of the Study.............................................................................................39 Research Questions.....................................................................................................40 Survey Study Sample..................................................................................................41 Observation/Interview Study Sample.........................................................................42 Data Sources/Data Collection.....................................................................................42 Teacher and Student Surveys..............................................................................43 APES Class Observations....................................................................................43 APES Class Interviews........................................................................................44 Observation/Interview Data Analysis.........................................................................45 Survey Instrumentation/Data Analysis.......................................................................46 Pilot Testing.........................................................................................................50 Reliability/Construct Validity.............................................................................50 Limitations to Reliability and Construct Validity...............................................54 Face Validity.......................................................................................................62 4 QUANTITATIVE RESULTS....................................................................................64 Introduction.................................................................................................................64 Research Questions.....................................................................................................64 5 CASE STUDY OF AN ADVANCE D PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE CLASS......................................................................................................80 Introduction.................................................................................................................80 Methods......................................................................................................................80 Case Study Sample..............................................................................................80 Data Sources........................................................................................................81 APES Class Observations....................................................................................81 APES Class Interviews........................................................................................81 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................82 Areas of Focus............................................................................................................82

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vi Demographic Information..........................................................................................83 Description of the Teacher..................................................................................83 Description of the Students.................................................................................83 Curriculum...........................................................................................................84 Classroom Learning Environment..............................................................................84 Physical Classroom Environment........................................................................84 Desks.....................................................................................................................85 Planning......................................................................................................................8 6 Content Selection.................................................................................................86 Lesson Content....................................................................................................86 Instructional Methodology and Teaching Strategies..................................................88 Lecture.................................................................................................................88 Independent Study Days......................................................................................90 Cooperative Learning..........................................................................................91 Review.................................................................................................................92 Discussions..........................................................................................................93 Questioning..........................................................................................................93 Student Presentations/Indep endent Student Research.........................................94 Hands-on Learning Activities..............................................................................95 Classroom Management.............................................................................................95 Assessment.................................................................................................................96 Match With APES Guidelines....................................................................................97 Lab Activities/Fieldwork.....................................................................................97 Environmental Problems/Solutions.....................................................................97 Characteristics of Students..................................................................................99 APES Exam.......................................................................................................100 Strengths/Weakness of APES............................................................................101 6 QUANTITATIVE/QUALITATIVE RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS.........................................................................104 Introduction...............................................................................................................104 Research Questions...................................................................................................104 Quantitative Results...................................................................................104 Qualitative Results.....................................................................................107 Lab Activities....................................................................................................107 Fieldwork...........................................................................................................108 Environmental Problems/Solutions...................................................................108 Lecture...............................................................................................................108 Cooperative Group Work..................................................................................109 Student Independent Research..........................................................................109 Class Discussions..............................................................................................110 Student Presentations.........................................................................................110 Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results........................................110 Quantitative Results...........................................................................................111 Qualitative Results.............................................................................................114 Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results........................................117

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vii Quantitative Results...........................................................................................117 Qualitative Results.............................................................................................118 Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results........................................119 Quantitative Results...........................................................................................119 Lab Activities/Fieldwork...................................................................................119 Environmental Problems...................................................................................120 Qualitative Results.............................................................................................121 Conclusions...............................................................................................................122 Research Questions...........................................................................................122 Class Activities..................................................................................................135 Guidelines/Teacher Training.............................................................................136 Funding..............................................................................................................136 Teacher Recruitment/ Student Recruitment/Selection......................................136 Other Suggestions..............................................................................................138 Overall Implications for the APES Program.....................................................138 Implications for Further Educational Research.................................................139 Overall Conclusions..................................................................................................139 APPENDIX A APES CONTENT GUIDELINES............................................................................141 B TEACHER SURVEY...............................................................................................144 C UDENT SURVEY....................................................................................................152 D ACHER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS......................................................................159 E UDENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS......................................................................161 F UDY DESIGN A ND TIMELINE............................................................................162 G EM ANALYSIS........................................................................................................163 H FACTOR ANALYSIS..............................................................................................166 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................168 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................174

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viii LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1. Research Questions and Data Collection and Analysis Tools...................................13 3-1. Self-report and demographic items on the student survey........................................47 3-2. Self-report and demographic items on the teacher survey........................................47 3-3. Original student attitude scale items..........................................................................49 3-4. Items that were reverse coded after the first student attitude scale item analysis.....51 3-5. Items deleted from the student attitude scale.............................................................52 3-6. Descriptive statistics for the revised student attitude scale and subscales with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted.........................................................................53 3-7. Items in the 1-factor model for the revised student attitude scale.............................54 3-8. Attitude scale and subscale questions for the teacher assessment instrument...........56 3-9. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities on the student survey........................................................................57 3-10. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities on the teacher survey........................................................................58 3-11. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class activities on the student survey................................................................................60 3-12. Items assessing self-reports of th e amount of time spent on APES class activities on the teacher survey................................................................................60 3-13. Standards set by the College Board for the amount of time that should be spent on APES class activities.................................................................................61 3-14. Teacher interview item............................................................................................61 3-15. Student interview item.............................................................................................61 4-1. Student frequency of responses for self-report and demographic items...................65

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ix 4-2. Teacher frequency of responses fo r self-report and demographic items...................66 4-3. Descriptive statistics for the student attitude scale....................................................69 4-4. Descriptive statistics for the teacher attitude scale....................................................74 4-5. Two-way ANOVA for gender and ethnicity.............................................................77 4-6. Student total attitude scale and class, teacher, and student subscale descriptive statistics for gender and ethnicity.............................................................................77 4.7. 95% confidence intervals for student tota l attitude scale and class, teacher, and student subscales for gender and ethnicity...............................................................78 5-1. Description of st udents interviewed..........................................................................83 5-2. Major types of instructional techni ques used and the percentage of time observed...................................................................................................................89 6-1. Most frequent responses for the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities on the student and teacher surveys.........................................................106 6-2. Categories of the most important APES strengths reported by students on the survey.....................................................................................................................113 6-3. Categories of the most significant APES weaknesses reported by students on the survey...............................................................................................................115 6-4. Categories of the most important APES strengths reported by teachers on the survey.....................................................................................................................118 6-5. Categories of the most important APES weaknesses reported by teachers on the survey...............................................................................................................118 6-6. Standards set by the College Board fo r the amount of time that should be spent on APES class activities...............................................................................120 6-7. Most frequent responses for the amount of time spent on APES class activities on the student and teacher surveys.........................................................................120 A-1. Advanced Placement Environmen tal Science Content Guidelines........................141 D-1. APES teacher interview questions..........................................................................159 E-1. APES student interview questions...........................................................................161 G-1. First item analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data..............163

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x G-2. Second item analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data with items 10 and 34 reverse coded.......................................................................164 G-3. Third item analysis for all 42 items of the revised student attitude scale pilot data with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted.......................................................165 H-1. First factor analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data with items 10 and 34 reverse coded.......................................................................166 H-2. Second factor analysis for all 42 items of the revised student attitude scale pilot data with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted...............................................167

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xi xi Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy AN EVALUATION OF THE ADVANC ED PLACEMENT PROGRAM IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE By Rebecca Ann Penwell August 2003 Chair: Linda Cronin-Jones Major Department: Teaching and Learning Stakeholders’ perceptions of the Advan ced Placement Program in Environmental Science (APES) in California, Florida, and New York were evaluated. Research questions focused on teacher and student profil es, attitudes toward APES, the effect of gender and ethnicity on attitudes, differences in self-report data by teachers and students, strengths and weaknesses of APES and a match between implementation and College Board guidelines. Twelve teachers and 355 stud ents completed attitude surveys, and 10 students and one teacher were interviewed. The results indicated that APES student s spend few hours per week studying and doing homework. Most APES students are White 12th grade females with high grade point averages who have taken more than three high school science classes. APES students do not completed many other Advanced Placement classes. Further results indicated that APES teachers spend more hours preparing to teach than students spend studying. They also spend more time grad ing assignments than students spend doing

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xii homework. APES teachers were mostly White females who live in suburban areas. On average, students and teachers reported overa ll positive attitudes toward APES. Gender and ethnicity do not significantly influence st udents' attitudes toward APES. The student interview data corroborated the student survey data. Students reported spending less than one hour per week on labs, fieldwork, i ndependent research, presentations, and identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing a nd working on solutions to environmental problems. Teachers and students identified fieldwor k and class discussions as important strengths of APES classes while spending an insufficient amount of time on field and lab work were identified as the most significan t weakness. Teachers reportedly did not follow many of the APES guidelines identifi ed by the College Board, including offering one lab a week and spending a significant amount of time doing fieldwork and working on environmental problems. Recommendations for improvement of the APES Program include increasing the amount of time spent on lab activities and fieldwork and time spent working on solutions to environmental proble ms and hands-on activit ies. Additionally, schools need funding to purchase lab equi pment and high schools should adopt block scheduling to allow APES classes more time for lab and fieldwork.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION History of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program As national interest in environmental issu es increased in the 1990's, the Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES) Program was created. It is the most recent of the Advanced Placement (AP) Science Programs and was approved for adoption in May of 1998. In 1993, the Geraldine R. Dodge F oundation for the College Board recognized the need for an AP ecology course and funded research to determine its feasibility. The resulting study suggested that a course in AP environmental science be offered instead of AP ecology because the goal of environmental sc ience courses is to create citizens who can make intelligent, informed decisions concerning environmental issues (College Board, 1997). In a follow-up study, faculty in more than 300 college biology, environmental science, and interdepartmental programs were surveyed to determine their attitudes concerning the offering of an AP Environmen tal Science Program (College Board, 1997). The results indicated that most colleges and universities already offered an introductorylevel environmental science course and could support an AP Environmental Science Program. High schools that alr eady had AP Programs in place were also surveyed to determine their attitudes re garding an AP Environmental Science Program. The respondents stated that their schools already had some type of environmental science course in place or would be interested in offering a course in environmental science, indicating that secondary schools were also willing to support the offering of an AP

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2 environmental science class. Additionally, th e survey revealed that high school students were interested in participating in an AP environmental science course (College Board, 1997). The goals of APES focus on processes and systems and include student experiences such as Evaluating information Applying concepts to new information Understanding natural systems Asking questions Recognizing how humans have impacted the environment Understanding the limits of science and Devising solutions to environmen tal problems (College Board, 1997). Importance of the Study This study is based on a modification of a previous study evaluating the Advanced Placement Biology Program (APBP) (Lucky, 1972). Lucky (1972) investigated the attitudes of students, teachers and principals involved in the APBP in high schools in Memphis, Tennessee, during the 1970-71 academic year. The current study evaluated the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program (APESP) in four high schools in California, Florida, and New York. It inve stigated the types of students and teachers involved in the APESP and their attitudes towa rds the program. It is important to determine students' attitudes toward APES because students' attitudes toward science affect their science achievement and know ledge (Cannon & Simps on, 1985; Schibeci & Riley, 1986; & Weinburgh, 1995). The current study also highlighted the program's strengths and weaknesses and provided reco mmendations for program improvement. The current study was needed because the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program has not been evaluated since its 1998 inception. Education programs

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3 should be evaluated using quantitative and qualitative methods because without such evaluation it cannot be determined if progr ams are achieving their goals (O'Hearn, 1982). In the case of the APES Program, it is im portant to determine whether it is being implemented according to the guidelines de veloped by the College Examination Board. Currently, there is no evidence to support wh ether or not the APES Program is achieving its goals, or if the design of the program is functioning to benefit the stakeholders (students and teachers involved in APES). One previous study has been conducted to determine the demographics of students who take AP exams (College Entrance Examin ation Board, 2000), but there have been no studies specifically investig ating the demographics of st udents and teachers of APES classes. The current study provides a baseline for studies of other AP programs. It is important to determine the types of student s and teachers involved in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program esp ecially because the College Examination Board is seeking new ways to increase the en rollment of poor (low-income) and minority (Hispanic and African American) students in AP classes (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000). The data from the current study also provi ded information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the program as perceive d by teachers and students. These findings were used to develop recommendations for program improvement, and to highlight areas of the program that teachers and students view ed differently. The data were also used to provide explanations of why teachers do or do not follow the guidelines for APES set forth by the College Examination Board.

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4 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to evalua te stakeholders’ pe rceptions of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Pr ograms in 12 high schools in California, Florida, and New York. Specifi cally this study gathered data pertaining to the following six categories: General characteristics of students and teachers participating in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program. Attitudes of students and teachers toward the APES Program. Gender and ethnic differences in student attitudes toward the APES Program. Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the program identified by teachers and students. Match between stated APES goals/gui delines and actual implementation. Recommendations for impr ovement of the program. The above six categories were used to devel op 10 research questions, which are listed in the section below. Research Questions 1. What is the profile of st udents who enroll in APES? 2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES? 3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES? 4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES? 5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity? 6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities reported by students and teachers? 7. What do students feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES? 8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES?

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5 9. How closely does the actual implementa tion of APES match the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board? 10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES? Description of the Study This was an exploratory st udy designed to describe a nd evaluate the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program in 12 high schools in California, Florida, and New York. Theoretical Framework Attitude Model The theoretical framework used to measure the construct of students' and teachers' attitudes toward Advanced Placement Envir onmental Science is based on the model developed by Haladyna, Olsen, and Shaughnessy (1982, 1983). This model suggests that student, teacher, and learning environment va riables affect students’ attitudes toward science and arise from factors that cannot be controlled (age of the teacher, gender of the student, or condition of the clas sroom) and from factors that can be controlled (teacher praise and student reinforcement, the relations hip students have with each other, and the tone of the classroom). Haladyna et al. ( 1983) identified three va riables that affect students’ attitudes toward science: Self-confidence Fatalism Feelings of the importance of science. They suggested that either students enjoy scienc e because they feel that it is important, or they feel that science is important because they enjoy it. Students with high academic self-confidence who believe they control thei r academic fate have more positive attitudes toward science. Most importantly, Ha ladyna et al. (1982, 1983) posited that the

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6 following four factors are the most signifi cant factors predicting students' attitudes toward science: Teacher enthusiasm Respect for teacher knowledge Teacher support for students Praise and commitment to learning fairness. The learning environment variables shown to affect students' positive attitudes toward science were Overall satisfaction Enjoyment of classmates Positive class environment Organized instruction Attentiveness (Hala dyna et al, 1982). This current study was designed to determ ine stakeholders' perceptions of the APES Program by focusing on the three facets of student variables, teacher variables, and learning environment variables that function t ogether to explain the construct of student attitude toward science. A construct is a complex, inferred concept (Dooley, 2001), which can be made up of parts or facets. Student and teacher attitude surveys were developed specifically for this study and in cluded items pertaining to students' and teachers' attitudes toward student variables, teacher variables, and learning environment variables in an attempt to determine student s' and teachers' attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environmental Science. Evaluation Model The evaluation of an educational program is important because it establishes the worth or value of that program (O'Hear n, 1982). Evaluation a nd communication of results to stakeholders are keys to the succe ss of any program (Benne tt, 1982). Currently, two basic types of educationa l evaluation paradigms exist. One is descriptive or

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7 empirical and explains events or phenomena and is often referred to as educational evaluation analysis. The other type of ev aluation theory is normative and defines the applicability of educa tional activities and the techniques that should be used to perform them. Normative evaluation approaches are used to make value judgments regarding activities or programs (Ellett, 1979). In this study, an evaluation of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program was conducted using a combination of empirical and normative approaches. Of particular interest to this study is the Bennett model (1988-1989), which outlines four steps for evaluating environmental educa tion programs. The first step is to set expectations for the evaluation. In this step, the evaluator asks, "What is the goal of the evaluation?" Step two involves planning of the evaluation. The evaluator needs to determine how to design the evaluation, what kind of data he/she will collect, how and when he/she will collect the data, and how the data will be recorded. The third step is determining the results of the evaluation. Did the evaluator achieve the obje ctive of the evaluation; were there any unexpected outcome s; and were there any problems with the evaluation? The final step involves using th e results of the eval uation. The evaluator needs to decide who should see the results, how will they be used, and how to improve the program (Bennett 1988-1989). Stake's (1967) Countenance Model provide d the basis for the APES evaluation design because it focuses on describing and making judgments about a program. Stake (1967) provided a framework for evaluators to collect, organize, and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data. His model separates descriptive from judgmental activities and determines whether they occur as antecedents (are prior evaluation

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8 conditions), transactions (occur during the implementation of the educational program), or outcomes (the results of the program). In Stake's (1967) model, descriptive activities are subdivided into intended and observed. Judgmental activities are subdivided into standards used to make judgments and th e actual judgments about the educational program being evaluated. Stake (1971) recommended that evaluators study the relationships among program antecedents, transactions, and outcomes. His model is extremely useful for educational program evaluation. It provides broad insights regarding the successes and shortcomings of programs because it investigates links among all aspects of a program (Wood, 2001). The Stake model also helps researchers determine whether teaching and learning pr ocesses are followed as prescribed by guidelines or other standa rds (Guba & Lincoln, 1982). The framework for this current evaluation of the APES program followed the four steps of the Bennett model. In step one, the research questions were developed. Step two involved determining the types of data, data sources, and data collection methods needed to answer the research questions. The thir d step involved analys is of the data and identification of key results and the fourth step focused on making suggestions for improvement of the APES Program. Throughout all four steps of the Bennett ev aluation model, ante cedent, transaction and outcome components of the Stake model (1967) were incorporated. Antecedents investigated included the demographic characte ristics of students a nd teachers involved in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program in selected schools in California, Florida, and New York. The tran sactions investigated focused on student and teacher reports regarding implementation of the program. Specific transactions studied

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9 included the types of and amount of time spen t on various classroom activities such as lab activities, fieldwork, lecture, cooperativ e group work, student independent research, class discussions, and identifying, analyz ing, solving, assessing, and preventing environmental problems was also collected. These transactions were also compared to standards and guidelines prescribed by the Co llege Board. The outcomes investigated in this study focused on the affective domain, speci fically, attitudes of teachers and students toward APES. All 10 of the research questions investigat ed in this study required the collection and analysis of quantitative data. To provi de further insight into the APES Program, qualitative data were also gathered via cla ssroom observations and interviews of a teacher and 10 students in one Advanced Placement E nvironmental Science class at a high school in Gainesville, Florida. Qualitative da ta from this case study supplemented the quantitative data and helped answer research questions 6-10. Figure 1-1 contains a flow chart illustrating th e evaluation design used in this study. Definition of Terms Specialized terms used in th is study are discussed below. Advanced Placement Program A program designed by the College Board to give high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses while still in high school. Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program An Advanced Placement Program course in environmental science. APESP An abbreviation for Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program. APES An abbreviation for Advanced Placement Environmental Science.

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10 Environmental Science The study of the natural scien ces in an inte rdisciplinary context that always includes consideration of people and how they have influenced the systems under examination. It incl udes many aspects of biology, earth and atmospheric sciences, fundamental princi ples of chemistry and physics, human population dynamics, and appreciation for biological and natural resources. (College Board, 1997, p, 1) Figure 1-1. Flow Chart of Evaluation Procedure. Methods Survey Study Sample California, Florida, and New York were sel ected for this study because they are the three states with the highest numbers of schools having at least 10 students who took the Advanced Placement Environmental Science exam in 2000. A letter explaining the study and asking for participation was sent to 50 APES teachers from 50 randomly selected schools in each of the three states. Followup postcards were sent one month later to those teachers who had not responded to enco urage more participation. The 15 teachers from five schools in each state who agreed to participate were then sent teacher and ANTECEDENT Student Characteristics Research Question 1 Teacher Characteristics Research Question 2 Implementation of APES Research Questions 6, 7, 8 Outcomes Research Questions 3, 4, 5 Comparison to Standards Research Q uestion9 Recommendations to Improve APES Research Question 10 TRANSACTIONS OUTCOMES

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11 student surveys. The final sample consiste d of four schools in each state: California, Florida and New York and included a total of 12 teachers and 355 students who filled out and returned the surveys. The student sample was 61% female, and 56% White, 17% Hispanic, 16% Asian, 8% Black, and 4% ot her ethnic groups. The majority of the students were in 12th grade (52%), followed by 46% in 11th grade, 2% in 10th grade, and 1% in 9th grade. The teachers were 100% White and 60% female. Observation/Interview Study Sample The case study sample was included to colle ct qualitative data and to add to the richness of the survey data, to provide insigh ts into the interpretation of the survey data, and for triangulation. The case study site was chosen because it was one of two high school AP Environmental Science class sites in Gainesville, Florida, that had a teacher willing to participate and was the most convenien t location for the researcher to visit. The class was taught by a White male teacher and contained 30 students in the class (19 females and 11 males). All of the stude nts were White except for one Asian female and two Black females. The majority of the students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th, four 11th, and four 12th graders. Ten of these students were chosen to be interviewed based on gender, ethnicity, grade level, AP ES class grade, and overall grade point average to make the sample as heterogeneous as possible. Data Collection and Analysis Surveys were completed by teachers of four Advanced Placement Environmental Science courses in each state. The teachers filled out a teacher survey and a data sheet providing information specific to their Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes (Appendix B). The teachers then administered a st udent survey to all students in each section of their Advanced Placement Envir onmental Science classes (Appendix C).

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12 Additional data were collected through 10 class observati ons and teacher and student interviews at the case study APES class site Table 1-1 summarizes the data collection and analysis techniques used to investigate each research question. Questions 1-5 utilized quantitative data from the surv ey study sample while questions 6-10 were investigated using a combination of quantitat ive survey data and qualitative survey and case study data. Research questions 1 and 2 were anal yzed by calculating the frequency of responses for each survey item. Research question 3 was analyzed by computing an average attitude scale score for each stude nt and by computing descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations) and a 95% confidence interval for individual attitude items. Descriptive statistics, such as means and sta ndard deviations, for th e overall attitude scale as well as individual attitude items were also computed to answer research question 4. A two-way ANOVA was conducted to investigate research question 5. The remaining five research questions were investig ated using both quantitative a nd qualitative data sources. The quantitative data were analyzed by cal culating the frequency of responses for relevant survey or interview items and the case study observation field notes were analyzed using the constant comparison method. The two assumptions used to interpret the results of this study were: Teachers and students have partic ular attitudes toward APES Teachers and students properly followe d the directions on the surveys.

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13 Table 1-1. Research Ques tions and Data Collecti on and Analysis Tools. Research Question Types of Data Study Subjects Data Collection Tools Data Analysis 1. What is the profile of students enrolled in APES? Demographic Students Survey Frequency distributions 2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES? Demographic Teachers Survey Frequency distributions 3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES? Attitude Students Survey Attitude scale scores Descriptive statistics 95% Confidence interval 4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES? Attitude Teachers Survey Descriptive statistics 5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity? Attitude Demographic Students Survey Two-way ANOVA 6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities reported by students and teachers? Time spent on class activities Students Teachers Survey Interviews Frequency Distribution Case studyconstant comparison 7. What do students feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES? Free response Students Survey Interviews Frequency distributions Case studyconstant comparison 8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES? Free response Teachers Survey Interviews Frequency distributions Case studyconstant comparison 9. How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board? Time spent on class activities Students Teachers Survey Observations Interviews Frequency distributions Case studyconstant comparison 10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES? Free response Students Teachers Survey Interviews Categorizing survey data responses Categorizing case study data

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14 Limitations of the Study The following areas limit the gene ralizability of this study: The sample size for the att itude survey was small (355 students and 12 teachers). The students who completed the survey onl y consisted of those who returned to school after the taking APES exam. The teachers and students who completed th e attitude surveys were only from three states (Florida, California, and New York). The student survey sample consisted of mostly juniors and seniors while students who were observed and interviewed were mostly freshman. Teacher and student observations and in terviews were only completed for one APES class at one local high school. Delimitations of the Study The scope of the current study is limited to the following: The 355 students and 12 teachers from the 12 high school APES classes in Florida, California, and New York. The 30 students who were observed and th e one teacher and 10 students who were interviewed were in one APES class at one local high school. Summary of Chapters This chapter provided an overview of the entire study, while Chapter 2 outlines related literature. The data sample, data collection, data analysis and methodology are described in Chapter 3. The results of the qua ntitative research quest ions are discussed in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 presents a case study of one APES class. Chapter 6 presents the results of the mixed-method research que stions as well as the conclusions and implications of the study.

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15 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This chapter contains a review of related literature. The purpose of the literature review is to set the context for this study. This review of the l iterature was conducted on each of the following topics: Status of environmental knowledge High school accelerated programs Advanced science courses Environmental science courses Students' attitudes toward science High school environmental science courses History of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program. Status of Environmental Knowledge Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, environmental issues have been highly publicized due to the efforts of environmentalists and scientists seeking to increase the awareness and knowledge of the public abou t environmental problems caused by human impact. Methods used to increase public knowledge include books and periodicals as well as presentations and ra llies by environmental groups (Arcury & Johnson, 1987). The news media have supported this effort through reports of environmental problems and crises that have occurre d over the years (Arcury & Johnson, 1987). Therefore, the act of publicizing environmental issues has created an emotionally charged and environmentally aware citizenry, but unfortuna tely has not increased their environmental knowledge (Gambro & Switzky, 1996).

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16 The status of environmental knowledge in the United States is rather grim and is further compounded by the lack of literatu re on the topic (Gambro & Switzky, 1996). Environmental knowledge describes the fact ual information that one has about the environment and the impact that humans have on it (Arcury & Johnson, 1987). A study showed that most students and adults have very little knowledge of the environment and environmental issues, and therefore, are unable to make educated decisions regarding the environment (Gambro & Switzky, 1996). Most high school students have low leve ls of environmental knowledge; they are able to remember basic facts about environm ental problems, but they are unable to apply this knowledge to understand the consequences of solutions to environmental problems and thus will not be able to make inte lligent decisions concerning environmental problems and solutions in the future (G ambro & Switzky, 1996). This is tragic considering how rapidly environmental proble ms and issues are becoming a part of our everyday lives (Gambro & Switz ky, 1996). Therefore, educator s need to find ways to increase the environmental knowledge of students. The next generation must be equipped with environmental knowledge and skills now, so that when the time comes, they will be able to make informed de cisions concerning environmental problems and solutions (Gambro & Switzky, 1996). Research has shown the most important factors affecting students' environmental knowledge ar e the level of their pa rents' education or socioeconomic status, the number of high sc hool science classes they have taken, and gender (males have more environmental knowledge than females) (Gambro & Switzky, 1999).

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17 This finding could be due to gender bias es in school (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). For example, teachers pay more attention to male students, ask them more questions and give them higher quality feedback than they do female students (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). Also, particularly in science classes, it is the males who control lab equipment, which deprives females of the laboratory educational experien ce (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). Therefore, the effects of teachers paying more attention to males, lack of laboratory education experiences for females, a nd the fact that females take fewer science classes than males can all have a profound effect on females' environmental knowledge (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). A study of 429 ninth-grade students by Barrow and Morrisey (1988-1989) revealed that males demonstrated a higher degree of knowledge concerning energy than did females. The study also indicated that the ener gy literacy of these st udents was very low. Blum (1987) also found low levels of environmental knowledge among 9th and 10th graders. He found that the students received most of their knowledge and beliefs about the environment from the media and not fr om school. This may explain why their environmental beliefs were stronger than th eir factual and conceptual environmental knowledge. The portrayal of terrible envir onmental events in the world is downplaying local issues causing students to think that local issues ar e not important (Blum, 1987). The media is less apt to present all the fact s about a situation, let alone educate students in how to analyze a problem, clarify va lues, and suggest viable solutions to environmental problems (Blum, 1987 ). A study of 175 students in 4th, 8th, and 11th grades revealed that their level of knowledge about acidic deposition and related concepts did not increase from 4th through 11th grade (Brody, Chipman, & Marion, 1988-1989).

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18 The environmental knowledge of students in th e United States is low and does not seem to be improving as they move from elemen tary, through middle, and then to high school (Brody et al., 1988-1989). A study by Gambro and Switzky (1999) show ed that high school seniors who took the highest number of labor atory science courses possesse d the highest levels of environmental knowledge, but the majority of the students in the sample had only taken two science laboratory courses. Unfort unately, many high school students are not capitalizing on the opportunity to increase th eir environmental knowledge by taking more science courses (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). The results of this study suggest that high school students should be encouraged or even required to take more science classes, especially those incorporating laboratory exer cises. It makes sense that students who have had more science classes will have a la rger repertoire of know ledge to utilize in making complex decisions pertaining to environmental issues (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). Arcury, Johnson, and Scollay, in a 1986 st udy of Kentucky residents, showed that increased general education is positively asso ciated with positive environmental attitudes and a higher degree of environmental knowledge if the cognitive and affective aspects of the environment are taught. This study al so found that the level of environmental knowledge one has is influenced by one's worldvi ew of the place of humans in relation to the environment. It is the worldview of a person that determines how much and what is learned and understood about the environment. High School Accelerated Programs Many high schools in the United States offer accelerated programs for their students such as:

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19 Curriculum compacting Subject acceleration Mentorships Dual enrollment Early college admission. These programs differ widely. Each will be discussed in detail. Curriculum Compacting Curriculum compacting is an idea that arose to prevent gifted or accelerated students from repeating information they ha ve already mastered. Therefore, these students are permitted to skip parts of the cu rriculum. Textbook pre and posttests can be used to evaluate which part(s) of the cu rriculum these students have mastered and on which they need to concentrate (Starko, 1989). There are several benefits of curriculum compacting for gifted students such as: Allowing these students to spend more ti me on their personal areas of interest Reducing the chance that students will feel bored Ensuring that students are not repeating material Allowing students to progress at their own pace (Sisk, 1988). Some of the disadvantages include: The students must be mature enough to learn on their own (Taylor, 1989) It takes much time for a teacher to plan a compact curriculum for different students (Starko, 1986) Each student needs an indi vidualized curriculum to meet their particular needs (Sisk, 1988) The students need to feel support from th eir teachers and their parents (Starko, 1986).

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20 Subject Acceleration Subject acceleration is comp rised of honors courses, the International Baccalaureate Program and the Advanced Placement Program. Each of these topics will be discussed in further detail under th e appropriate heading. Honors courses Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and In ternational Baccalaureate (IB) programs are all designed to prepare students for coll ege, but the AP and IB programs are much more rigorous courses of study than are honor s classes. There is no documentation of when honors classes began (Herr, 1993). It is known that they pre-date AP classes, which began in the 1950's and were often replaced by AP classes (Herr, 1993). There is not much literature outlining th e history of honors classes in high schools (Herr, 1992a). A study by Herr in 1992b surveyed 361 high school administrators about their f eelings toward AP and honors cl asses at their schools. The results indicate that administrators are more supportive of AP classe s than honors classes. In 1992, Herr also performed a study that compared the influence of AP and honors classes on science instruction. The st udy involved 847 AP and honors high school science teachers from California and New Yo rk. Herr found that teachers use lecture more in AP classes than in honors classes due to the vast amount of ma terial that must be covered in AP classes. In addition, AP classes cover scienc e content in more breadth and depth, and the pace of AP classes is much fast er than honors classes. Teachers have more curricular freedom in honors cl asses, and one third of the teachers stated they would rather teach honors classes if given the choice due to the pressure of preparing students for the AP exam (Herr, 1992a). Another st udy by Herr (1991) looked at the relationship between teachers of AP and honors classe s and professional development. He

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21 interviewed 19 teachers from southern Califor nia and reported that teachers felt teaching AP classes was more effective in pr omoting professional development and communication and teaching AP classes was more intellectually stimulating. International Baccalaureate Program The IB program began in the 1970's as a way of devising a standardized international curriculum for students trav eling throughout European countries and between the United States and European count ries (Poelzer & Felhusen, 1996). The IB program, a two year program designed for highl y gifted and highly motivated juniors and seniors provides an opportunity for students to begin specializing in an academic area of their choice while still in high school (Peterson, 1977). Unlike the AP program, the IB program is based on a set of classes and is not offered as separate individual classes. The classes required for stude nts to receive their IB diploma include: English, literature, fore ign language, science, math, social studies, theory of knowledge, independent research, an d 150 hours of social service or creative aesthetic activities (Peterson, 1983). The IB program is similar to the AP program in that they both offer college-level work to students in high school, prepare stud ents for college-level work, provide training for teachers, have externally developed, in ternationally standardized curricula, and externally evaluated exams. If the stude nts do well on the exams, they may receive college credit. The IB and AP programs differ in that the IB exam is graded on a 1-7 point scale whereas the AP exam is graded on a 1-5 point scale. The IB exam is much more expensive than the AP exam, and the IB Office specifies which textbooks to use in the IB program while the College Examina tion Board does not dict ate the textbooks for the AP program (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000).

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22 Advanced Placement Program In an attempt to spur higher academic achievement in high schools and to prevent curricular overlap between high schools and colleges and universities, the College Entrance Examination Board accepted the A dvanced Placement (AP) Program in the United States in 1954 (Herr, 1993). The first AP exams were administered in the spring of 1956. Since then, the AP Program has grow n to include 32 subjects in 18 disciplines (College Board, 1997). Representatives of the College Board decide and enforce the polices of the AP Program. The representatives are made up of College Board member institutions and agencies, public and private hi gh schools, and colleges and universities. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) is in charge of developing and scor ing the exams (College Board, 1997). The AP Program operates through cooperati ve efforts of secondary schools, colleges, and universities. It is based on the idea that college-level material can be successfully taught to high achie ving, able high school studen ts. The goal of the AP Program is to acknowledge students who su cceed in AP courses while still in high school. Colleges and universities are encourag ed to grant credit, advanced placement, or both in recognition of students’ high scor es on the AP exam (Curry, MacDonald, & Morgan, 1999). Many secondary schools offer AP classes in a variety of subj ects, and any high school that chooses to do so may particip ate in the AP Program. The AP curriculum includes: Art (art history, studio art drawing portfolio, studio art general portfolio) Biology

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23 Calculus (calculus AB, calculus BC) Chemistry Computer science (computer scie nce A, computer science AB) Economics (macroeconomics, microeconomics) English (English language and compositi on, English literature and composition, international English language) Environmental science French (French language, French literature) German (German language) Government and politics (comparative, United States) History (European, United States, World) Latin (Latin literature, Vergil) Music (music theory) Physics (physics B, physics C-electric ity and magnetisms, physics C-mechanics) Psychology Spanish (Spanish language, Spanish literature) Statistics (Curry et al., 1999). Some schools choose to offer AP classes as an integral part of the curriculum, while others offer AP classes as el ectives (College Board, 1997). Advanced Placement Programs can now be found all over the world and in all 50 states. They have become one of the top indicators used by educat ors to determine the status of education in the United States (Curry et al., 1999). In some states, about 80% of both public and private schools o ffer AP courses. Currently in the United States, about 77% of all AP students are from public schools, 60% are in 12th grade (40% in 11th grade), 55% are female (Curry et al., 1999), 31% are minorities (African American and

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24 Hispanic), and 7.8% are from low-income families (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000). Overall, about 40% of the publ ic high schools in the United States, most of which are in rural and inner city areas do not offer AP classes (Oregon University, 1999). Since the program’s inception, the number of disadvantaged students (poor and minority) taking AP exams has increased (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000). In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education pr ovided $4 million in grants to pay for the examination fees of disadvantaged students in AP classes as an incentive for high schools to offer more AP classes and raise their academic standards (Curry et al., 1999). Advanced Placement classes give such students an opportunity to excel in an atmosphere that has high academic standards (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000). Every year more colleges and universities grant college credit to students who score a 3 or higher on the AP exam (College Board, 1997). The AP grade qualifications are as follows: Extremely well qualified = 5 Well qualified = 4 Qualified = 3 Possibly qualified = 2 No recommendation = 1 (C urry et al., 1999). In the United States, about 3,500 four-year colleges/universities participate in the AP program (Curry et al., 1999). Accordi ng to the College Board, about 63.8% of the students in AP courses take the AP exam (Oregon University 1999); though anyone who chooses can take the AP exam (College Board, 1997). In 1999, 64% of all AP exam grades were a 3 or highe r (Curry et al., 1999).

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25 There are several benefits of the AP Pr ogram for the students, teachers, and high schools involved. Students can receive college credit for AP classes they take while still in high school, which saves them the cost of college tuition. Advanced Placement classes also provide students with knowledge and skills that may help them to be successful in college. The benefits to teachers include opportunities to teach rigorous content and attend professional development workshops (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000). The benefits to high schools are that AP courses enrich th e curriculum, motivate teachers and students, and set high academ ic standards (Curry et al., 1999). A study by Troidl and DeGracie (1984) f ound that of 182 high school graduates who took AP classes in high sc hool, over 80% of the students believed their AP classes prepared them for college-level work, provi ded valuable experiences, and were more interesting and challenging than any of their other classes. A study by Curry et al. (1999) analyzed 66,125 first and second year college students’ academic performance in upperlevel college classes by comparing students w ho received advanced placement into the upper-level college courses with those who took the prerequisite college courses first. The results showed that the 27,268 students who received advanced placement credit earned higher grades in their upper-level college cour ses than the students who did not receive advanced placement but took th e equivalent introductory level college courses first (Curry et al, 1999) As a result of this study, Curry et al (1999) concluded that students who take AP cl asses in high school are: Academically better prepared for college than those students who do not take AP classes Have a higher probability of majoring in more academically challenging fields Complete more college-level coursework

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26 Take more upper-level college courses in the area of their high school AP classes Have stronger leadership skills Have a greater probability of graduating with a double major Are two times as likely to continue thei r education in graduate or professional school. The authors of the study have coined these attributes of AP students the "AP Effect" (Curry et al., 1999). Mentorships Another way to help gifted students lear n is to provide them with a mentor. A mentor is an older student who acts as teache r and friend to the gifted student (Ellingson, Haeger, & Feldhuse, 1986). Mentorships pr ovide a way for gifted students to learn content that is above and beyond their school curriculum. For example, gifted students can observe their mentor outside of class, perhaps at his/her place of work, where students can learn about car eers or other interest s (Reiss & Follo, 1993). Dual Enrollment Dual enrollment programs have been esta blished as a way to challenge gifted students in their junior and senior years of high school (Andrews & Marshall, 1991). These students are enrolled in high school as well as college course s. The students may attain high school and college credit for their college courses. The students can either attend the college to take their classes or a college professor may teach a few college classes at local high schools (Reiss & Follo, 1993). Most states enable high school students to take college courses at no a dditional cost (Andrews & Marshall, 1991).

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27 Early Admission to College An Early Admission to College Program a llowing students to attend college early came as an extension of AP and dual enroll ment programs (Feldhusen, 1983). Transition Programs have been established to help high school students with th e transition from high school to college. Such programs provide or ientation sessions, college student mentors, and separate living quarters for the high school students during their fi rst year of college (Reiss & Follo, 1993). Advanced Science Courses Currently, there is no one report that can provide complete information pertaining to the number of students enrolled in advan ced science classes (Doran, 1991). This is due in part to the wide variety of titles for th ese classes, the methods used to collect such data (teachers are asked to use surveys to re port the number of students at their school enrolled in a list of pre-existing science cour ses), and the fact that students take these classes in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. In the United States it is estimated that between 1.4 and 1.7% (28,000) of high school students comp lete advanced physics courses, between 3.9 and 4.5% (107,000) complete advanced chemistry courses, and about 15.6% (341,000) complete advanced biol ogy courses (Doran, 1991). A study by Campbell and Connolly in 1984 that involved surveys of 287 students from advanced science and math classes f ound that females enroll in fewer advanced science and math classes than males. This was thought to occur because females tend to have lower self-esteem and because males por tray negative attitudes towards females in advanced classes. Through their research of 720 females enrolled in advanced science and math classes, Campbell and Evans (1993) concluded that females who enroll in

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28 advanced science and math classes tend to have high self-esteem and an internal locus of control. Thomas (1986) found that few Black students enroll in advanced science classes in high school (as cited in Pearson & Betche l, 1989). A 1993 study by Malcom reported that few Blacks and Hispanic s take advanced science clas ses as a result of years of teachers and school counselors discouraging minority students from enrolling in such classes (as cited in Pears on & Betchel, 1989; Chenoweth, 1999). Several other reasons have been given as to why females and mi norities avoid advanced science classes: They do not feel these classes are nece ssary for their future career plans They perceive these classes as difficult a nd requiring too much effort to do well in them They have had unsuccessful experien ces in previous science classes They have had negative student/teacher in teractions in previ ous science classes Females feel that these classes will dest roy their friendships with males because science is masculine and not feminine (Clewell, Anderson, & Thorpe, 1992). Environmental Science Courses Courses in environmental science were creat ed as a response to the interest in, and concern for, the environment that was pique d by the first Earth Day in 1970 (Howell & Warmbrod, 1974; Singletary, 1992; College Bo ard, 1997). Since then, environmental science has grown in popularity a nd, as a result, t oday it is a definite field of science (College Board, 1997). It is taught in many colleges, univers ities, and high schools and is brought to our attention almost every day th rough news media such as newspapers and television. The following is the definition of environmental science as outlined by the College Examination Board:

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29 Environmental science is the study of the na tural sciences in an interdisciplinary context that always includes consider ation of the people and how they have influenced the systems under examination. It includes many aspects of biology, earth and atmospheric sciences, fundamental principles of chemistry and physics, human population dynamics, and an apprec iation for biological and natural resources (College Board, 1997, p.1). An environmental science course will focus on science concepts, but it may also briefly touch on some subjects such as: environm ental economics, environmental policy, and sustainable futures (College Board, 1997). A case study by Singletary (1992) of six s econdary schools in Illinois found that the teachers of environm ental science classes used indivi dualized instruction and student projects in their classes, but class discussion was the teaching method most commonly used. Few laboratory exercises were performe d. Nature films and videotapes were used quite often. The majority of the courses stud ied were initially designed as a way to offer an additional science course to students who were uninterested in, or lacked the prerequisite knowledge for, chemistry or physic s. Therefore, the environmental science courses were seen as classes that were not academically challenging, thus allowing low ability students the chance to take more science courses (Singletary, 1992). Additional sections of some of these c ourses were added later as more collegebound students became interested in such cour ses. Teachers who taught both the upper and lower level environmental science cla sses could not clearly articulate how these classes actually differed. The goals of thes e courses were to provide students with information about the environment and envir onmental issues and th e skills to evaluate such information (S ingletary, 1992). None of the courses in Singletary's case study emphasized the affective domain of environmental science. The teachers explained this by saying they thought if they just

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30 increased the students' environmental knowle dge it would be enough to encourage them to behave in a more environmentally respons ible manner. But, without addressing the affective along with the c ognitive domain and without providing students with the opportunity to practice behaviors that are more environmentally appropriate, it is doubtful that students will begin to behave in a more environmentally responsible manner (Singletary, 1992). High school environmental science courses su ch as the ones described in the above case study have the opportunity to be the last valuable formal exposure to science for students not planning to attend college as well as for student s who do not intend to major in science in college. These high school environmental science classes could also provide the framework from which all other formal environmental science courses extend (Singletary, 1992). Science curriculum supervisors and 7th-12th grade science teachers in Texas were asked to identify their use of environmental science facilities, the environmental science teaching materials and techniques used, and wh at they needed to improve environmental science classes (Adams, Biddle, & Thomas, 1988). The participants stated they needed adequate training and environm ental science facilities, curr icula, and successful programs to model (Adams et al., 1988). Goals of Environmental Science Courses The goals of environmental science are: To provide knowledge and skills that will enable students to understand environmental issues (Singletary, 1992) To develop concern for the environment To create citizens who are motivated to work to solve problems concerning the environment (Howell & Warmbrod, 1974).

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31 Originally, environmental science classe s were created for students who were academically unprepared to take chemistry or physics, and higher levels were developed later as more college-bound students became in terested. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science, it may at tract college-bound student s or those who are not interested in chemistry or physics (Singlet ary, 1992). Therefore, it may be a chance to get more students to take science classe s in high school, which could lead to students having more environmental knowledge upon wh ich to draw when making decisions concerning environmental i ssues (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). Difficulties Inherent in Teachi ng Environmental Science There are some inherent difficulties specific to implementing environmental science courses. Four aspects that make environmental science difficult to teach and understand are: It is interdisciplinary, thus one needs to have knowledge of a variety of science concepts There is no agreement on the terminology used to define energy; energy is a unit of measure, but it is measured using different units such as: electricity (kilowatts), gasoline (gallons), and natu ral gas (cubic feet), which are all different from the calorie (used in science) a nd the kilocalorie (used in nut ritional information) There are no absolutes (for example, how do you measure environmental quality?) There is no baseline or an untouched Eart h to compare with today's Earth to know exactly what humans have done to the Eart h, and what has been the result of natural processes (College Board, 1997). Importance of Studying Student s' Attitudes Toward Science Research has shown that the cognitive domain should not be the only domain of learning addressed by teachers. Although the affective domain should not be addressed at the expense of the cognitive, it should have substantial curricular time. How students feel about, or their attitudes toward, school subjects should be considered an important

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32 goal of education. Therefore, it can be inferred that it is important to determine students' attitudes toward science as well as how and why such attitudes were formed. It should thus be an important objective of science education to promote positive attitudes toward science in schools. Once educators know what the attitudes of students are toward science and how and why they are forme d, they can work towards improving these attitudes in their classroo ms (Myers & Fouts, 1992). Students' Attitudes Toward Science Studies have suggested that teacher variables may be the most powerful predictors of students' attitudes toward science (Haladyna, Olsen, & Sh aughnessy, 1982). It is also known that variables such as socioeconom ic status, family background, and student aptitude for learning play a pa rt in the initial development of attitudes toward science (Haladyna et al., 1982). A study by Hala dyna, et al. (1982) of 315 students in 4th grade, 322 in 7th grade, and 365 in 9th grade found the student variables with the most consistent significant relationship to stude nts' attitudes toward science were self-confidence in ability to learn science, fatalism (feeling that how they perform in science is predetermined), and feelings of the importance of science. For teacher variables, overal l quality of the teacher (te acher enthusiasm, respect for teacher's knowledge, teacher support for students, praise and commitment to learning and fairness) was the best predictor of students' attitudes toward science. The learning environment variables shown to affect students' positive attitudes toward science were overall satisfaction, enjoyment of classmat es, positive class environment, organized instruction, and attentiveness (Haladyna et al., 1982). A st udy of 125 science students in 7th and 8th grade by Germann in 1988 also conclude d that students' feelings about the importance of science strongly correlated to students' attitudes toward science.

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33 A study by Cannon and Simpson (1 985) which involved 821 7th grade life science students and 11 science teachers, a study involving 673 11th grade students by Schibeci and Riley (1986), and a study by Weinburgh (199 5) presenting a meta-analysis of 6,753 students found that males have more positive attitudes toward science than females and that students' attitudes toward science affect their science achievement. However, a study of 5th, 7th, and 10th graders by Morrell and Lederman (1998) concluded that gender does not affect students' attitude toward scien ce. Catsambis (1995) found that a gap in the attitudes of male and female students to ward science exists even when females outperform males in science classes. Ther efore, female students' negative attitudes toward science develop independent of their levels of science achievement (Catsambis, 1995). Although Black students have historically been outperformed by their White counterparts, they have retained more posit ive attitudes toward science in high school (Pearson & Bechtel, 1989). Bachman and O' Malley (1984) reported that Black students may appear to have more positive attitudes toward science because they are more likely than White students to choose responses at the positive end of a Likert-type scale (as cited in Pearson & Bechtel, 1989). Another study of 1,560 students in 6th through 10th grade and 23 10th grade teachers (Talton & Simpson, 1987) revealed that 56-61% of the variance in students' attitudes toward science could be explained by st udents' attitudes toward their classroom environment. The authors of this study sugge st that when determining students' attitudes toward science it is important to consider how the students feel about the emotional and

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34 physical climate of their classroom, activities performed, and their interactions with their classmates and teachers. The stronger the commitment to, and the highe r the interest in science, the more able students will be to make intelligent decisi ons on political and social issues relating to science as adults. It is thought that a positive, supportive classroom environment incorporating laboratory inst ruction (Freedman, 1997) and more student involvement (Hender, Fisher & Fraser, 1998) will lead to both more positive attitudes toward science and greater science achievement fo r students (Talton & Simpson, 1987). Students' attitudes toward science become more negative as students move from the beginning of the school year to the end (Cannon & Simpson, 1985), and as students pass through middle and junior high school (Haladyna & Shaugh nessy, 1982; Morrell & Lederman, 1998). Advanced science student s have the most positive attitudes toward science and basic science students have the least positive attitudes toward science (Cannon & Simpson, 1985). A study involving 4,000 science students in grades 6-9 and 57 teachers by Simpson and Oliver (1985), found that as students progress through school, science becomes less fun, less interesting, and more boring. In light of the fact that stude nts' attitudes toward science become more negative as students get older, it is important to consider that science achievement motivation and science self-concept are powerful predictors of achievement in science as demonstrated in a study by Oliver and Simpson (1988) in which they collected data on 5000 students in grades 6-10. This conclusion can be disheartening if viewed from the vantage poi nt that students' attitudes toward science decrease with age. It can be enlightening if looked at from the view that there is hope if

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35 we can promote positive student attitudes to ward science among students early in their schooling because then we can increase their science achievement in subsequent years. The Advanced Placement Envi ronmental Science Program Faculty from colleges and high schools formed the AP Environmental Science Development Committee. They created the firs t edition of the Course Description for AP Environmental Science, also known as th e acorn booklet, in 1997. This publication contained content outlines Appendix A), lab activity suggestions, as well as sample APES exam questions (College Board, 1997). The goals of the APESP are: to provide students with th e scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies needed to understand the interrelationship s between people and their environment, to identify and anal yze environmental problems both natural and human made, to assess the risks associated with these pr oblems, and to identify solutions for resolving or preventing them, and to unders tand natural systems, be able to ask questions, recognize when and how human perturbations may become or have become problems, and understand the limits of what questions science can answer. (College Board, 1997, p. 1, 11) The APES course is a yearlong course that meets for at least one period per day and has at least one lab period per week. Due to the interdiscip linary nature of environmental science, the course build s on students' prior knowledge of chemistry, physics and biology, and may function to attract students w ho would not normally be enrolled in an AP course. Therefore, as a prerequisite, st udents must have done well in, and completed, at least two years of science ( one physical and one life science) and one year of algebra. Thus, students should take AP Environmental Scie nce in either their junior or senior year (College Board, 1997).

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36 Advanced Placement Environm ental Science Guidelines APES requires students to perform signifi cant laboratory and fieldwork as an integral part of the course. Laboratory and fieldwork are a necessity if st udents are to gain an adequate understanding of how natura l processes operate. It is through such laboratory and fieldwork that students receive hands-on experi ences and are able to test the ideas they learn about in the classroom. This is their chance to do real science. It is recommended that students perform at leas t 12 labs throughout th e course (College Board, 1997). When establishing a new course, such as the AP Environmental Science Program, teacher selection and training is crucial if the course is to be successful. An enthusiastic, highly motivated, and dedicated teacher can ma ke a course, while the opposite can break it. The following are suggested criteria for teacher selection: Enthusiastic about teaching Works well with others, which is particularly important due to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science Strong knowledge base of environmental science, chemistry, physics, biology, and earth science Highly motivated to provide students with much laboratory and fieldwork (College Board, 1997). Advanced Placement Environmental Scie nce Teacher Training Workshops The College Board offers workshops to he lp train teachers in the teaching of AP classes. The workshop sessions include traini ng in instructional a nd laboratory methods, an explanation of the format of the AP exam and strategies for preparing students for the AP exam. Several colleges and universitie s also offer their ow n training programs for teachers. Some high schools pay for these teacher-training sessions. Teachers can

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37 receive information about training sessions and gain valuable ideas and activities by attending conferences an d searching the Internet (College Board, 1997). The Advanced Placement Envi ronmental Science Exam The focus of the APES exam is to quantif y how well students are able to express their knowledge and understanding of environmenta l science concepts. It is a three-hour exam that consists of multiple-choice and essay questions. Scores range from 1 to 5, with 3 as a minimum passing score (College Board, 1997). The purpose of the APES exam is to eval uate a student's level of knowledge and understanding of environmental science. The College Board AP Environmental Science Development Committee devises the questions. The exam takes three hours to complete. Sixty percent of the exam grade is dete rmined by the multiple-choice section, which evaluates the breadth of the student's knowledge (College Board, 1997). The questions vary widely by topic and level of difficulty. The score on the multiple-choice section is calculated by a dding the number of questions the student answered correctly and subtra cting a quarter of the quest ions the student answered incorrectly. The free response s ection constitutes 40% of the AP exam grade and consists of four equally-weighted questions. These ques tions must be answered in the form of an essay. The free response questions fall into three categories: Data analysis (which presents the student with data to interpret) Document based (which presents the stude nt with documents such as newspaper articles and asks student s to apply knowledge) Synthesis and evaluation (which involves in-depth synthesi s and evaluation of environmental science concepts). Of the four free response questions, one is data based, one is document based, and two are synthesis and evaluation (College Board, 1997).

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38 These questions are graded by only giving points to arguments that are supported by scientific facts. Each question is scored from 1-10 points. Samples of all question types are available for students in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Course Description (College Board, 1997). Cu rrently, no data are av ailable regarding the number of AP environmental science classes offered each year or the number of students in these classes, but there is data on the number of students who take the APES exam. In 2000, 13,546 students took the APES exam in th e United States (R. Morgan, personal communication, July 13, 2001). This chapter discussed the relevant resear ch that has been done in several areas related to the current study. The following topics were reviewed: Status of environmental knowledge High school accelerated programs Advanced science courses Environmental science courses Students' attitudes toward science High school environmental science courses History of the Advanced Placemen t Environmental Science Program Chapter 3 discusses the study sample, data sources, data colle ction, and analysis techniques. Chapter 4 reports th e results of the quantitative research questions. Chapter 5 describes the case study that was developed fr om the APES observations and interviews. Chapter 6 discusses the results of the quantitative/qualitative re search questions as well as the conclusions drawn base and the ove rall implications of the results.

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39 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction This chapter gives a brief description of the study, explains the research questions and how they were developed, describes the st udy sample (comprised of a survey sample and a case study sample), and outlines the data sources, data collection, and data analysis techniques for each of the 10 research que stions. Specifically, it summarizes the demographics of the survey study sample and the case study obser vation and interview study sample. This chapter also summarizes th e processes used to de velop and pilot test the teacher and student assessm ent instruments. The techniques used to validate and determine the reliability of the student attitude scale are explained and potential limitations to the validity and reliability of th e student attitude scale are also discussed. Description of the Study This was an exploratory st udy designed to describe a nd evaluate the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program in 12 high schools in California, Florida, and New York. Specifically this study gathered data pertaining to the following six categories: General characteristics of students and teachers participating in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program. Attitudes of students and teachers toward the APES Program. Gender and ethnic differences in student attitudes toward the APES Program. Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the program identified by teachers and students.

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40 Match between stated APES goals/gui delines and actual implementation. Recommendations for impr ovement of the program. The following ten research questions were de veloped related to these six categories. Research Questions 1. What is the profile of st udents who enroll in APES? 2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES? 3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES? 4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES? 5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity? 6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities reported by students and teachers? 7. What do students feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES? 8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES? 9. How closely does the actual implementa tion of APES match the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board? 10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES? To answer these research questions, data were collected from two different groups of APES teachers and students. These two gr oups consisted of one large survey study sample from three states and one intact AP Environmental Science class case study sample in Gainesville, Flor ida. The large su rvey study sample was used to gather quantitative data to be used in statistical an alyses and the case study sample was included to collect qualitative data to supplement the survey data by adding richness to the data set, providing insights into the interpretation of the survey data, and for triangulation purposes.

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41 Survey Study Sample California, Florida, and New York were sel ected for this study because they are the three states with the highest numbers of schools having at least 10 students who took the Advanced Placement Environmental Science exam in 2000. A composite list of all schools in the United States currently offe ring APES was obtained from the College Board. A letter explaining the study and aski ng for participation was sent to 50 APES teachers from 50 different schools in each of the three states of interest. The teachers were randomly selected from the total available population of APES teachers in each state using SPSS. Due to a poor response of only six volunteer teachers (two from each state), follow-up postcards were sent one month later to the 48 teachers in each state who had not responded. Five teachers from five schools in each state agreed to participate and all 15 of these sites re ceived teacher and student surveys. The final sample consisted of four schools in each state, which included a total of 12 teachers and 355 students. One teacher from each state did not return the surveys. The total student sample was 60% female, and 56% White, 17% Hispanic, 16% Asian, 8% Black, and 4% other ethnic groups. Th e majority of the students were in 12th grade (52%), followed by 46% in 11th grade, 2% in 10th grade, and 1% in 9th grade. The teachers were 100% White and 60% female. The student sample was not random because the students who filled out the survey were those who returned to class after taking the APES exam. Due to the nature of APES and the pressure that teachers feel to cove r material to prepare students for the APES exam, the teachers only agreed to administer the survey after th e exam. The entire sample of students and teachers was collaps ed across all states and no state-by-state comparisons were made.

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42 Observation/Interview Study Sample The case study sample was included to colle ct qualitative data and to add to the richness of the survey data, to provide insigh ts into the interpretation of the survey data, and for triangulation. The case study site was chosen because it was one of two high school AP Environmental Science class sites in Gainesville, Florida that had a teacher willing to participate and was the most convenien t location for the researcher to visit. Mr. S. is the instructor of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science class at a large, high socioeconomic, s uburban high school in Gainesvill e, Florida. He is a White male teacher who lives in a rural area, has a bachelor's degree in biology education, and has taught science for 11 years, and APES thr ee and a half years. There were 30 students in the class, 19 females and 11 males. All of the students were White except for one Asian female and two Black females. The majority of the students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th, four 11th, and four 12th graders. Ten of these students were chosen to be interviewed based on gender, ethnicity, grade level, and APES class grade point averag e to make the sample as heterogeneous as possible. Each of the 10 students interviewe d lived in the suburbs, their grade point averages ranged from 2.8 to 4.0, and their APES class grades ranged from an A to a C. There were six freshman, two juniors, and tw o seniors in the student interview sample. The highest academic degree of the students' mothers ranged from technical school certification to a master's degree, while th e highest academic degree of their fathers ranged from a high school diploma to M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Data Sources/Data Collection The data sources for this study consisted of two different groups of APES teachers and students. One of these groups consiste d of a large sample of 12 teachers and 355

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43 students from four APES classes in each of thre e states. Quantitative data from this study sample was used to answer the first five research questions. The other group was a smaller intact group of 30 students and a teac her from an APES class in Gainesville, Florida. Qualitative data was collected to develop a case study of an APES class and was combined with quantitative data to answ er the last five research questions. Teacher and Student Surveys To collect information from the large surv ey study sample, mail-in paper and pencil surveys were used. Teacher and student su rveys were mailed to teachers of five Advanced Placement Environmental Science cour ses in each state: California, Florida, and New York. The teachers were asked to complete the teacher survey (Appendix B), and to administer a student survey to all students in each secti on of their Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes (Appe ndix C). Both the teacher and student surveys were composed of four major sections : an attitude scale, self-report data on the amount of time spent on APES activities, de mographic and personal profile information, and self-report data on the mo st important strengths and mo st significant weaknesses of APES. Each section of the surveys will be discussed in more detail under the research question to which it pertains. APES Class Observations To collect information from the case st udy sample, on-site class observations and oral teacher and student interviews were used. The APES class observations were conducted during a first period cl ass at a local high school in Gainesville, Florida. They began in September 2002 and ended in Decem ber 2002. A total of 10 fifty-minute class periods were observed. The observations were made on five Mondays and five Fridays according to the availability of the researcher. The rese archer was a non-participant

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44 observer, and thus did not interact w ith the students. The teacher was only communicated with either before or after each observed class. A diagram of the classroom is presented in Chapter 5 along with the case study developed as a result of the observations. Detailed field notes were collected during each observation day. The observations were analyzed using the cons tant comparison method (Meyers, 1981) in which all incidences were coded, and then co mpared to provide information regarding the following categories: Teacher instructional methodology Student/teacher interactions Student/student interactions Student level of involvement dur ing instruction/ class activities Use of classroom resources Student use of class time Type and frequency of different instru ctional activities (e.g. lecture, labs, fieldwork, discussions, student presenta tions, cooperative group work, student independent research, and working on so lutions to environmental problems) Teacher use of real-world examples Teacher use of methods for a variety of learning styles Teacher questioning techniques. APES Class Interviews Teacher, parent, and student consent forms were distributed to the teacher and the 10 students to be interviewed. The interv iews were only conducted once all of the consent forms were signed and returned to the researcher. Interviews were conducted on days convenient for the teacher and students. The students interviewed were chosen

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45 based on gender, ethnicity, grade level, a nd APES Grade Point Average to be as heterogeneous as possible. The 10 students were randomly selected ba sed upon the above criteria from a list of the students in the APES cl ass being observed. A summary of characteristics of the students chosen for the interview is pres ented in Chapter 5. The 22-item teacher (Appendix D) and 20-item student (Appendix E) interview protocol s were developed by the researcher and were base d on observations and data co llected during the previous 10 class observations and on the guidelines st ated by the College Board regarding the amount of class time that should be spent on ce rtain types of activitie s. The interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed. The teacher and student interviews were conducted to enhance and clarify the interpretation of the field note observational data. The t eacher and each student were only interviewed on one occasion. Each interv iew lasted approximately 20 minutes. The teacher and student interviews were us ed to develop a case study of one AP Environmental Science class that focused on: Demographic Information Curriculum Classroom Learning Environment Planning Instructional Methodology Classroom Management Assessment Match with APES Guidelines. Observation/Interview Data Analysis The field note and interview data were analyzed using the constant comparison method (Meyers, 1981). First, each incidence was coded and then all related incidences were placed into the same category. Then the incidences within a given category were

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46 compared to determine the properties of each category. Finally, a theory was developed to explain how the categories of data were related to each other, and thus attempted to explain the incidences that we re observed (Meyers, 1981). The teacher and student interview data were then compared to the field note data to see how well the teacher's and students' stat ements matched what was observed in the classroom. Both the field note data and the inte rview data were also compared to the data reported by the teachers and students on the teacher and student surveys. Using multiple methods to collect the same type of data is used as an effort to validate data (McFee, 1992). The observation and interview data we re analyzed collectively and used to prepare a case study of one Advanced Placem ent Environmental Science class. For a detailed outline of the study de sign and timeline see Appendix F. Survey Instrumentation/Data Analysis Teacher and student assessment instrument s (surveys) were designed to collect information in four distinct areas. How each instrument was developed, and the data analysis techniques used to analyze survey results are discussed under each research question. 1. What is the profile of students who enroll in APES ? Two items on the student survey specifically focused on self-repor t profile data and nine items focused on demographic characteristics of students (see Table 3-1). All 11 items were combined to provide a profile of students enrolled in APES. The self-report and demographic data were analyzed by calculating the frequency of each response category for the entire student sample.

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47 Table 3-1. Self-report and demogra phic items on the student survey. Self-report Items How many hours a week do you spend studying? How many hours a week do you spend on homework? Demographic Items What is your gender? In what type of area do you live? What grade level are you in school? What is your approximate grade point average? What is your ethnic background? Indicate the highest academic degree of your mother. Indicate the highest academic degree of your father. How many high school science courses have you completed? How many other AP courses have you taken? 2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES ? Fifteen items on the teacher survey specifically focused on self-report pr ofile data. Six pertai ned to instructional techniques, four contained information about his/her APES students, and five asked about assessment techniques. Table 3-2. Self-report and demogra phic items on the teacher survey. Self-report Items Instructional Techniques How many hours a week do y ou spend preparing to teach? How many hours a week do you spend grading? How many hours a week do you spend preparing for lab activities? How many hours a week do you spend preparing for fieldwork? How many hours a month do you spend on professional development? How many sections of AP Environmental Science do you teach? Self-report Items APES Students About how many students do you have in each section? In what grade are the ma jority of your students? What is the percent of students who take the AP Environmental Science Exam? What is the percent of students who pass the AP Environmental Science Exam? Demographic Items Did you complete formal training for the AP Environmental Science course? What is your gender? In what type of area do you live? What is your ethnic background? Indicate your highest academic degree? How many years of science teaching experi ence do you have including this year? How many years have you be en teaching AP classes? Self-report Items Assessment Techniques Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are matching. Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are multiple-choice. Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are true/false. Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are essay. How often do you assess your students?

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48 The remaining seven items focused on demogr aphic characteristics of teachers (see Table 3-2). All 22 items were combined to provide a profile of teachers who teach APES. The self-report and demographic data were an alyzed by calculating the frequency of each response category for the entire teacher sample. 3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES ? The majority of the student assessment instrument was developed to meas ure student attitudes toward APES using the model proposed by Haladyna, Olsen and Shaughnessy (1982). Their study of 315 students in 4th grade, 322 in 7th grade, and 365 in 9th grade found three main categories of variables that affect students' attit udes toward science. They include: Student variables (factors that are attr ibutable only to th e individual student) Teacher variables (facto rs that are unique to an individual teacher) Learning environment variable s (factors that describe th e context and setting in which learning takes place). To assess student attitudes related to thes e three categories, a 42-item attitude scale was used. This attitude scale was designed around the subscales of student, teacher, and learning environment variables to explain the ov erall construct of stude nt attitudes toward APES (see Table 3-3 for items included in each subscale). All items were original and developed by the researcher because of the outdated nature of the questions from the Haladyna et a. (1982) study. Lucky's st udy (1972) was used as a guide for the development of the teacher and student atti tude scales because his study looked at the attitudes of teachers and stude nts toward AP Biology in the Memphis City Schools. His study utilized a teacher and student attitude survey of 25 items each and a Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree with four response choices to measure attitudes.

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49 Table 3-3. Original studen t attitude scale items Attitude Toward The Class Subscale Items The benefits of taking this class outweigh the amount of work I put into it. This course has met my expectations of preparing me for college-level course work. My decision to take this course was a good one. I have learned a lot about environmental science in this class. As a result of taking this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems. As a result of taking this class, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive. As a result of taking this class, my behavior towards the environment has become more positive. I enjoy this class. I took this class because I believe it is important to learn about the environment. The workload for this class is too extensive. Given the opportunity, I would take this class again. The lab exercises in this course are excellent. The fieldwork in this course is excellent. It is necessary for a student to have at least two years of a high school Laboratory science to do well in this class. I feel prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. I took the AP Environmental Science exam. Attitude Toward The Teacher Subscale Items My teacher is well qualified to teach this course. My teacher does an excellent job teaching this course. My teacher explains concepts well. My teacher enjoys teaching this course. My teacher is very knowledgeable about environmental science. My teacher cares about his/her students. My teacher listens to his/her students. My teacher is available to provid e extra help for his/her students. My teacher tells his/her students when they have done a good job. My teacher has high expectations for all students in this class. My teacher is fair to all students. My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment. My teacher believes it is important to l earn how to solve environmental problems. My teacher displays a positive a ttitude toward the environment. My teacher encourages his/her students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. My teacher has made sure that his/her student s are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. My teacher's main mode of instruc tion for this course is lecture. My teacher gives us too much work in this class. My teacher uses outside readings to s upplement the textbook in this class. My teacher encourages independent research in this class. My teacher encourages laborat ory work in this class. My teacher encourages cooperativ e group work in this class. My teacher encourages fi eldwork in this class. My teacher emphasizes to his/her students the benefits of taking an AP course. I respect my teacher. I like my teacher. My teacher is enthusiastic about environmental science. Attitude Toward The Student Subscale Items I do excellent work in this class. It is important to me to get good grades. Environmental Science is an important subject. I enjoy learning environmental science.

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50 This study used the same Likert scale to m easure the attitudes of teachers and students toward APES. The response choices were coded as follows: Strongly Disagree=0, Disagree=1, Agree=2, and Strongl y Agree= 3. Therefore, a response coding of 2 or 3 indicated an agree or strongl y agree response and was cons idered a positive attitude, while codings of 0 or 1 indicated a negative attitude. To determine student attitudes, a total s cale score for each student for the attitude scale and each of the three attitude subscales was calculated. This was done by summing each student's coded response to all items. The total scale score was divided by the number of items to determine an average scale score for each student. The attitude toward APES of the entire student sample was determined by averaging the average scale score (overall average attitude scale score) of all students for the attitude scale and each of the subscales. Descriptive statistics (mean s and standard deviations) were computed to evaluate the students' attitudes rega rding individual attitude items. Pilot Testing The student attitude scale was pilot tested by administering it to 50 students at two suburban high schools currently offering A dvanced Placement Environmental Science courses in Gainesville, Florid a. Data were analyzed usi ng SPSS (10.0) to perform factor and item analyses. Based on the results of th e data analyses, the surveys were revised before final distribution. These an alyses are explained in more deta il later in this chapter. Reliability/Construct Validity Reliability of the student attitude s cale was determined by performing an item analysis on the pilot test results and using Cronbach's alpha as a measure of internal consistency of the entire set of items. Construct validity was determined by performing a factor analysis on the pilot test resu lts for the student attitude scale.

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51 Results of the first item analysis of all 47 items of the student attitude scale indicated that items 10 and 34 had negatively co rrected item-total correlations and needed to be reverse coded (see Appe ndix G, Table F-1 for results of the first item analysis). The reliability of the 47-item student attitude scale as measured by Cronbach's alpha was 0.9289. Items 10 and 34 were reverse coded, and a second item analysis was performed (see Table 3-4). Table 3-4. Items that were reverse coded after the first student attitude scale item analysis. The workload for this class is too extensive. My teacher gives us too much work in this class. The second item analysis with items 10 and 34 reverse coded yielded item response means between 2.574 and 3.730, standard deviations between 0.530 and 0.892, and corrected item-total correlat ions between 0.050 and 0.707 (see Appendix G, Table F-2 for the results of the second item analysis). The re liability of the revise d total attitude scale as measured by Cronbach's alpha was 0.938, an increase from 0.930 when items 10 and 34 were reverse coded. To be considered ac ceptable, target means and corrected itemtotal correlations for individual items were 3.0 and 0.3 or higher respectively, and an overall Cronbach's alpha reliability coeffici ent was 0.8 or higher was targeted for the entire attitude scale. Items 10, 14, 1 6, 33, and 34 had low corrected item-total correlations, indicating they needed to be either revised or removed. The first factor analysis of all 47 student attitude items with items 10 and 34 reverse coded yielded 11 f actors with loadings ranging from 0.244 to 0.770 and items displayed communalities between 0.208 and 0.779. Target loadings for individual items were > 0.3 and target communalities were > 0.5. Based on these criteria, items 14, 16, 26, 33, and 35 had low communalities (around 0.2), which provided evidence to remove

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52 them because they were not loading high on any factors (see Appendix H, Table G-1 for the results of the first factor analysis). All items had loadin gs above or near 0.3, therefore no changes were needed. Based on the results of the initial item and factor analyses, items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 were removed from the survey (see Table 3-5). Table 3-5. Items deleted from the student attitude scale. 10. The workload for this class is too extensive. 14. It is necessary for a student to have at least two years of a high school laboratory science to do well in this class. 16. I took the AP Environmental Science exam. 33. My teacher's main mode of instru ction for this course is lecture. 34. My teacher gives us too much work in this class. Items 14, 16, and 33 were removed because they performed poorly on both the item and factor analyses. Items 10 and 34 were removed because they had low corrected itemtotal correlations on the item analysis. The fact that they had high loadings and communalities on an eighth factor did not s upport keeping them since their correlations with the other items of the student attitude scale were so low. Items 26 and 35 were not removed because although they had low co mmunalities on the factor analysis, their corrected item-total correl ations on the item analysis were acceptable. A third item analysis for the 42-item stude nt attitude scale was performed after items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 were deleted. The coded response means of the items were between 2.574 and 3.729. The standard devi ations were between 0.525 and 0.892. The corrected item-total correlat ions increased and were be tween 0.336 and 0.703. Thus, the remaining items were found to be of good qua lity because they had good spread, meaning that individuals were responding in all f our response categories, and each response category was providing informati on about students' attitudes toward APES (see Appendix

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53 G, Table F-3 for the results of the third item analysis). The reliability of the revised student attitude scale as measured by Cronbach's alpha was 0.941, an increase from 0.932. After items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 were remove d, a second factor analysis yielded seven factors. The loadings ranged from 0.289 to 0.777, and communalities were between 0.229 and 0.774. The number of factors decreased from 11 for the first factor analysis to seven, and the loadings and communalities increased as items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 were removed (see Appendix H, Table G-2 for the results of the second factor analysis). Based on the resu lts of the item and factor an alyses, the number of student attitude items was decreased from 47 to 42 with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted. Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) were performed for the overall attitude scale and each of the subscales (see Table 3-6). Table 3-6. Descriptive statisti cs for the revised student att itude scale and subscales with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted. Scale Mean Score Standard Deviation Number of Items N Student 3.256 0.564 4 50 Teacher 3.403 0.440 25 50 Class 3.403 0.455 13 50 Overall 3.291 0.392 42 50 For the most part, the items on the student attitude scale loaded on factors with items associated with each of the three subscales: attitude toward teacher, attitude toward student, and attitude toward cl assroom environment, with so me overlap of the class and student and class and teacher s ubscales. This may have occurred because the students could not separate themselves or their teac hers from a few of the classroom environment questions. An example of an item with overlap is "As a result of taking this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems, and given the

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54 opportunity, I would take this class again." When responding to this item, students could be focusing on the APES class, themselves as students, or having a good teacher. In order to determine if the construct of students' attitudes toward science could be measured by a one-factor model, it was dete rmined how well a one-factor model fit the pilot data. The resulting one-factor m odel consisted of items 22-25, 27, and 41-42, explained 31.15% of the variance of the ite ms, had loadings >0.48, and adding additional factors did not contribute significantly to the amount of variance explained by the 1factor model (see Table 3-7). Therefore, the student attitude scale overall was considered to measure the one factor of student's attit udes toward APES with the three subscales of students' attitudes toward their teacher, them selves as students, a nd their APES classroom environment. Table 3-7. Items in the 1-factor model for the revised student attitude scale Item Subscale My teacher tells his/her students when they have done a good job. Teacher My teacher has high expectations for all students in this class. Teacher My teacher is fair to all students. Teacher My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment. Teacher My teacher displays a positive attitude toward the environment. Teacher Environmental Science is an important subject. Student I enjoy learning environmental science. Student Limitations to Reliability and Construct Validity Several factors beyond the researcher's control may limit the reliability and construct validity of the student attitude scale. The stude nts filled out the surveys by bubbling their responses on scantron sheets, wh ich, due to human erro r in marking their responses to each question, could have had an undetermined effect. In addition, the teachers administered the student assessment instruments; therefore, students may not have been completely honest in their re sponses. Students may have felt that their

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55 teachers would not approve of their truthful answers especially if their answers differed from their teachers' expectations. 4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES ? A 45-item attitude scale was developed to assess teacher attitudes toward APES overall, their attitudes toward their APES class, their attitude towards their student s, and their attitudes toward themselves as APES teachers. Each of the subscales of atti tudes toward class, students, and themselves as teachers functioned together to explain the overall construct of teacher attitudes toward APES (see Table 3-8 for items included in each subscale). Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) were computed to determine the teachers' attitudes toward individual attitude items. The items included in the teacher attitude scale paralleled those of the student attitude scale. Due to the small pilot test teacher sample size (N=2), item and factor analyses could not be performed for the teacher attitude scale. The items in the teacher attitude scale that were similar to the items de leted in the student attitude scale after pilot testing and subsequent analyses were also dele ted from the teacher attitude scale. Thus, it was assumed that if the student attitude scal e was reliable and valid, the teacher attitude scale was also reliable and valid since the attitude questions on both instruments paralleled each other. Therefore, based on th e results of the item and factor analyses for the student attitude scale, th e teacher attitude scale was m odified to include questions paralleling those in the final student survey.

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56 Table 3-8. Attitude scale and subscale questions for the teacher assessment instrument. Attitude Toward The Class Subscale Items The benefits of teaching this class outweighs the costs of the time needed to prepare to teach it. This course has met my expectations of having th e opportunity to teach high ly motivated students. My decision to teach this course was a good one. I have learned a lot about environmental science in preparing to teach this class. In preparing to teach this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems. As a result of teaching this class, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive. As a result of teaching this cla ss, my behavior toward the environment has become more positive. I have enjoyed teaching this class. I wanted to teach this class because I believe that it is important for st udents to learn about the environment. I feel the lab exercises designed for this course are excellent. I feel the fieldwork in this course is excellent. I feel the textbook that is used for this class is helpful. Attitude Toward The Student Subscale Items I feel my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. I think the majority of my students do excellent work in this class. I think my students are the type to do well in science. I think it is important to my students to get good grades. I think environmental science is an important s ubject to my students. I think my students work hard in this class. I think my students appreciate the hard work they do in this class. I think my students enjoy lear ning environmental science. Attitude Toward The Teacher Subscale Items I feel I am well qualified to teach this course. I feel I do an excellent job teaching this course. I feel I explain concepts well. I am very knowledgeable about environmental science. I care about my students. I listen to my students. I am available to provide extra help for my students when needed. I tell my students when they have done a good job. I have high expectations for all students in this class. I am fair to all students. I believe it is important for studen ts to learn about the environment. I believe it is important for students to learn how to solve environmental problems. I display a positive attitude toward the environment. I encourage my students to take th e AP Environmental Science Exam. I have made sure my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. I give my students a lot of work in this class. I use outside readings to supplem ent the textbook in this class. I encourage independent research in this class. I encourage laboratory work in this class. I encourage cooperative group work in this class. I encourage fieldwork in this class. I emphasize to my students the bene fits of taking an AP course. I respect my students. I like my students. I am enthusiastic about environmental science. 5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity ? Using students' average scale scores on the at titude scale (items 1-42) and each of the three attitude subscales, a two-way ANOVA wa s used to determine if the students' attitudes towards their APES class was dependent on gender or ethnicity. This was done

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57 by comparing the male students' average scal e scores to the female students' average scale scores and by comparing the students' av erage scale scores for each ethnicity to all of the other ethnicities. The Type I error () used for both the t -test and the one-way ANOVA was 0.05. 6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities reported by students and teachers ? The Teacher's Guide AP Environmental Science (College Board, 1997) was consulted to de velop a set of items measuring teacher and student self-reports of th e amount of time spent on APES class activities (items 45, 46, and 49-53 on the student survey; items 49, 51, and 57-61 on the teach er survey). The items were designed to reflect the types of ac tivities that should occur in APES classes as recommended by the College Board. The rese archer also included items pertaining to other class activities such as: amount of cl ass time spent on lect ure, cooperative group work, class discussions, st udent presentations, and i ndependent research. Table 3-9. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities on the student survey. Amount of Time Spent on APES Class Activities How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities? How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork? How many hours a week do you spend identifying environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend analyzing environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend solving environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend assessing th e risks associated with environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend working on solutions to prevent environmental problems? Amount of Time Spent on Other Class Activities How many hours a week does your teacher spend lecturing? How many hours a week do you spend doing cooperative group work? How many hours a week do you engage in class discussions with your teacher? How many hours a week do students engage in presentations? How many hours a week do you spend doing independent research? The rationale for these items was based on the idea that crit ical thinking and knowledge application skills are important for students to be able to succeed in our democratic society (Ornstein, Behar-Horens tein, & Pajak, 2003). This set of items

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58 measured teacher and student self-reports of the amount of time spent on other class activities (items 47-48, and 54-56 on the st udent survey; items 52-56 on the teacher survey). Tables 3-9 and 3-10 list the items th at were used to assess self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other cl ass activities on the student and teacher surveys respectively. Table 3-10. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities on the teacher survey. Amount of Time Spent on APES Class Activities How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities? How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork? How many hours a week do you spend helping students identify environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students analyze environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students solve environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students assess the risks associated with environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students prevent environmental problems? Amount of Time Spent on Other Class Activities How many hours a week do you spend lecturing? How many hours a week do your students spend doing cooperative group work? How many hours a week do your students spend doing independent research? How many hours a week do you engage in class discussions with your students? How many hours a week do your students engage in presentations? The frequency of each response category for the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities for th e student sample and the teacher sample was tabulated and compared. The interview protocol administer ed to a teacher and 10 students in an AP Environmental Science class at a local high school in Gainesville, Florida also included self-report items focusing on th e amount of time spent on the same APES and other class activities. The response frequencies for thes e teacher and student interview items were also tallied and compared with fre quency results from the survey data. 7. What do students feel are th e strengths/weaknesses of APES ? Two self-report items on the student survey pertained to st udents' perceptions of the most important strengths and the most significant weakne sses of APES: "List the most important strengths of your AP Environmental Scien ce class" (item 66) and "List the most

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59 significant weaknesses of your AP Environm ental Science class" (item 67). The strengths/weaknesses the students expressed were categorized and the frequency of responses in each category was calculated. The interview protocol administered to 10 students in an AP Environmental Science cla ss at a local high sc hool in Gainesville, Florida also included self-report items focusi ng on the most important strengths and the most significant weaknesses of APES. Th e response frequencies for the student interview items were also tallied and compar ed with, frequency results from the student survey data. 8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES ? Two self-report items on the teacher survey pertained to teachers' perceptions of the most important strengths and the most significant weakne sses of APES: "List the most important strengths of your AP Environmental Scien ce class" (item 80) and "List the most significant weaknesses of your AP Environm ental Science class" (item 81). The strengths/weaknesses the teachers expressed were categorized and the frequency of responses in each category was calculated. The interview protocol administered to a teacher in an AP Environmental Science cl ass at a local high sc hool in Gainesville, Florida also included self-report items focusi ng on the most important strengths and the most significant weaknesses of APES. Th e response frequencies for the teacher interview items were also tallied and compar ed with, frequency results from the teacher survey data. 9. How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board ? The Teacher's Guide AP Environmental Science (1997) was used to develop a standard for comparison to answer the research

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60 question "How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the goals/guidelines stated by the College Bo ard?" Self-report items 45-46, 49-53 on the student survey and self-report items 49, 51, 57-61 on the teacher survey specifically addressed this question (see Table 3-11 for th e student survey items and Table 3-12 for the teacher survey items). Table 3-11. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class activities on the student survey. How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities? How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork? How many hours a week do you spend identifying environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend analyzing environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend solving environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend assessing th e risks associated with environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend working on solutions to prevent environmental problems? Table 3-12. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class activities on the teacher survey. How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities? How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork? How many hours a week do you spend helping students identify environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students analyze environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students solve environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students assess the risks associated with environmental problems? How many hours a week do you spend helping students prevent environmental problems? Frequency data for each response category were tabulated for the amount of time spent on APES class activities on the teacher and student surveys. The data were compared to a standard to look for a match (see Table 3-13). The College Board has designed the APES Program to include a sign ificant amount of lab and fieldwork. The researcher interpreted "significant" to mean at least one lab or field activity per week. The College Board also states that one of the goals of APES is for students to be able to identify, analyze, solve, assess the risk s of, and work on solutions to prevent environmental problems. The College Board suggests no specified amount of time for these activities. Thus, when developing a standard for comparison the researcher

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61 interpreted the amount of time that should be spent on these goals as more than half of one class period per week (approximately 3 hours/week). Table 3-13. Standards set by the College Bo ard for the amount of time that should be spent on APES class activities. Time spent on lab activities/fieldw ork Significant = at least 1 lab or field activity/week Time spent on identifying environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent on analyzing environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent solving environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent assessing the risks associated with environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent on working on solutions to prevent environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week In addition to analyzing survey item responses for this research question, the relative amount of time spent on differe nt learning activities, labs, fieldwork, and identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing th e risks of, and working on solutions to environmental problems during 10 case study obs ervations of the high school APES class in Gainesville, Florida was also computed. The frequency of time spent on the same activities that was self-reported during the teacher and student interviews at the APES case study site in Gaines ville was also tallied (see Tabl e 3-14 for the teacher interview and Table 3-15 for the student interview items related to this research question). Table 3-14. Teacher interview item. How much time do you spend on lab activitie s, fieldwork, identifying environmental problems, analyzing environmental problem s, assessing the risks associated with environmental problems, and working on solutions to environmental problems? Table 3-15. Student interview item. How much time do you spend on lab activitie s, fieldwork, identifying environmental problems, analyzing environmental problem s, assessing the risks associated with environmental problems, and working on solutions to environmental problems? The frequencies of responses to these interview items were compared to the same standard and to those reported in the teacher a nd student surveys. All of the data from the

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62 teacher and student surveys, case study observations, and the teacher and student interviews were combined to determine how well the actual implementation of APES matched the goals/guidelines stated by the Co llege Board. Specifically, the data from all sources were used to compare the average amount of time teachers and students reported spending on lab activities, fieldwork, and id entifying, analyzing, solving, assessing, and working on solutions to environmental pr oblems to the standard amount of time recommendation by the College Board. 10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES ? Recommendations for improvement of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program were made based on all data sources. Th e data sources included the teacher and student attitude scales, the amount of time devoted to APES class activities as re ported by the teachers and students, and what the students and teach ers felt were the most important strengths and the most significant weaknesses of APES as stated on the student and teacher survey. Data collected from the APES class observati ons, and the teacher and student interviews at a local high school in Gainesville, Florida were also used to supplement the survey data. Face Validity A panel of Four University experts that consisted of a science educator, two environmental educators, and an educational research methods specialist determined face validity of the entire teacher and student su rvey instrument. The research specialist provided comments on the structure, response ch oices, directions, and order of questions. The educators provided comments on the types of questions asked, wording, and content of the questions. As a result of their comme nts, the demographic information was placed

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63 at the end of the survey, the directions were made more clear, the structure of the survey was simplified, and the wording and content of some of the questions was changed. This chapter outlined the research questions, study sample, data sources, data collection techniques, and pro cedures for data analysis for all research questions. Chapter 4 reports the results of research que stions 1-5. Chapter 5 describes the APES observations and interviews for the case study sample. Chapter 6 discusses the results of research questions 6-10 as well as the conclu sions and implications of the results on the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program.

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64 CHAPTER 4 QUANTITATIVE RESULTS Introduction This chapter revisits the data analysis pr ocedures and reports results for the five quantitative research questions (1-5). The results will be discussed under the appropriate research question. Research Questions 1. What is the profile of students who enroll in APES ? The student survey sample consisted of 355 students. The fre quency of responses to items 4344 (selfreport) and items 57-65 (demographics) on th e student survey were calculated to determine a profile of the t ypes of students enrolled in APES (see Table 4-1). The majority of APES students in this study: Study for APES one to three hours a week Do less than one hour of APES homework a week Are female (61%) Live in the suburbs (52% subur ban, 37% urban, and 9% rural) Are in 12th grade Have a 3.5-4.0 G.P.A. Are White (56% White, 17% Hispanic, 16% Asian, 8% Black, and 4% other ethnic groups) Have mothers with bachelor’s degrees Have fathers with master’s degrees Have taken four to five high school science classes

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65 Have taken one or no other AP classes. Table 4-1. Student frequency of responses for self-report and demographic items. Item Abbreviation Response Valid Percent 43 Studying 1-3 (hrs./wk) 43.0 44 Homework <1 (hrs./wk) 44.9 57 Gender Female 60.6 58 Live Suburban 51.7 59 Grade 12th 51.7 60 G.P.A 3.5-4.0 53.7 61 Ethnic White 55.7 62 Degree mom Bachelors degree 35.9 63 Degree dad Masters degree 35.3 64 H.S. science 4-5 62.4 65 AP classes <1 37.0 2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES ? The teacher survey sample contained 12 teachers. The frequency of re sponses regarding self -report instructional techniques (items 46-48, 50, and 62-63), self-r eport information on AP ES students (items 64-67), self-report responses regarding a ssessment techniques (items 75-79), and demographics (items 68-74) on the teacher su rvey were calculated to determine the profile of teachers involved in APES (see Table 4-2). The majority of APES teachers spend three to five hours a w eek preparing to teach, one to three hours a week grading, one to three hours a week preparing for lab act ivities, and less than one hour per week preparing for fieldwork. They spend le ss than five hours a month on professional development and teach two sections of APES with 21-30 mostly 12th grade students in each section. About 75-100% of their studen ts take the APES exam and 75-100% of those students pass the exam. Most of the teachers have no formal AP training, a master's degree, over 12 years of science teachi ng experience, and three to five years of AP teaching experience. These teachers assess their students about once every two weeks and less than 10% of their assessmen ts are matching, 31-59% are multiple-choice,

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66 less than 10% are true/false, and 31-59% ar e essay. All of the teachers are White, 60% are female, and 60% live in the suburbs (40% urban). Table 4-2. Teacher frequency of responses for self-report and demographic items. Item Abbreviation Response Valid Percent 46 Preparing to teach 3.1-5 (hrs./wk) 40.0 47 Grading 1-3 (hrs./wk) 60.0 48 Preparing for lab activities 1-3 (hrs./wk) 80.0 50 Preparing for fieldwork <1 (hrs./wk) 60.0 62 Professional development >5 (hrs./month) 44.4 63 Sections APES 2 60.0 64 Students per section 21-30 70.0 65 Grade 12th 66.7 66 % students taken AP exam 75-100 100.0 67 % students pass AP exam75-100 60.0 68 AP training No 60.0 69 Gender Female 60.0 70 Live Suburban 60.0 71 Ethnic White 100.0 72 Degree Masters degree 50.0 73 Science teaching >12 40.0 74 AP teaching 3-5 60.0 75 % Matching <10 100.0 76 % Multiple-choice 31-59 40.0 77 % True/false <10 100.0 78 % Essay 31-59% 50.0 79 How often assess 1X2weeks 50.0 3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES ? To determine the attitudes of the 355 students in this study, a total scale sc ore for each student for the attitude scale and each of the subscales was calculated (ite ms 1-42). This was done by summing each student's response to all items. The total s cale score was divided by the number of items to get the average scale score for each student. The students' attitudes toward APES were

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67 determined by averaging the average scale sc ore (overall average scale score) of each student for the attitude scal e and each of the subscales. The overall average scores for all students on the attitude scal e (items 1-42) and each of the subscales (class, teacher, and student) were all close to 2.0 (responses of 0=strongly disagree, 1=disagr ee, 2=agree, and 3=strongly agree), indicating that the students in this study have overall positive at titudes toward APES. Specifically, the average attitude score for th e entire attitude scale was 1.99, the class subscale average score was 1.60, the teacher subscale averag e score was 2.20, and the student subscale average score was 2.24. Overall, the stude nts in this study have the most positive attitudes toward themselves as students in APES, followed by attitudes toward their teachers, overall attitudes, and attitudes to ward their APES classes (see Table 4-3). Regarding individual items, mean responses were two or above for 34 of the items and less than two for eight of the items. The standard deviations of mean student attitude scores for the entire attitude scale ranged from 0.56 to 0.92, indicating a great deal of variability in the students' attitudes and thus, th e data should be inte rpreted with caution. Students have less than positive att itudes toward the following items: Class subscale: This course has met my expectations of preparing me for college-level course work. I took this class because I believe it is important to learn about the environment. Given the opportunity, I woul d take this class again. The lab exercises in this course are excellent. The fieldwork in this course is excellent. I feel prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.

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68 Teacher subscale: My teacher encourages independent research in this class. Student subscale: I do excellent work in this class. Students had more positive attit udes toward the following items: Class subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher): My decision to take th is course was a good one. I have learned a lot about envir onmental science in this class. As a result of taking this class, my at titude toward the environment has become more positive. Teacher subscale (criteria = mean of 2.50 or higher): My teacher is well qualified to teach this course. My teacher enjoys teaching this course. My teacher is very knowledgeable about environmental science. My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment. My teacher believes it is important to l earn how to solve environmental problems. My teacher displays a positive at titude toward the environment. My teacher encourages his/her students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. I respect my teacher. My teacher is enthusiastic about environmental science. Student subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher): It is important to me to get good grades. Environmental science is an important subject. I enjoy learning environmental science.

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69 Table 4-3. Descriptive statistics for the student attitude scale. Item Question N Mean Std. Dev. Class Subscale 1 The benefits of taking this class outweigh the amount of work I put into it. 353 2.020 0.774 2 This course has met my expectations of preparing me for college-level course work. 349 1.765* 0.807 3 My decision to take this course was a good one. 354 2.325 0.763 4 I have learned a lot about environmental science in this class. 354 2.492 0.635 5 As a result of taking this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems. 355 2.080 0.751 6 As a result of taking this class, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive. 353 2.250 0.753 7 As a result of taking this class, my behavior towards the environment has become more positive. 353 2.108 0.769 8 I enjoy this class. 354 2.170 0.782 9 I took this class because I believe it is important to learn about the environment. 355 1.834* 0.916 10 Given the opportunity, I would take this class again. 353 1.867* 0.915 11 The lab exercises in this course are excellent. 354 1.542* 0.807 12 The fieldwork in this course is excellent. 333 1.670* 0.779 13 I feel prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 352 1.906* 0.851 Teacher Subscale 14 My teacher is well qualified to teach this course 355 2.57 5 0.699 15 My teacher does an excellent job t eaching this course 354 2.35 0 0.812 16 My teacher explains con cepts well. 35 4 2.370 0.703 17 My teacher enjoys teaching this course. 35 4 2.588 0.673 18 My teacher is very knowledgeable about Environmental science. 355 2.651 0.608 19 My teacher cares about his/ her students. 35 5 2.482 0.694 20 My teacher listens to his/ her students. 35 4 2.376 0.736 21 My teacher is available to provide extra help for his/her students when needed. 352 2.409 0.738 22 My teacher tells his/her students when they have done a good job. 354 2.297 0.782 23 My teacher has high expecta tions for all students in this class. 354 2.288 0.765 24 My teacher is fair to a ll students. 35 3 2.323 0.775 25 My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment. 354 2.689 0.558 24 My teacher is fair to a ll students. 35 3 2.323 0.775 25 My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment. 354 2.689 0.558 26 My teacher believes it is important to learn how to solve environmental problems. 355 2.578 0.630 27 My teacher displays a positive attitude toward the environment. 354 2.528 0.674 *= mean <2 (less than "agree")

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70 Table 4-3 Continued.. 28 My teacher encourages his/her students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 355 2.639 0.610 29 My teacher has made sure that his/her students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 355 2.344 0.778 30 My teacher uses outside readings to supplement the textbook in this class. 354 2.133 0.833 31 My teacher encourages independent research in this class. 351 1.940* 0.891 32 My teacher encourages laboratory wo rk in this class. 354 2.09 3 0.722 33 My teacher encourages coope rative group work in this class. 353 2.275 0.747 34 My teacher encourages fieldwork in this class. 346 2.09 5 0.787 35 My teacher emphasizes to his/her students the benefits of taking an AP course. 354 2.065 0.820 36 I respect my teacher. 353 2.527 0.691 37 I like my teacher 353 2.47 3 0.707 38 My teacher is enthusiastic about en vironmental science. 352 2.58 5 0.644 Student Subscale 39 I do excellent work in this class. 351 1.974* 0.801 40 It is important to me to get good grades. 352 2.460 0.707 41 Environmental science is an important subject. 351 2.345 0.743 42 I enjoy learning environmental science. 353 2.241 0.788 = mean <2 (less than "agree") Results of the attitude scale analyses i ndicate that overall, students enjoy their APES classes, but would not take them ag ain. Students feel their APES classes are beneficial because their decision to take this course was a good one, they learn a lot about environmental science and how to take action to solve environmental problems, feel the class has made their attitudes and behavior s toward the environment more positive, consider environmental science to be an im portant subject, but di d not take the class because they feel it is important to learn about the environment. Interestingly, the students do feel their teachers believe it is im portant to learn about the environment and how to solve environmental problems. Students do not feel personally prepared to take the APES exam, nor do they feel this course has met their expectations of pr eparing them for college-level course work, but do feel the teachers make sure their stude nts are prepared to ta ke the APES exam.

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71 They think they have well qualified, knowledge able, excellent, and ca ring teachers who encourage lab work, fieldwork, and cooperativ e, not independent group work, but at the same time the students feel the quality of th e lab and fieldwork in APES is poor. Finally, students like and respect their enthusiastic APES teachers who display positive attitudes toward the environment, and f eel it is important to get good gr ades, but do not think they do excellent work in their APES classes. Results indicate that APES is meeting some of the College Board's stated goals for the environmental science class such as: ha ving students learn about the environment and especially how to take action to solve e nvironmental problems, having knowledgeable teachers who feel it is importa nt to learn about the envir onment, preparing students for the APES exam, and promoting lab and fieldwor k. But, students do not feel that APES meets their expectations of preparing them fo r college-level work or to take the APES exam, nor do they consider the lab and fiel dwork to be of high quality. These findings are important because the College Board believes APES should prepare students for college-level work and the APES exam and th at APES should include excellent labs and fieldwork. 4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES ? On average, the 12 teachers in this study have overall positive attit udes toward APES (responses of 0=strongly disagree, 1=disagree, 2=agree, and 3=strong ly agree). The mean score for the total attitude scale was 2.27 (items 1-45). Mean subscale attitude scores were: 2.07 for the class subscale, 1.90 for the student subscale, and 2.40 for the attitude toward self as a teacher subscale. Teachers feel the most pos itive about themselves as teachers of APES, followed by their overall attitude s toward APES, attitudes towa rd their APES classes, and

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72 attitudes toward their APES students, but none of these di fferences in attitudes are statically significant. (see Table 4-4). Regarding individual items, mean responses were two or above for 33 of the items and less than two for 12 of the items. The sta ndard deviations of mean teacher attitude scores for the entire attitude scale ranged fr om 0.00 to 1.10, but did not vary as much as those of the student attitude scores, indicating ther e is not as much variability in the teachers' attitudes. Teachers have less than positive att itudes toward the following items: Class subscale: This course has met my expectations of having the opportunity to teach highly motivated students. As a result of teaching this class, my at titude toward the environment has become more positive. I feel the lab exercises designed for this course are excellent. I feel the fieldwork in this course is excellent. Student subscale: I think the majority of my students do excellent work in this class. I think my students are the t ype to do well in science. I think my students work hard in this class. I think my students appreciate the hard work they do in this class. Teacher subscale: I feel I do an excellent job teaching this course. I encourage independent research in this class. I encourage laboratory work in this class. I encourage fieldwork in this class. Teachers had more positive attitudes toward the following items: Class subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher):

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73 My decision to teach this course was a good one. I have learned a lot about environmental sc ience in preparing to teach this class. I have enjoyed teaching this class. I wanted to teach this cla ss because I believe that it is important for students to learn about the environment. I feel the textbook that is used for this class is helpful. Student subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher): I think it is important to my students to get good grades. I think my students enjoy lear ning environmental science. Teacher subscale (criteria = mean of 2.60 or higher): I care about my students. I am available to provide extra help for my students when needed. I have high expectations for all students in this class. I am fair to all students. I believe it is important for student s to learn about the environment. I encourage my students to take th e AP Environmental Science Exam. I like my students. I am enthusiastic about environmental science. Teachers in this study feel that teaching APES is beneficial because in teaching the class they personally learn a lot about environmental science and how to take action to solve environmental problems, develop more positiv e behaviors toward the environment, and enjoy teaching APES. They feel it is important for st udents to learn about the environment and how to solve environmental problems. They feel their students are prepared to take the APES exam, think envir onmental science is an important subject to their students, and feel thei r students enjoy learning about environmental science. The teachers also feel qualified to teach APES, care about their students, display positive attitudes toward the environm ent, report that they encour age cooperative group work, and are enthusiastic about teaching environmental science. The teachers do not feel that the

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74 course has met their expectations of havi ng the opportunity to teach highly motivated students, did not develop a more positive attitude toward the environment, and feel that the APES lab and fieldwork activities are poor They do not think their students work hard, do excellent work in their classes, are th e type of students to do well in science, or appreciate the hard work they do in APES. The teachers also admit they do not feel they do an excellent job teaching this course and do not encourage labs, fieldwork, or independent student research. These results are important because the College Board recommends that students complete at le ast one lab activity each week and spend a significant amount of time doing fieldwork. Table 4-4. Descriptive statistics for the teacher a ttitude scale. Item Question N Mean Std. Dev. Class Subscale 1 The benefits of teaching this class outweighs the costs of the time needed to prepare to teach it. 12 2.167 0.718 2 This course has met my expectations of having the opportunity to teach highly motivated students. 12 1.750* 0.754 3 My decision to teach this course was a good one. 12 2.417 0.515 4 I have learned a lot about enviro nmental science in preparing to teach this class. 12 2.667 0.651 5 In preparing to teach this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems. 12 2.083 0.996 6 As a result of teaching this class, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive. 11 1.818* 0.751 7 As a result of teaching this class, my behavior towards the environment has become more positive. 11 2.091 0.701 8 I have enjoyed teaching this class. 12 2.250 0.622 9 I wanted to teach this class because I believe that it is important for students to learn about the environment. 12 2.583 0.515 10 I feel the lab exercises designed fo r this course are excellent. 12 1.167* 0.577 11 I feel the fieldwork in this course is excellent. 12 1.250* 0.754 12 I feel the textbook that is used fo r this class is helpful. 12 2.250 0.622 Student Subscale 13 I feel my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 12 2.000 0.000 14 I think the majority of my students do excellent work in this class. 12 1.500* 0.522 15 I think my students are the type to do well in science. 12 1.583* 0.515 16 I think it is important to my st udents to get good grades. 12 2.417 0.515 17 I think environmental science is an important subject to my students. 12 2.000 1.095 18 I think my students work hard in this class. 11 1.667* 0.492 19 I think my students appreciate the hard work they do in this class. 12 1.750* 0.622 20 I think my students enjoy learning environmental scie nce. 12 2.250 0.622

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75 Table 4-4. Continued. Item Question N Mean Std. Dev. Teacher Subscale 21 I feel I am well qualified to teach this course. 12 2.333 0.651 22 I feel I do an excellent job teaching this course. 12 1.917* 0.515 23 I feel I explain concepts well. 12 2.417 0.515 24 I am very knowledgeable about e nvironmental scie nce. 12 2.333 0.651 25 I care about my students. 12 2.750 0.452 26 I listen to my students. 12 2.583 0.515 27 I am available to provide extra help for my students when needed. 12 2.667 0.492 28 I tell my students when they have done a good job. 12 2.583 0.515 29 I have high expectations for all students in this class. 12 2.750 0.452 30 I am fair to all students. 12 2.667 0.492 31 I believe it is important for students to learn about the environment. 12 2.750 0.452 32 I believe it is important for students to learn how to solve environmental problems. 12 2.500 0.674 33 I display a positive a ttitude toward the environment. 12 2.500 0.674 34 I encourage my students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 12 2.750 0.452 35 I have made sure that my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science exam. 12 2.583 0.515 36 I give my students a lot of wo rk in this class. 12 2.000 0.426 37 I use outside readings to supplement the textbook in this class. 12 2.417 0.669 38 I encourage independent resear ch in this class. 12 1.500* 0.905 39 I encourage laboratory work in this class. 12 1.750* 0.622 40 I encourage cooperative group work in this class. 12 2.417 0.669 41 I encourage fieldwork in this class. 12 1.667* 1.073 42 I emphasize the benefits of taking an AP course to my students. 12 2.167 0.718 43 I respect my students. 12 2.583 0.515 44 I like my students. 12 2.750 0.452 45 I am enthusiastic about envi ronmental science. 12 2.667 0.492 = mean <2 (less than "agree") When results of the student and teacher at titude scales are compared, teachers and students agree that APES is beneficial, has not met their expectations, has taught them a lot about environmental scienc e and how to take action to solve environmental problems, and that their behaviors toward the envir onment are more positive. Both groups enjoy the class, but feel the lab ac tivities and fieldwork are poor. They also agree that the students do not do excellent work in the class, that their teacher is qualified to teach APES, that the teacher does not encourage independent research, but does encourage cooperative group work, and that they bot h like and respect each other.

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76 Student and teacher attitude scale results indicate a lack of consistency or agreement between the two groups pertaining to the following items: that their attitudes changed as a result of the APES class, that environmental science is important, that the teacher does an excellent job teaching the cl ass, that the teacher encourages lab and fieldwork, and that students are prepared to take the APES exam. These inconsistencies are interesting, but must be interpreted w ith caution because the sample size for the teacher attitude survey was small (N=12) relati ve to the size of the student survey sample (N=355). 5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity ? A two-way ANOVA was used to determine if gender and ethnicity had an effect on students' attitude towards APES (items 142 and 57 and 61). Results indicate students' attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environm ental Science did not statistically differ for males and females for the ove rall student attitude scale, F (1, 325) = 2.525, p = 0.113 or any of the subscales. The effect size for Omega Squared was 0.005, which indicates a very small effect size. Therefore, the non-si gnificant effect of gender on attitude is likely attributable to the small eff ects size as opposed to a lack of power (see Table 4-5). Results indicate that students' attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environmental Science did not significantly differ across levels of ethnicity for the student total attitude scale F (4, 325) = 0.977, p = 0.420 or any of the subscales. The effect size for Omega Squared was zero, which indicates a very small effect size. Therefore, the nonsignificant effect of ethnicity on attitude is likely attributable to the small effect size as opposed to a lack of power (see Table 4-5) There was no interaction between gender and ethnicity for the student total attitude scale F (4, 325) = 1.133, p = 0.341 or any of the

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77 subscales. The effect size for Omega Squa red was 0.002, which indicates a very small effect size. Effect sizes will only be reporte d if they are significant for the remainder of the paper. Although the differences were not si gnificant, Table 4-6 re sults indicate that females have more positive attitudes towa rd APES overall than do their male counterparts. Other ethnic groups in this study have more positive attitudes toward APES overall than White, Black, Asian, or Hispanic students. However, none of the ethnic groups' differences in attitudes were statistically significant. Table 4-5. Two-way ANOVA for gender and ethnicity. Scale Levene's Test of Equal Variances SS df MS F P Effect Size Total 0.005 Gender Ethnicity G X E Total 2.357 3.649 4.232 303.359 1 4 4 334 2.357 0.912 1.058 2.525 0.977 1.133 0.113 0.420 0.341 0.0045 -0.0003 0.0016 Table 4-6. Student total attitude scale and cl ass, teacher, and student subscale descriptive statistics for gender and ethnicity. Total scale Class subscale Teache r subscale Student sub scale Group X SD N X SD N X SD N X SD N All 1.994 0.402 355 1.596 0.434 355 2.195 0.441 355 2.235 0.596 355 Gender Male 1.986 0.398 126 1.584 0.470 126 2.189 0.446 126 2.222 0.641 126 Female 2.015 0.386 214 1.615 0. 390 214 2.216 0.417 214 2.259 0.553 214 Ethnic White 2.012 0.404 194 1.606 0.438 194 2.219 0.433 194 2.236 0.587 194 Black 1.966 0.471 27 1.590 0.410 27 2.165 0.590 27 2.130 0.728 27 Asian 1.904 0.393 55 1.524 0.390 55 2.082 0.458 55 2.232 0.518 55 Hispanic 2.029 0.332 59 1.631 0. 395 59 2.230 0.354 59 2.259 0.589 59 Other ethnic groups 2.129 0.372 13 1.716 0.495 13 2.328 0.377 13 2.442 0.542 13 Table 4-7 results indicate that the total attitude scale has the smallest 95% confidence interval, meaning that the mean of the total attitude is more stable than the mean of any of the three individual subscales and has a smaller range which will contain the population mean 95% of the time. The st udent attitude toward self subscale had the largest 95% confidence interval, meaning that the mean of this subscale is the least stable

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78 compared to the total attitude scale and the other two subscales a nd has a larger range which will contain the population mean 95% of the time. This may be due to the fact that students have a more difficult time determining how they feel about themselves as students in APES than they do about determini ng how they feel about the class in general and their teachers in particular. Table 4.7. 95% confidence intervals for student to tal attitude scale and class, teacher, and student subscales for gender and ethnicity. 95% Confidence Intervals Total Scale Class Su bscale Teacher Subscale Student Subscale Group All 1.799 < < 2.189 1.253 < <1.939 1.966 < < 2.425 1.616 < <2.855 Gender Male 1.793 < <2.179 1.213 < <1.955 1.957 < < 2.421 1.556 < <2.888 Female 1.828 < <2.203 1.307 < <1.923 1.999 < < 2.433 1.684 < <2.834 Ethnicity White 1.816 < < 2.208 1.260 < <1.952 1.994 < < 2.444 1.626 < <2.846 Black 1.737 < <2.195 1.266 < <1.914 1.858 < < 2.472 1.373 < <2.887 Asian 1.713 < <2.095 1.216 < <1.832 1.844 < < 2.320 1.694 < <2.770 Hispanic 1.868 < <2.190 1.319 < <1.943 2.046 < < 2.414 1.647 < <2.871 Other ethnic groups 1.948 < <2.310 1.325 < <2.107 2.132 < < 2.524 1.879 < <3.005 For the total attitude scale and each of the subscales, females had the smallest confidence intervals. Students of other ethnic backgrounds ha d the smallest 95% confidence interval for the total attitude and teacher and the class subscales, while Asian students had the smallest 95% confidence interv al for the class and student subscales. These findings are interesting. Perhaps the students of other ethnic backgrounds had the smallest confidence interval for the teacher subscale because their cultures have greater respect for teachers or elders in general. The Asian students may have had the smallest confidence intervals for the class and student subscales because they view school as very important, take their classes very seriously, a nd feel very confident in their ability as students to do well in science.

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79 This chapter reported the results of each of the study's five quantitative research questions. Chapter 5 contains a case study that was developed from observations and interviews with students and teachers in one APES class. The results of the five mixed method quantitative/qualitativ e research questions along with the conclusions and implications based on results for all 10 rese arch questions are pr ovided in Chapter 6.

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80 CHAPTER 5 CASE STUDY OF AN ADVANCED PLAC EMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE CLASS Introduction This chapter presents a case study of one intact Advanced Placement Environmental Science class based on observati ons and teacher and student interviews at a local high school in Gainesville, Florida. The case study was conducted to provide qualitative data to enrich the data set, provide more specific insights into the interpretation of the quantitative surv ey data, and for triangulation purposes. Methods Case Study Sample The case study sample consisted of 30 stude nts and their teacher in one intact AP Environmental Science class in a large, high socioeconomic, suburban high school in Gainesville, Florida. The case study site was chosen because it was one of two high school AP Environmental Science class sites in Gainesville, Florida that had a teacher willing to participate and was the most convenien t location for the researcher to visit. The instructor of the Advanced Placem ent Environmental Science class will be referred to as Mr. S. in this case study. Mr. S. is a White male teacher, in his mid-forties who lives in a rural area, ha s a bachelor's degree in biol ogy education, has taught science for 11 years, and has taught APES three and a half years. Of the 30 students in the class, 19 were female and 11 were male. All of the students were White except for one Asian fema le and two Black females. The majority

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81 of the students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th, four 11th, and four 12th graders. Ten of the 30 students in this class were chosen to be interviewed based on gender, ethnicity, grade level, and APES class grade point averag e to make the sample as heterogeneous as possible. Each of the 10 students interviewe d lived in the suburbs, their grade point averages ranged from 2.8 to 4.0, and their APES class grades ranged from A to C. There were six freshman, two juniors, and two seni ors in the student interview sample. The highest academic degree of the students' mothers ranged from technical school certification to a master's degree, while th e highest academic degree of their fathers ranged from a high school diploma to M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Data Sources The two major qualitative data sources used to develop this case study were field notes of classroom observations and transcript s of teacher and student interviews. The observations and interviews were comple ted in the Fall semester of 2002. APES Class Observations The APES class observations were conducte d during a first period class, which met from 8:30 am to 9:20 am. They began in September 2002 and ended in December 2002. A total of 10 fifty-minute class periods we re observed. All observations were made on five Mondays and five Wednesdays according to the availability of the researcher. The researcher was a non-participant observer, and thus did not interact with the students or Mr. S. during observations. Mr. S. was only communicated with either before or after each observed class. Detailed field notes were collected during each observation day. APES Class Interviews The teacher and student interviews we re conducted to enhance and clarify interpretations of the field note observational data. Teacher, parent, and student consent

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82 forms were distributed to the teacher and th e 10 students to be interviewed in October, 2002. The interviews were conducted once al l of the consent forms were signed and returned to the researcher. Interviews were conducted on days convenient for Mr. S. and students and occurred during N ovember and December, 2002. The 22-item teacher (Appendix D) and 20-item student (Appendix E) interview protocols were developed by the researcher and were based on observations and data collected during the previous 10 class observations and on the guidelines stated by the College Board regarding the amount of class time that should be spent on certain types of activities. The interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed. Mr. S. and each student were only interviewed on one occasion. Each interview lasted approximately 20 minutes. Data Analysis The field note and interview data were analyzed using the constant comparison method (Meyers, 1981). The teacher and student interview data were then compared to the field note data to see how well the teach er's and students' statements matched what was observed in the classroom. The observa tion and interview data were analyzed collectively and used to prep are a case study of one Advanced Placement Environmental Science class. Areas of Focus The following headings and subheadings out line major areas of focus for the case study: Demographic Information Curriculum Classroom Learning Environment Planning Instructional Methodology Classroom Management Assessment

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83 Match with APES Guidelines. They were derived from a combination of th e categories that emerge d during analysis of the classroom observation and teacher and studen t interview data. Results presented here are based on data collected from 10 class observations, an interview with Mr. S., the instructor of the Advanced Placement Environm ental Science class, and interviews of a sample of 10 students in the class. Demographic Information Description of the Teacher During the period of the case study, Mr. S. ta ught four sections of APES in which the majority of students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th, four 11th, and four 12th graders. Mr. S. has taught chemistr y, AP biology, honors biology, general biology, physical science, physics, geology, marine biology, honors earth and space science and APES. He has been teaching APES for thre e and a half years without any formal AP training. Description of the Students Six freshman, two juniors, and two senior s were interviewed. The juniors and seniors interviewed had taken high school bi ology, chemistry, physics, and earth space science, as well as AP Calculus I & II, Economics, and APES. Table 5-1 summarizes other demographic characteristics of the student interview sample. Table 5-1. Description of students interviewed. Student Grade Level APES Grade Gender Race 1 9th/10th A Male White 2 9th/10th B Male White 3 9th/10th C Male White 4 9th/10th A Female White 5 9th/10th B Female White 6 9th/10th C Female White 7 11th/12th A Male White 8 11th/12th C Male White 9 11th/12th A Female Asian 10 11th/12th C Female Black

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84 Curriculum The textbook used in the AP ES case study class was the 11th edition of Living in the Environment by Miller copyrighted in 1999. This text was specifically designed for use in college environmental science classes. During the interview, Mr. S. explained that he designs his own labs based on previous AP exam questions instead of using a particular laboratory manual. He also re ported that he supple ments the textbook with videos on pollution, garbage, biogeochemical cycles, and rainforests, as well as newspaper articles and television news clip s related to environmental science topics. Mr. S. defined curriculum as "What is on the APES exam." He explained that the way in which he understands curriculum str ongly influences what he teaches. As he explained, "I teach what is on the APES exam ." He felt that it was important to be familiar with the curriculum so that he could teach the topics in a logical sequence in which each topic builds on knowledge from the previous topics. During the interview, Mr. S. responded to the question, "Are there other content areas that you would like to teach but feel unable to because of the APES exam?" by stating, "I feel that I do not have enough time to spend with the curriculum that I got." He did not feel there was anything in particul ar he would like to change about the APES curriculum, but he said, "I do not think that I would change anything except that I would like to be able to spend more time on some of the topics." Classroom Learning Environment Physical Classroom Environment During all 10 observations, the room wa s warm and the lighting was dim. The room had two computers, a set of encycl opedias, and a collection of older National Geographic magazines. A comp lete layout of the classroom is presented in Figure 5-1.

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85 Desks Lab Tables The dimensions of the classroom are 35 ft by 23 ft. Figure 5-1. Diagram of th e observed APES classroom There were 30 microscopes and a safety s hower as well as a bulletin board and 32 science-related posters focusing on topics su ch as endangered species and chemistry. There were 24 desks and three lab tables with very little lab counter space. This classroom was set up for lecture rather than la b activities. There wa s no seating chart, but the students always sat in the same seats. All three of the minority students in this class were female and they all sat on the right side of the room, but not all next to each other. The girls tended to sit next to girls and the boys tended to si t next to boys. The majority of the students sat at de sks not lab tables. White White MaleMale Observer White White FemaleMale Black White FemaleFemale Window Animal Posters White Female White Male White Male White Female White Female White Male White Female White Female Black Female White Female Asian Female White Female White Female White Male White Female White Female White Male White Male White Female White Female White Male White Female White Female White Male Bulletin Board Computer Chalkboard Clock Door Science Posters Lab Table Teacher's Desk Safety S h ower Cabinets Door Comput er Microscopes (30) Encyclopedias National Geographic Magazines

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86 During the 10 observations, the students used the computers in the classroom to download chapter outline notes and the students did not use the encyclopedias or National Geographic magazines. The micros copes were not used during any of the 10 class observations. Planning Content Selection In an interview, Mr. S. explained that he selects content based on the topics covered on the APES exam. He pointed out that: The topics that are on the APES exam have a very strong influence on what I teach because if a lot of my students do not pa ss, then I do not get to teach this class anymore. For the students to take th e APES exam, they have to have my permission, so some teachers, to have a high number of stude nts pass the APES exam, only let the students who they know will pass take it. I feel that if you suffered with me all year long, you deserve the right to take the test and at the same time I want them to see what a college exam is like. It is a good learning experience for them to take the exam. During observations, it was not evident that Mr. S. considered students' interests or students' preferred learning styles when planni ng his lessons. When asked if he considers students' interests and preferred learning styles when planning his learning activities, he responded, "If an activity or something works with a group of student s, I use it again. I want it to be fun for the stude nts, but at the same time I want them to learn." Lesson Content Mr. S. was very explicit about telling st udents what content an d skills they needed to be able to perform to do well on the APES exam. For example, he told the students that it is important to know how to write a good essay because there are essays on the AP exam. During observations, Mr. S. spent an entire class period explaining how to develop a hypothesis and revi ewing the format students s hould follow when writing an

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87 essay. He outlined what should go in the introduction paragraph, such as, the central theme of the essay and the definition of key te rms. He also explained to the students that they would get points on the AP exam for defining the terms they use. Mr. S. used the example of writing an essa y on a food chain. He explained that in the introduction the students should discuss and de fine a food chain; in the first paragraph they should discuss the particular organism s involved in the food chain and draw and label a diagram of the food chain. Then he sa id they should talk a bout the flow of energy in the food chain and draw the proper arrows to show the direction of the energy flow. He explained that in the following paragra phs they should discuss their conclusions. Mr. S. stressed to the students the importa nce of being specific about the laws and terms they used in their essays and why a nd how they relate to the question and their explanation. He also gave the students old APES essay questions to answer and discuss in class. Mr. S. also hinted about topics such as the three types of evolution and plate tectonics that would make good exam essay questions. Mr. S. was very explicit in his intervie w statements and in his teaching that he bases his instruction on what is on the APES exam. He was very systematic in covering all of the material in each chapter by lecturing on the chapter outlines that he provided to his students. He also laid out exactly how the students should write their essays and what topics had the highest probabil ity of being on the APES exam. Observations indicated that Mr. S. purpos ely planned to provide a wide variety of real world examples for his students. He was very knowledgeable about many environmental topics and gave frequent real world examples pertaining to the content of the day. For example, Mr. S. used a lake and a cup of coffee to expl ain the heat capacity

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88 of water, and when talking about potential a nd kinetic energy, he used the example of a piece of chalk sitting on a desk and then falli ng off. He used the example of burning gas in an engine to teach the law of thermodyna mics and the example of having aluminum everywhere or having a can made of alum inum to explain entropy to a student. During one class observation, when talk ing about the cycle of phosphorous, he mentioned that "Florida has a lot of phos phorous because it was on ce under water." He shared a story about when he was a child in West Virginia. "I saw trains carrying coal and how the rivers would turn black because of the coal burning." When discussing nitrogen fixation, a student as ked, "What is a nodule?" He drew a picture on the board and described it as looking like a Christmas tree bulb. When re viewing the nitrogen cycle, he explained that "In step one you make dinner, in st ep two you serve it, and in the last step you are just taking everything ap art." He gave the example of the peppered moth in England as an example of co-evolu tion, and Cheerios floating on milk as an example of plate tectonics. All of these inci dences illustrate his emphasis on real world examples when selecting lesson content. Instructional Methodology and Teaching Strategies The major types of instructional technique s used during the 10 observations and the percentage of class time allocated to each technique are presented in Table 5-2. Case study results regarding all eigh t of these instructional tec hniques are summarized in the following paragraphs. Lecture Lecture was the most frequently used mode of instruction in this APES class. When asked to describe his style of t eaching in an interview, Mr. S. stated,

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89 I lecture for about 30-40 minutes during a 50minute class period for most chapters. I lecture more on the more straightforwar d chapters and I use class discussions on the opinion chapters. During the opinion chapters I ask the students "What do you think about a particular topic?" The amount of time that we spend on class discussions depends on the t opic and how much they inte ract with me. I try to promote that especially in the chapters where we ar e talking about ethics and possible solutions to environmental problems. Table 5-2. Major types of in structional techniques used and the percentage of time observed. Instructional Technique Per centage of Class Time Lecture 70% Independent Study Days 10% Cooperative Learning 5% Review 5% Discussion 5% Questioning 3% Student Presentations/Independe nt Student Research 1% Hands-on Learning Activities 1% On all 10 observations days, Mr. S. bega n the class by reviewing the content from the previous class, by mentioning the topics that were covered, and then spending an average of 32 minutes of the 50 minute cla ss period (70%) lecturing. Mr. S. did go over the agenda for the day and/or week, but he did not give the students specific learning objectives. Only occasionally did he use vi sual aids, most of which the students had pictures of in their textbooks. Most of th e students took additional notes as they listened to the lecture, but some st udents continued to talk. Mr. S. stated that he spends 70% of each class period lecturing, which was consistent with the observations (70%) and students interview reports of time spent on lecture (71%). Mr. S. and the students ag reed, and accurately repor ted, on the amount of class time spent on lecture.

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90 Independent Study Days The second most frequently used instru ctional technique used was independent study days (10% of class time). Mr. S. explai ned that he gives the students two class periods each nine weeks for independent study to make up any work they have missed so they will not earn zero points for missed assignments. During this time he walks around the room to answer student questions. Th ere was disagreement between Mr. S. and the students regarding students' use of indepe ndent study time set aside for them by their teacher. As Mr. S. explained, The amount of independent study depends on if I am behind or not and if a lot of students have been absent or pulled out of class for sports, etc. I have an independent study day when I feel that I need to pull all of the students back together and get them all on the same pa ge unless I am really behind. The amount of time that I spend on each chapter depe nds on what will be on the APES exam. I spend more time on the things that will be on the APES exam, and I spend more time on the topics depending on the percenta ge of that information that will be on the APES exam. When asked if he felt students take advant age of the independent study time that he gives them, Mr. S. responded, "Y es, most of them use the time to study." Five students (two White females and three White male) agreed with the Asian female student who answered, "Yes, I study during th e independent study time that he gives us before a test, at the end of class, or during the independent study days beca use I do not want to have to do all of my work at home." The other f our students (one Black female, one White female and two White males) gave responses such as: "I like to do my work at home because I can concentrate better and am more comfortable in that environment." Another White male student explained, "I do not study during these tim es because Mr. S. does not really enforce it and I want to study at home so that I can talk to my friends during class."

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91 During the observations, many of the stude nts took advantage of the independent study days. Most of the students would ta lk for a while and then do some studying. Some studied independently and some studied in groups. A few students did not study, but talked the entire class period. More gi rls took advantage of the study time than the boys. Only a few students asked Mr. S. ques tions during independent study time. As time went on during class periods more and more students began to talk to each other instead of studying. Mr. S. did not say anythi ng to the students who were talking, so they continued to talk. Students (one Asian female, two White females and one Black female) gave the following comments about why they felt girls take more advantage of the independent study time than the boys. "Girls do th eir work so that they do not have to do it at home. The boys just want to talk during class." "Boys are lazy." "Girls are more worried about their grades." "The girls feel that they have to work during class to keep up." Cooperative Learning The third most frequently used instru ctional techniques we re cooperative group work, review, and discussion. Students init iated most cooperative group work during the 10 class observations. When asked if he us ed cooperative learning groups with his students, Mr. S. said, I believe in cooperative learning. I allow the students to choose their own groups, but I encourage them to teach and learn from each other, not to just give each other the answers. I use cooperative group work pr etty frequently because a lot of times they are afraid to ask me questions, but they are not afraid to ask their friends. I try to have them work in groups about once a week or so. Mr. S. encouraged his students to study together as evidenced by this comment, I use e-mail partners with my students. They get to choose their e-mail partner who is their study buddy. The purpose of this study buddy is for them to work on defining their vocabulary words and studying toge ther. If a student is absent, his or

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92 her buddy can e-mail him or her the notes and anything else that he or she missed. Only about half of the students take adva ntage of their e-mail partners, but as the semester goes on and things get more difficult they will probably use them more. Mr. S. felt that students do benefit fro m the study aids he provides, but in interviews, all 10 students said, "I do not us e my e-mail partner." Five of the students (two White females, two White males and one Black female) agreed with a White male student who claimed, "I do not study with anyone because I like to study at home by myself." These five students gave the fo llowing responses: “ No, I just study by myself, but my friend and I do homework with each ot her;” “No, I study with my brother and his friend;” "I do not use my e-mail partner, but I do some work with other students in the class, those who I am friends with;" "No, I do not use my email partner because I like to study on my own. I want to make sure that I understand it;” “No, I study on my own because I would rather learn on my own, but I would ask a student a question before I would ask Mr. S.” During the 10 class observations, no teacher -initiated cooperative group work was observed. Some of the students did choose to work in pairs or small groups to complete worksheets or study during independent study da ys. In an interview, a White female student reported, "We have done group work thre e times this year. We worked in groups during the computer lab and for the group biome project." All of th e students reported that they do not use their e-mail partners as study buddies. These results indicate a discrepancy between what Mr. S. reported regarding his use of cooperative learning and actual implementation of cooperative learning. Review Mr. S. spent approximately five percent of total class time providing reviews for his students. He gave students an outline and worksheets for each chapter and told them

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93 about the format of tests and quizzes. During reviews, he also highlighted the topics he felt were the most important. Mr. S. conduc ted his chapter review s at the beginning of class and on average each review la sted approximately 30 minutes. Discussions During the 10 observation days, class di scussions occurred approximately five percent of the total class time and were li mited to brief answers to student-initiated questions. No teacher initiated class discus sions were observed. If a student asked a question, Mr. S. sometimes used the questions to initiate a class disc ussion (five percent of the time), but primarily answered the stude nt's question and then continued lecturing (95% of the time). The students' interview statements corroborated these observations. When asked "How much time do you spend on cl ass discussions?” all 10 of the students interviewed made statements such as: "Mr. S. does not initiate class discussions. We only talk about a topic if a student has a question." In an interview, Mr. S. explained that he felt he needed to spend the majority of his class time lecturing because he felt pressured to cover the huge amount of material on the APES exam. Thus, he felt the amount of time devoted to class discussion should be minimal. These results indi cate that students felt a n eed for more frequent class discussions than did Mr. S. All of the stude nts volunteered statements such as: "I would like to discuss topics that interest me and not just get a quick answer to my question." Questioning One of the least frequently used instru ctional methods during the 10 observations was questioning (three percent of total class ti me). On average Mr. S. asked about one question per class period. If Mr. S. did ask a question, he often answered it himself. Of the few questions he asked, most of them were at the level of knowledge and recall. For

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94 example, on day seven of the observations he asked, “What evidence do we have for evolution?” A White male st udent responded “Fossils.” Mr. S. then asked the students “What will happen if the tectonic plates keep moving?” Another White male student responded, “We will have another Pangea.” Due to the low level and in frequent nature of Mr. S.’s use of questions, he did not probe students to get them to think about topics further, nor did he re-direct st udents questions to help them come up with an answer to a question. He did not use wait time. For ex ample, he would ask a question and if no student called out the answer or raised their hand to answer the question he would answer the question himself. About every 15 minutes Mr. S. said, “Any ques tions?” if no student immediately raised their hand he said, “Okay.” and moved on in his lecture. Student Presentations/Inde pendent Student Research During the 10 observations, student presen tations and independent student research occurred on one occasion accounting for one per cent of total class time. As explained by Mr. S. when asked, "How much time do you spend on student presentations and independent student research?": I have to limit the amount of student pres entations that we do because of the time constraints of all of the c ontent that I have to cover for the APES exam. I would like to do more student presen tations, but I can't. Some of the student presentations are individual and some are in groups. I like to have the students do some on their own. That way I know that each student re ally knows what they are talking about. Sometimes when the students work on gr oup projects, a few students do all of the work and the other students just sit back a nd do nothing. Some of the projects that the students have done are an endangered species project that was individual and a biome group project. I try to give the stude nts at least one class period to get some of the research done for these projects, but they do have to work on them outside of class to get them done. Between the start of the school year in August and the observation dates (SeptemberDecember) the students worked on one individual independent research project on endangered species and one i ndependent group project on biomes. In

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95 interviews, all 10 of the st udents agreed that they ha d only performed one student presentation (the group biome project) duri ng the year. They a ll reported that the independent endangered species projects were never presented. Hands-on Learning Activities Another infrequently used instructional method was hands-on learning activities (one percent of total class time). In an intervie w, Mr. S. stated that he uses a wide variety of learning activities in order to keep hims elf and the students from getting bored. "We do in-class hands-on projects, out-of-class projec ts, computer lab projects, chemistry labs, in class presentations, microchemistry labs, and we use computer software." However, contrary to his se lf-report, no class projects, co mputer lab projects, labs, student presentations, or use of computer software occurred during the 10 class observations. In interviews, all 10 students st ated that they had only performed one lab since the beginning of the year. As one Wh ite female student explained, "We did one lab, a titration lab, and the juniors and senior s moved around the room to see if we were doing it correctly because they had already done this lab before in chemistry class." These results indicate a discrepancy be tween the frequency of hands-on learning activities actually occurring in this particul ar APES class and Mr. S.’s perception of the amount of class time spen t on hands-on activities. Classroom Management Due to the high academic ability levels of st udents in this class, discipline problems were not an issue. These students were high ly motivated to learn and to perform well on the APES exam. The only time classroom management was a problem was during the independent study time the Mr. S. gave his stud ents at the end of a few class periods and on days devoted completely to independent study. During these observation times, Mr.

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96 S. walked around to answer student questions but he spent most of his time on other administrative tasks. Therefore, he was not focused on the students during independent study time and did not enforce the fact that st udents should be studying during this time. As a result, most of the students ended up talking instead of studying. Assessment Mr. S. stated that he gives his students a quiz and a test about once a week and explained that the frequency of assessments in creases as the topics become more difficult and as the percentage of that material on th e APES exam increases. In response to the questions “How and how often do you evaluate your students?” “What is the format of your quizzes and tests?” “Des cribe the type of questions you ask of your students. Provide some example.” He said, I have to make sure that the students ha ve read. The number of essays that the students answer depends on the chapter. So me chapters lend themselves to essays more than others. The students answer mo re essay questions on the topics that will be on the APES exam. The quizzes are matching and the tests are matching and multiple-choice because this is the format that the students will see on the APES exam. Mr. S. explained that he gives the stud ents matching and multiple-choice tests and quizzes because that is the format of the APES exam. When interviewed regarding assessment, the 10 students responded in a si milar manner with statements such as, "We have a quiz about every week and a test abou t every week and a ha lf to two weeks." "The quizzes are matching and the tests are multiple-choice and we have done one essay so far." Mr. S. and the students agreed on both the frequency and format of tests, quizzes, and other assessments.

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97 Match With APES Guidelines Lab Activities/Fieldwork The College Board suggests that APES stude nts perform a lab at least once a week and complete a significant amount of fiel dwork. When asked “How much time do you spend on lab activities and fieldwork?" Mr. S. responded: "The num ber of labs and how often depends on which chapter we are on. We do some fieldwork. I take them outside on the school grounds to do some basic field tes ting because that is on the APES exam.” During all 10 observations, the students did not perform any lab or fieldwork. All 10 students interviewed st ated that they had only pe rformed one lab since the beginning of the year. Based on 10 class obs ervations and 10 student interviews it appears that this class did not meet the Colle ge Board goals regardi ng labs and fieldwork. Environmental Problems/Solutions The College Board also suggests that APES students spend time identifying, analyzing, assessing the risks a ssociated with, and working on solutions to environmental problems. When interviewed regard ing this component, Mr. S. said, In every chapter that has an environmenta l problem, I bring it up and we talk about it in class discussions. I ask the students “What solu tions can you find?” “What do you think?” “What does your textbook say?” “Is there anything else?” “How can we modify these?” As an example, during an observation, wh en talking about the law of conservation of matter, Mr. S. rhetorically asked the cl ass, “What happens to tires when we throw them away?" Mr. S. went on to say that th ey go to a dump and get buried, or burned, but they just create air pollution. He asked, “What else can we do?” and a White male student responded "We could send it into space." Mr. S. also talked about the fact that developed countries burn a lot of oil and gas, and they burn more as the population

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98 increases, which leads to more waste and po llution. He pointed out that we only have X amount of resources on Earth, and when we r un out our society is going to crash, so we need to recycle matter and create less pollution. Other environmental problems that Mr. S. addressed during observations were acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion, and eu trophication. During a lecture, Mr. S. explained, Acid rain is caused by the release of sulf ur dioxide into the atmosphere during the burning of coal and plastic manufacturing th at causes problems such as damage to trees, changes the pH of aquatic ecosystems, corrodes metal, and damages marble, stone, and car finishes. The release of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere causes global warming and de stroys ozone molecules. We mine nitrogen, burn grasslands and forests and harvest nitrogen-rich crops, which release carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide into the at mosphere. Excess nitrogen in aquatic ecosystems leads to eutrophication, which is an increase in algae and a decrease in dissolved oxygen. When asked how much time they spend id entifying, analyzing, assessing the risks associated with, and working on solutions to environmental problems, five interviewed students (one Asian female, two White fema les and two White males) responded with statements such as: "How much we talk about environmental problems depends on the chapter." "We talked about it a lot during the water quality chap ter." "Mr. S. lays out the facts, but we do not really talk about them or work on solutions." "He tells us about them and asks us a few questions." "We do not really talk about environmental problems unless a student has a question." Th e other five students interviewed (one White female, three White males and one Black female) gave the following responses: “He lists a lot of environmental problems. He says humans do this and humans do that.” “He discusses the problems, but not so much the solutions.” He brings them up and we discuss the problems, but he does not ask us to come up with solutions.” “He is always talking about the environment and deforestat ion, but nobody really pays attention because

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99 he is so monotone and boring.” “We talk about the problems a nd what is going on, but he does not really have us think about solutions.” Mr. S. presented factual information a bout several environmental problems to students, but he did not give them the oppor tunity to identify them on their own or analyze, assess the risks associated wit h, or work on solutions to environmental problems. Observations indicate that Mr S. did expose students to environmental problems, but on the 10 days his class was obs erved, students were not actively engaged analyzing, assessing risks, or working on solutions to environmental problems. Instead, they listened to information presente d by Mr. S. regarding these problems. Characteristics of Students Mr. S. and the students did not all agr ee with the recommendation of the College Board, which states that students who take AP ES should have had at least two years of high school laboratory science cl asses. This recommendati on generally means that only juniors and seniors take the course after completing biology and chemistry. When asked if he felt that it was necessary for students to have at least two years of a lab science to do well in APES Mr. S. expressed, No, because I have 9th and 10th graders in my classes who have not had biology and chemistry. But, having these 9th and 10th graders in my class bugs me. Sometimes I get downright angry because the school put s them in my classes to have a higher number of students pass the APES exam. Sure, we enjoy all of the AP money because we have money that we have ne ver had before and we can buy all of the stuff that we have ever wanted. Think a bout it. They are asking me to take a 9th grader and turn him into a junior and then have that junior pass the APES exam and that is a lot. I cannot change it to not have 9th and 10th graders because then we would not get all of that AP money. If middle schools would better prepare the 9th graders, then I would not have to spe nd as much time and have as much trouble trying to get the 9th graders caught up.

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100 All 10 of the students interviewed agreed th at students should not have to have at least two years of a lab scien ce to take APES. Students gave the following responses to this question: "No, because the freshman seem to be doing okay, but they do study more." "No, because I like to be challenged." "I do feel at times that I am at a disa dvantage because I have not had biology and chemistry." "No, but I think that it has helped me that I have had biology and chemistry." "The freshman are having a hard time, but it is an AP class and that is to be expected." "No, but having had biology and earth space science makes it easier for me, but it should be up to the student if they want to work harder to do well in the class." APES Exam There were mixed feelings among students regarding whether or not they feel prepared to pass the APES exam. Mr. S. was comfortable with his ability to effectively teach the Advanced Placement Environmenta l Science classes because "If I do not know something I ask my colleagues." He also felt his students were very capable of doing well in his class and on the APES exam, but explained, "It takes a lot to motivate them, but they've got great potential. There is a lot of information and some of them handle it very well." Four students interviewed felt they woul d be prepared to do well on the APES exam if they spent a lot of time studying. Th e other six students fe lt they would not be prepared to take the test. As one White fema le student explained, "I am afraid that I am just going to forget everyt hing that I am memorizing."

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101 Eight students interviewed (two seniors, two juniors and four freshman) felt that Mr. S. was a good APES teacher. The other tw o students (two freshman) expressed some reservations. As one student said: He is alright. I feel lost sometimes becau se there is so much information and he goes so fast. It is easy to z one out in his class when he is talking because there is so much information and it gets all jumbled up together and he goes so fast. He teaches like we should already know all of this stuff. He should slow down and teach us like we are beginners because we are. Strengths/Weakness of APES Mr. S. and the10 students interviewed di sagreed on the most important strengths and most significant weakness of their APES cla ss. Mr. S. felt that the most important strength of APES was that "The students go on to do well in other classes because I prepare them well. I also get a lot of high ca liber students." Mr. S. felt that he prepared his students well by teaching not only content, but also the processes of science. The 10 students interviewed felt the most important strengths of APES were: "Having the notes before class and lear ning how to write essays for the APES exam." "High quality students who do their work." "The quality of the information, learni ng about the environment is important." "The teacher and his structure and routines." "The routines make everything easier b ecause we know what we have to do every week for every chapter and when to expect quizzes and tests etc." "This class teaches you good study habits for co llege, such as how to take notes." "College credit." "There are no strengths in this class becau se I do not like this class. I do not like science. I just took this class because a teacher told me that I could get my science credit out of the way by taking this class without having to do a lot of math. I do not like math."

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102 "I do not know." The most significant weakness of APES expressed by Mr. S. was: Middle schools need to better prepare students in science, so that I do not have to spend so much time teaching the 9th grade students what th ey should have already learned. The students do not know how to study, or even how to write a complete sentence. He believes middle schools are not prepari ng students with the content knowledge and skills to succeed in highe r-level science classes in high school. For example, he stated, "The students do not ev en know how to use any science equipment.” Mr. S. thought students should come to high school with the prerequisite knowledge and a repertoire of skills needed to perform well in upper level scien ce classes without the teacher having to re-teach or teach for the first time the necessary content and skills. The students interviewed felt the most significant weaknesses of APES were: "We need to spend more time learning how to write scientifically for the essay on the APES exam." "There is a lot of information." "I feel that I am learning a little about a lot of things and I am just memorizing a bunch of stuff so that I will do well on the AP exam." "Mr. S. just reads from the lecture outlin es, but he should teach us like we are beginners because we do not know al l of the stuff that he knows." "The routines and the set schedule of test s sometimes he will push them back, but it forces us to cover a lot of ground very quickly because he does not want to get behind." "We should have more labs and hands-on activities." "The teacher puts too much pressure on us to do well on the AP exam." "We are not learning anything in depth, we are just memorizing topics and learning how to do well on the AP exam." "We should turn in our worksheets to be graded so we know if they are correct before we study them."

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103 "I think that the quizzes s hould not be matching but short answer. I would learn the information better if I had to write it out in my own words instead of just having to recognize a definition." "He should go slower and he should ask us sp ecific questions instead of just saying any questions and then moving on very quickly." As the one Black female student expressed, We should have more group work and more hand-on activities. I think that when you socialize you learn a lot be tter when you are with peopl e your own age. It is better when you get to know everybody's name. Independent stuff is boring because you do not get to interact. I think that we should have to write down all of the notes because I think that most peopl e remember what they write. When you highlight you just go over it a nd you can do that without thinking. A White male student explaine d, "I think that Mr. S. need s to slow down and interact with the students more instead of just lecturing all of the time.” These perceptions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the APES cla ss will be further discussed in Chapter 6. Chapter 6 includes a discussion and interpretation of the qualitative data presented in this case study by addressing the five mixe d method research quest ions of this study (6-10). The overall conclusions drawn from all 10 research questions and the implications of these conclusions for th e Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program are also discussed.

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104 CHAPTER 6 QUANTITATIVE/QUALITATIVE RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS Introduction This chapter reviews combined quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques and reports the results of the five mixed method quantitative/qualitative research questions (6-10). The conclusions drawn ba sed on all data sources for the 10 research questions and the implications of the results are also discussed. Each of the following sections summarizes the quantitative result s and related qualitative results for each research question. Next, the quantitative resu lts are compared and contrasted with the qualitative results. Where appropriate, th e quantitative and qualitative results from students are compared with the quantitative a nd qualitative results from the teachers. Research Questions 6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities reported by students and teachers ? Quantitative Results The student survey sample included 355 APES students and the teacher survey sample consisted of 12 APES teachers. Th e frequencies of the most common survey responses for the student self -report data were compared to the most common survey responses for the teacher self-report data re garding the amount of time spent on different APES class activities (items 45, 46, and 4953 student survey Appendix C; items 49, 51, and 57-61 teacher survey Appendix B). The frequencies of the most common survey

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105 responses for the student self -report data were compared to the most common survey responses for the teacher self-report data regarding the amount of time spent on other class activities (items 47-48, and 54-56 student survey; items 52-56 teacher survey). Based on these responses, the students and teachers both reported spending the same number of hours on the following APES activities: Fieldwork Cooperative group work Identifying environmental problems Assessing the risks associated with environmental problems Class discussions Student presentations Independent research. Based on the quantitative survey data, teachers reported spending less time on lab activities and lecture than students did, and reported spe nding more time on analyzing, solving, and finding solutions to prevent enviro nmental problems, than students said they did. This is interesting becau se it parallels the student and teacher attitude survey data indicating that students felt their teachers encouraged lab work while the teachers reported that they did not encourage labs. Teacher responses on the survey agreed with those of the students regarding the amount of class time spent on fieldwork, identifying environmental problems, assessing the risks associated with environmental problems, cooperative group work, student independent research, cla ss discussions, and student presentations. Students reported lecture as th e most frequent activity (three to five hours per week) and fieldwork, analyzing, solving, and working on solutions to environmental problems, student independent research, and student presentation as the least frequent activities (less than one hour per week). Teachers reported identifying, analyzing, assessing the risks associated with, and work ing on solutions to environmental problems,

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106 lecture, cooperative group work, and class disc ussions as the most fr equent activities (one to three hours per week). The least frequent activities accordi ng to the teachers were: lab activities, fieldwork, student independent res earch, and student pres entations (less than one hour per week). Table 6-1 summarizes th e most frequent responses to the teacher and student survey items related to time sp ent on APES and other class activities. The response choices for these items were: less th an one, one to three, three to five, and greater than five hours per week. Table 6-1. Most frequent responses for th e amount of time spent on APES and other class activities on the student and teacher surveys. Student Item Teacher Item Abbreviations Student Response (hrs./wk) Student Valid Percent Teacher Response (hrs./wk) Teacher Valid Percent APES Class Activities 45 49 Lab activities 1-3 42.7 <1 50.0 46 51 Fieldwork <1 61.5 <1 70.0 49 57 Identify 1-3 34.2 1-3 55.6 50 58 Analyzing <1 33.2 1-3 66.7 51 59 Solving <1 52.3 1-3 44.4 52 60 Assessing 1-3 36.1 1-3 66.7 53 61 Solution <1 41.8 1-3 66.7 Other Class Activities 47 52 Lecture 3.1-5 47.4 1-3 60.0 48 53 Group 1-3 42.7 1-3 80.0 56 54 Research <1 60.0 <1 55.6 54 55 Discussion 1-3 32.0 1-3 55.6 55 56 Presentations <1 57.8 <1 77.8 Overall, there is less variability in the teach er data than the student data. This is probably due to the fact that the teacher sample was much more homogeneous than the student sample and the teacher sample was mu ch smaller than the student sample. Also, students may tend to be unclear as to what constitutes a particular activity whereas the teachers are not because they decide the act ivities and thus know how to categorize or label them.

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107 Regarding least frequent activities, over 50% of the students and over 75% of the teachers surveyed reported spending less than three hours per week on all of the activities listed in Table 6-1, except for lecture. Rega rding most frequent activities, over 65% of students felt their teacher spends either three to five or ove r five hours a week lecturing. Students overwhelmingly felt they spend most of their class time each week listening to their teacher lecture. In contrast, the major ity of teachers (70%) felt they spend less than one to one to three hours a week lecturi ng. Obviously, a discrepancy exists between teacher and students perceptions of the amount of class time spent on lecture. Qualitative Results In addition to this quantitative survey data, the following qualitative data were collected during the 10 APES case study class observations the teacher interview and the 10 student interviews. Qualitative case study results regarding the following activities are summarized below: Lab activities Fieldwork Identifying environmental problems Analyzing environmental problems Solving environmental problems Assessing the risks associated with environmental problems Working on solutions to prevent environmental problems Lecture Cooperative group work Student independent research Class discussions Student presentations. Lab Activities During an interview the case study teacher explained, "The number of labs and how often depends on which chapter we are on." During the 10 case study class observations, no lab activities occurred. Du ring an interview, a student stated, "We did one lab, a

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108 titration lab, and the juniors and seniors m oved around the room to see if we were doing it correctly because they had already done this lab before in chemistry class." Fieldwork During an interview, the cas e study teacher explained, "We do some fieldwork. I take them outside on the school grounds to do some basic field testing because that is on the APES exam." No fieldwork occurre d during any of the 10 case study class observations. During an interview, a student stated, "We went outside for a fire drill." No fieldwork activities we re reported by any of the 10 students interviewed. Environmental Problems/Solutions When asked how much time his student s spend identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing the risks associated with, and work ing on solutions to environmental problems, the teacher said, In every chapter that has an environmenta l problem, I bring it up and we talk about it in class discussions. I ask the students "What solu tions can you find?" "What do you think?" "What does your textbook say?" "I s there anything else?" "How can we modify these?" Although the case study teacher reported focusing on environmental problems in the interview, students were not observed sp ending any time focusing on environmental problems during the 10 class observations. Duri ng student interviews, responses such as the following also indicated a lack of empha sis on environmental problems: "Mr. S. lays out the facts, but we do not really talk about them or work on solutions." "He tells us about them and asks us a few questions." "We do not really talk about environmental problems unless a student has a question." Lecture When asked to describe his style of teaching the case study teacher stated,

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109 I lecture for about 30-40 minutes during a 50minute class period for most chapters. I lecture more on the more straightforwar d chapters, and I use class discussions on the opinion chapters. During the opinion chapters, I ask the students "What do you think about a particular topic?" The amount of time that we spend on class discussions depends on the t opic and how much they inte ract with me. I try to promote that especially in the chapters where we ar e talking about ethics and possible solutions to environmental problems. During an interview, the teacher stated that he spends 70% of his class time lecturing. Field note data from the 10 case study observation s is consistent with this claim. Seven out of 10 students interviewed also felt the average amount of time their teacher lectured was 71%. Cooperative Group Work When asked if he used cooperative learni ng groups with his st udents, the case study teacher said, I believe in cooperative learning. I allow the students to choose their own groups, but I encourage them to teach and learn from each other, not to just give each other the answers. I use cooperative group work pr etty frequently because a lot of times they are afraid to ask me questions, but they are not afraid to ask their friend. I try to have them work in groups about once a week or so. During the 10 case study observations, no teacher-initiated cooperative group work occurred. Some of the students did choose to work in pairs or small groups to complete worksheets or study during independent study days. In an interview, one student reported, "We have done group work three times this year." Clearly, discrepancies exist between the teacher's perception regardi ng the amount of time spent on cooperative learning and the actual frequency of occurr ence of cooperative learning activities. Student Independent Research During an interview, the case study teacher stated, "I lim it student research because I cannot afford to give st udents class time to work on independent projects." The students did report working on independent research projects encompassing one

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110 individual project on endangered species and a group project on biomes. During an interview, one student explained, "We have re searched biomes and endangered species so far." No independent student research o ccurred during the 10 case study observations. Class Discussions During an interview, the cas e study teacher stated, "The amount of class discussion depends on the chapter." No teacher-initiat ed class discussions occurred during the 10 case study observations. In addition all 10 of the students interviewed reported that, their teacher does not initiate class discussions. As one student stated, "We only talk about a topic if a student has a question." Student Presentations Regarding the frequency of student presen tations, in an interview, the teacher explained, I have to limit the amount of student pres entations that we do because of the time constraints of all of the c ontent that I have to cover for the APES exam. I would like to do more student presenta tions, but I can't. I try to give the students at least one class period to get some of the res earch done for these projects, but they do have to work on them outside of class to get them done. No student presentations occurred during the 10 class observations. During an interview, a student stated," The gr oup project was the only pres entation we have done." Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results Regarding the amount of time spent on di fferent APES class activities, the qualitative case study student interview data pa rallels the quan titative student survey data in most cases. For example, both groups of students reported spendi ng very little class time on fieldwork, analyzing, solving, and working on solutions to environmental problems, student independent research, and student presentations. Interestingly, the 10 case study students interviewed reported spendi ng less time on labs and fieldwork than

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111 their teacher did, which was not the case for the survey data. The students surveyed reported spending more time on lab activities th an their teachers, and the students and the teachers surveyed reported spending the same amount of time on fieldwork. By far, the most frequent activity reported by both the students surveyed and the students interviewed was lecture. The interviewed teacher and 10 students agre ed on the amount of class time spent on lecture (70% of each class). The survey ed students felt they spent more time on cooperative group work (one to three hours pe r week) than did the interviewed students (a total of three times all year). The most frequent activity repor ted by the interviewed teacher was also lecture. This was the onl y activity the case study teacher reported an amount of time for, therefore the least freque nt activities reported by the teacher cannot be determined. 7. What do students feel are th e strengths/weaknesses of APES ? Quantitative Results To determine the strengths and weaknesse s of APES reported by the 355 students surveyed, strengths and weaknesses expresse d were grouped and categorized and the frequency of responses in each category was calculated. The two survey items related to this research question were: "List the most important strengths of your AP Environmental Science class" (item 66 Appendix C) and "L ist the most significant weaknesses of your AP Environmental Science class" (item 67 Ap pendix C). Student responses to the most important APES strengths and the most sign ificant APES weaknesses were categorized into 50 and 51 categories re spectively. Tables 6-2 a nd 6-3 summarize the major categories of student-reported AP ES strengths and weaknesses.

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112 As this table indicates, students surveyed felt the 10 most important strengths of their APES classes are: Teacher Lab work Class discussions/debates Fieldwork Group work Learning about problems in the environment and what we can do to solve them Lectures Small class Field trips Fun. Students felt the most important strength of their APES class was their teacher. It was interesting that students identified student presentations, fieldwor k, lab activities, and class discussions as strengths of APES cons idering they reported spending less than one class period per week on these activities. Perh aps it is because they highly value the time they do spend on these types of activities. Students also appreciated the content, small class size, the challenge, and the lectures associated with their APES classes. The students surveyed identified the following as the 10 most significant weaknesses of their APES classes: Not enough fieldwork The textbook Not enough lab work Lack of an available review book Not enough class time to cover all of the material Difficult tests Not enough fieldtrips Not enough preparation for the AP exam Too much reading at home required Not enough lecture

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113 Table 6-2. Categories of the most important APES strengths reported by students on the survey. Response Category Number of Students Teacher 28 Lab work 22 Class Discussions/Debates 19 Fieldwork 19 Group Work 14 Learning about the problems in the environm ent and what we can do to solve them 13 Lectures 12 Small class 9 Field Trips 8 No Response 8 Fun 7 Hands-on Activities 6 Thorough 6 Emphasis on outside learning 5 Presentations (group or individual not specified) 5 Challenging 4 Interesting 4 Textbook 4 Typed notes 4 Class Unity 3 Focus on How Environment is Affected 3 Good Teacher/Student Relationships 3 Group Presentations 3 Independent study 3 Learn about many different sciences in one course 3 Recycling club 3 Relevant to everyday life 3 Aware of current events 2 Good use of class time 2 Guest speakers 2 Learning to work hard 2 Prepared for AP exam 2 Videos 2 Learning to work with others 2 Active role in solving problems 1 Assignments/Classwork 1 Broad range of subject matter 1 Computer Lab 1 Developing Study Habits 1 Different perspectives from all students 1 Friendly atmosphere 1 Individual presentations 1 Learning important facts 1

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114 Table 6-2. Continued. Learning to appreciat e the environment 1 Little Homework 1 Memorization 1 Organized 1 Positive Support 1 Social abilities 1 Student involvement 1 The students felt very strongly that there were not enough fieldw ork, fieldtrips, or lab activities in their APES classes. Th ey also did not feel the textbook or their preparation for the APES exam was adequate. The students also indicated a desire for a review book, more class time to cover the larg e amount of content, ea sier tests, less outof-class reading, and more lecture. Qualitative Results In addition to this quantitative survey data, the following qualitative data were collected during the APES case study class obs ervations and the 10 student interviews. For the case study sample, each of the 10 student s interviewed gave one of the following responses to the question “What do you feel ar e the most important strengths of APES and why?” "Having the notes before class and lear ning how to write essays for the APES exam." "High quality students who do their work." "The quality of the information.” “Learning about the environment is important." "The teacher and his structure and routines." "The routines make everything easier b ecause we know what we have to do every week for every chapter and when to expect quizzes and tests etc." "This class teaches you good study habits for co llege, such as how to take notes."

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115 "College credit." "There are no strengths in this class becau se I do not like this class. I do not like science. I just took this class because a teacher told me that I could get my science credit out of the way by taking this class without having to do a lot of math. I do not like math." "I do not know." Table 6-3. Categories of th e most significant APES wea knesses reported by students on the survey. Response Category Number of Students Need more Fieldwork 25 No Response 12 Textbook 12 Need more lab work 8 None 8 Lack of review book 7 Not enough time 7 Difficult tests 6 Lazy/senioritis 6 No field trips 6 Lack of prep for AP exam 5 Most learning through reading at home 5 Need more subjective mind 5 Lack of lecture 4 Disruptive classmates 3 Lot of work 3 Too little work 3 Too much information 3 Analysis 2 Depressing 2 Labs weren't connected to real world 2 Lack of class discussion 2 Lack of Independent Research 2 Lack of lab equipment 2 Lecture 2 Memorization 2 Not enough funding 2 Not prepared for tests 2 Poor quality equipment 2 Scheduled class time 2 The readings 2 Too independent 2 Under paid teachers 2 Teacher 2 Biased: all development is evil 1 Emphasis on outside reading 1 Flow of work inconsistent 1 Lack of hands-on activities 1

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116 Table 6-3. Continued. Lack of one-on-one inte raction with teacher 1 Lack of presentations/projects 1 Large class size 1 Not always keeps up with current events 1 Not covering text book thoroughly enough 1 Not enough funding for field study 1 Nothing gets done 1 Pace too fast 1 Stressful 1 Students with no prior knowledge 1 Too few field trips 1 Too much Lecture 1 Unclear grading policy 1 For the case study sample, each of the10 students interviewed gave one of the following responses to the question “Wha t do you feel are the most significant weaknesses of APES and why?” "We need to spend more time learning how to write scientifically for the essay on the APES exam." "There is a lot of information.” "I feel that I am learning a little about a lot of things and I am just memorizing a bunch of stuff so that I will do well on the AP exam." "Mr. S. just reads from the lecture outlin es, but he should teach us like we are beginners because we do not know al l of the stuff that he knows." "The routines and the set schedule of test s sometimes he will push them back, but it forces us to cover a lot of ground very quickly because he does not want to get behind." "We should have more labs and hands-on activities." "The teacher puts too much pressure on us to do well on the AP exam." "We are not learning anything in depth, we are just memorizing topics and learning how to do well on the AP exam." "We should turn in our worksheets to be graded so we know if they are correct before we study them." "I think that the quizzes s hould not be matching but short answer. I would learn the information better if I had to write it out in my own words instead of just having to recognize a definition."

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117 "He should go slower and he should ask us sp ecific questions instead of just saying any questions and then moving on very quickly." Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results No striking similarities were found betw een the perceived strengths of APES reported by the 355 students surveyed and t hose reported by the 10 interviewed case study students. The surveyed students tended to state more positive strengths such as good teacher/student relationships, student pr esentations, field and lab work, and class discussions than did the interviewed students. The two groups of st udents did agree that a lack of preparation for the AP exam, a l ack of lab and hands-on activities, and not enough class time are weaknesses of their APES classes. 8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES ? Quantitative Results To determine the strengths and weaknesses of APES reported by the 12 surveyed teachers, the strengths and weaknesses identifi ed on the survey were categorized and the frequency of responses in each category was calculated. The two survey items related to this research question were: "List the most important strengths of your AP Environmen tal Science class" (i tem 80 Appendix B) and "List the most signif icant weaknesses of your AP Envir onmental Science class" (item 81 Appendix B). Teacher responses to the most important APES strengths and the most significant APES weaknesses were categorized into 10 and 6 categories respectively. Tables 6-4 and 6-5 summarize the major categ ories of teacher-reported APES strengths and weaknesses. Only 10 of the 12 teachers responded to this question, and of those who did respond each identified a different strength. Only six of the 12 teachers responded to this questions and each teacher id entified a different weakness.

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118 Table 6-4. Categories of the most important APES strengths reported by teachers on the survey. Response Category Number of Teachers As an APit is reasonableenough time to cover material 1 Class Discussion 1 Courses tries to address needs of above average and the gifted student 1 Daily reading assignments 1 Fieldwork 1 Group Work 1 Motivated Students 1 Students feel that the information learned is useful 1 Students feel the information learned is applicable to their lives 1 Students presented with timely/current issues from newspapers 1 Table 6-5. Categories of the most importa nt APES weaknesses reported by teachers on the survey. Response Category Number of Teachers Lack of acceptable AP level question bank 1 Lack of Fieldwork 1 Lack of set labs 1 Large time commitment 1 No Lab 1 Not much lab equipment 1 Qualitative Results During the teacher intervie w, the case study teacher the question “What are the most important strength of AP ES?” with this response "The students go on to do well in other classes because I prepare them well. I also get mostly high caliber students." He answered the question “What are the mo st significant weaknesses of APES?” as follows: Middle schools need to better prepare students in science, so that I do not have to spend so much time teaching the 9th grade students what th ey should have already learned. The students do not know how to study, or even how to write a complete sentence. This is a very interesting response becau se the College Board recommends that only juniors and seniors take APES. The College Board believes that due to the interdisciplinary nature of e nvironmental science, students should have had at least two

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119 years of high school laboratory science prior to enrolling in APES. Therefore, freshman and sophomores should not be taking APES according to the College Board. Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results According to the survey data, teachers and students agree that class discussions, fieldwork and group work are the most important strengths of their APES classes. The survey data also indicates agreement between students and teachers regarding a lack of lab activities and fieldwork as a most signifi cant weakness of their AP ES classes. Only one of the 10 case study students interviewed st ated that a lack of lab activities was a weakness of their APES class. The strengths and weaknesses expressed by the one case study teacher did not pertain directly to the APES program and thus cannot be compared to those reported by the surveyed teachers. 9. How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board ? Quantitative Results The standards set by the College Board for th e amount of time that should be spent on APES class activities is outlined in Tabl e 6-6. Table 6-7 reports the most common responses for the amount of time spent on APES class activities on the student and teacher surveys. Response choices were: less than one, one to three, three to five and greater than five hours per week. Lab Activities/Fieldwork The self-report data from the teacher a nd student surveys regarding the amount of time spent on APES class indicates that the greatest number of students report spending one to three hours a week doing lab activities while most teac hers reported spending less

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120 than one hour a week on lab activities. The majority of students and teachers surveyed reported spending less than an hour per week on fieldwork. Table 6-6. Standards set by the College Bo ard for the amount of time that should be spent on APES class activities. APES Class Activity College Board Standard Time spent on lab activities/fiel dwork Significant = at least 1 lab or field activity/week Time spent identifying environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent analyzing environmen tal problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent solving environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent assessing the risks associated with environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Time spent working on solutions to prevent environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week Table 6-7. Most frequent responses for the amount of time spent on APES class activities on the student and teacher surveys. Student Item Teacher Item Abbreviations Student Response (hrs./wk) Student Valid Percent Teacher Response (hrs. /wk) Teacher Valid Percent 45 49 Lab activities 1-3 42.7 <1 50.0 46 51 Fieldwork <1 61.5 <1 70.0 49 57 Identify 1-3 34.2 1-3 55.6 50 58 Analyzing <1 33.2 1-3 66.7 51 59 Solving <1 52.3 1-3 44.4 52 60 Assessing 1-3 36.1 1-3 66.7 53 61 Solution <1 41.8 1-3 66.7 Environmental Problems The students surveyed reported spen ding less time analyzing, solving, and working on solutions to environmental proble ms (less than one hour per week) than did the teachers (one to three hours per week) of the class activities recommended by the College Board. The most frequent responses for students were one to three hours per week of lab, identifying and assessing the ri sks associated with environmental problems, and less than one hour per week of fiel dwork, analyzing, solving, and working on solutions to environmental problems each wee k. For teachers, most frequent responses were less than one hour per w eek on lab activities and fiel dwork and one to three hours

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121 per week on identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing the risks associated with, and working on solutions to environmental problems. The students reported spending one to th ree hours per week on labs, but the teachers only reported spending less than an hour per week on labs. Both students and teachers reported spending less than one hour per week on fieldwork. Students reported spending less time per week analyzing, solving and working on solutions to environmental problems than was reported by th eir teachers. These results indicate that teachers may not be following the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board which specify that students should sp end at least one class period pe r week in lab, a significant amount of time on fieldwork, and a signifi cant amount of time id entifying, analyzing, solving, assessing, and working on solu tions to environmental problems. Qualitative Results Data from APES case study observations and teacher and student interviews corroborate the survey data regarding the amount of tim e spent on class activities recommended by the College Board. During the 10 case study observations, students did not complete any labs or fieldwork. In an in terview, the teacher stated that they do some fieldwork and the amount of labs performed depends on the chapter. In interviews, students explained that they had done only one lab and no fiel dwork during the first half of the school year. The case study teacher said he brings up environmental problems and they talk about them in class discussions, but the students disagreed with this perception. Again the qualitative results indicate that th e goals/guidelines stated by the College Board are not being met.

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122 10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES ? Data from the teacher and student surveys, the APES cas e study class observations, and teacher and student case study interviews were compile d to answer this research question. Conclusions Research Questions 1. What is the profile of students who enroll in APES ? Students enrolled in APES can be classified as students who spend an average of one to three hours a week studying for APES and do less than one hour of APES homework a week. Most APES students are 12th grade females with high grade poin t averages and students who have taken more than the required three science classes in high school, but have not taken many other AP classes. APES students tend to have college-educated parents. Very few APES students are minorities and a high percen tage of APES students live in suburban areas. The dominance of females in APES is consis tent with other research that indicates the number of females usually equals or ex ceeds the number of males enrolled in most advanced science classes (Greenfield, 1997). The relatively low enrollment of minorities in APES is also consistent with findings re ported in other studies. For example, a study by Clark (1999) concluded that, in their earl y school years, minorit y students develop a fear and/or dislike for science, which resu lts in their taking only the required minimum number of science classes in high school. This current study identified demographics of APES students that are similar to those reported in previous studies of Advanced Placement students. For example, in this study, 52% of the APES students were in 12th grade, 61% were female, and 25% were minority students. A demographic study by Curry, MacDonald, & Morgan (1999)

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123 reported that overall, 60% of APES students are in 12th grade and 55% are female. A study by the College Entrance Examination Board (2000) reported AP students as being 31% minority (primarily African Amer ican and Hispanic) and 69% White. 2 What is the profile of teachers who teach APES ? Teachers of APES spend more hours preparing to teach than students spend studying and spend more time grading than students spend doing homework. Th ey do not spend significant amounts of time preparing lab or field activities or engaging in professional development. They teach an average of two sections of APES containing 21-30 mostly 12th grade students. Seventyfive to 100% of their students take and pa ss the APES exam even though 60% of APES teachers do not have formal AP training. Ha lf of the APES teachers have a master’s degree, and 40% have more than 12 years of experience teaching science, including three to five years of AP teaching experience. Over half (60%) are female, 100% are White, and 60% live in the suburbs while 40% live in urban areas. On average, APES teachers assess their students once ever y two weeks with less than 10 % of their tests and quizzes as matching, 31-59% as multiple-choice, less than 10% as true/false, and 31-59% as essay. Studies have shown that ove rall, high school teachers tend to be White males (North Carolina State Department, 1983), which is in contrast to the findings of this study. Perhaps, women are more willing to respond to surveys than men are, or maybe there are now more women teaching high school science than there were in the past. More research in the area of the demogr aphic characteristics of high school science teachers generally, and teachers of advanced science classes specifically, needs to be done.

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124 3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES ? APES students tend to have positive attitudes toward APES overall. Spec ifically, students have the most positive attitude toward themselves as students in APES, followed by positive attitudes toward their teachers, overall positive attitudes, and positive attitudes toward their APES class, but none of theses differences in att itudes are statistically significant. In this study, the total attitude scale had the smallest 95% confidence interval, indicating that the mean of the total attitude scale provided the most stable measure of students' attitudes toward APES compared to the mean of each of the subscales. The student attitude toward se lf subscale provided the larg est 95% confidence interval, meaning that the mean of this subscale prov ided the least stable measure of students' attitudes toward APES compared to the tota l attitude scale and the other two subscales (attitude toward the APES class and attitude toward the APES teacher). These findings are consistent with those reported in other studies of students' attitudes toward science. Either students en joy science because they feel it is important, or they feel that it is important because they enjoy it. Either way, research indicates that students with high academic self-confidence (gif ted students) who have an internal locus of control and believe they control their ac ademic fate have more positive attitudes toward science (Barrington & Hendricks, 1988). Thus, it is not surprising that advanced science students have more positive attitudes toward scie nce and basic science students have less positive attitudes toward science (Cannon & Simpson, 1985). Students in this study do not feel personally prepared to take the APES exam, nor do they feel this course had met their expect ations of preparing th em for college-level course work, but they do feel their teachers make sure their students are prepared to take

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125 the APES exam. They feel they have well qualified, knowledgeable, excellent, and caring teachers who encourage lab work, fiel dwork, and cooperative, not independent group work, but at the same time feel the quality of the lab and fieldwork is poor. Finally, students like and respect their enthusiastic APES teachers who display positive attitudes toward the environm ent, and feel it is important to get good grades, but do not think they do excellent work in their APES classes. Results indicate that APES is meeting so me of the College Board's stated goals such as: having students learn a bout the environment and especially how to take action to solve environmental problems, having knowledgeable teachers who feel it is important to learn about the environment, preparing stude nts for the APES exam, and promoting lab and fieldwork. But, students do not feel that APES meets their expe ctations of preparing them for college-level work or to take the APES exam, nor do they consider the lab and fieldwork to be of high quality. These findi ngs are important because the College Board believes APES should prepare students for co llege-level work and the APES exam and that APES should include excel lent labs and fieldwork. Regarding student attitudes in high school environmental science courses, research indicates that most environmental science courses emphasize the cognitive domain over the affective domain (Iozzi, 1989a & b). Many environmental science teachers rationalize this emphasis on knowledge acquisi tion by reasoning that an increase in students' environmental knowledge is enough to promote environmentally responsible behaviors. But, without directly addressi ng both the affective and the cognitive domains and without providing student s opportunities to practice be haviors that are more environmentally appropriate, it appears know ledge acquisition al one does not promote

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126 environmentally responsible behavior in most students (Singletary, 1992). The results of this study (see research questi on 9) indicate that because students are not spending a significant amount of time iden tifying, analyzing, solving, asse ssing the risks associated with, and working on solutions to preven t environmental problems, APES teachers emphasize the cognitive and not the affective do main. This appears to occur because the teachers feel a need to cover a large amount of content for the students to perform well on the APES exam. Also, without the chance to work on solutions to environmental problems, students are not given the opportunity to practice environmentally responsible behaviors. Ideally, effective high school environm ental science cla sses should devote a substantial amount of curricu lar time to the affective dom ain. A focus on how students feel about environmental topics, their envir onmental science classes, and their teachers should be considered an important goal. It is important to determ ine students' attitudes toward science as well as how and why such attitudes are formed. It should thus be an important objective of science education to pr omote positive attitudes toward science in schools. Once educators know what the attit udes of students are toward science and how and why they are formed, they can work towards improving these attitudes in their classrooms (Myers & Fouts, 1992). 4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES ? The APES teachers in this study had overall positive attitudes toward APES. Specifically, teachers had the most positive attitudes toward themselves as teachers of APES followed by their overall attitudes toward APES, attitudes toward thei r APES class, and attitudes toward their APES students, but none of these differences in attitudes are statistically significant.

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127 Teachers feel teaching APES is beneficial because they personally learn a lot about environmental science and how to take acti on to solve environmental problems, develop more positive behaviors toward the environmen t, and enjoy teaching APES. They feel it is important for students to learn about the environment and how to solve environmental problems. They feel their students are prepared to take the APES exam, think environmental science is an important subjec t to their students, and feel their students enjoy learning about environmental science. The teachers also feel qualified to teach APES, care about their students, display positiv e attitudes toward th e environment, report that they encourage cooper ative group work, and are en thusiastic about teaching environmental science. The teachers do not feel the course has met their expectations of having the opportunity to teach highly motivated students, did not develop a more positive attitude toward the environment, and feel the APES lab and fieldwork activities are poor. They do not think their students work hard, do excellent work in their classes, and are the type of students to do well in science, or appreci ate the hard work they do in APES. The teachers also admit they do not feel they do an excellent job teaching this course and do not encourage labs, fieldwork, or independe nt student research. These results are important because the College Board recommends that students complete at least one lab activity each week and spend a signif icant amount of time doing fieldwork. When results of the student and teacher at titude scales are compared, teachers and students agree that APES is beneficial, has not met their expectations (for students, preparing them for college-level work; for teachers, having the opportunity to teach highly motivated students), has taught them a lot about environmental science and how to

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128 take action to solve environmental problem s, and that their behaviors toward the environment are more positive. Both groups en joy the class, but f eel the lab activities and fieldwork are poor. They al so agree that the students do not do excellent work in the class, that their teacher is qualified to t each APES, that the teac her does not encourage independent research, but does encourage coope rative group work, and that they both like and respect each other. Student and teacher attitudes differed in se veral areas. Teachers felt they did not develop a more positive attitude toward th e environment while students felt they did develop a more positive attitude toward the environment as a result of taking APES. Teachers felt it is important for students to learn about the environment while students did not. Teachers did not feel they do an excellent job teaching AP ES while the students felt their teachers did. Finally, teachers felt they do not encour age lab and fieldwork while their students felt they did. Thus, teach er and student attitude scale results indicate a lack of consistency or agreement between the two groups. These inconsistencies are interesting, but must be interp reted with caution because the sample size for the teacher attitude survey was small (N=12) relative to the size of the student survey sample (N=355). 5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity ? In this study, gender did not significantly influe nce students' attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environmental Science for the total attitude scale or any of the three subscales. Although the differences were not statistica lly significant, females had more positive attitudes toward APES overall and toward th eir APES class, teacher, and themselves as students in APES than did their male counter parts. None of the above differences in

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129 attitudes are statistically signifi cant. For the total attitude scale and each of the subscales, females had the smallest confidence intervals. Other studies of gender differences in attitudes toward science have yielded conflicting results. A study by Baker and Leary (1995) found that girls in grades 2, 5, 8, and 11 had slightly more positive attitudes toward science while Morrell and Lederman (1998) (5th, 7th, and 10th grade students) and Greenfield (1997) (K-12 students) found that gender did not significantly affect students' attitude toward science. This evidence is in contrast to other studies. Research studies by Cannon and Simpson (1985), Schibeci and Riley (1986), and Weinburgh (1995) have all reported that males have more positive attitudes toward science than females. Other research has concluded that gender differences in students’ attitudes toward science decrease as students get older (Steinkamp & Maehr, 1984). It appears that gender differe nces in students’ attitudes toward science are smaller than previously a ssumed. If gender differences do exist, they usually tend to favor males (S teinkamp & Maehr, 1984). In this study, ethnicity did not significantly influence students' attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environmental Science for the total attitude s cale or any of the three subscales. Interestingly, the categor y "other ethnic groups" had more positive attitudes toward APES than any other group. None of the ethnic differences in attitudes were statistically significant. There was no significant interacti on between gender and ethnicity. The findings of this study conflict with those report ed in other studies of ethnic differences in science attitudes. Many studies have shown that Black students have more positive attitudes toward high school science than their White counterparts (Pearson & Bechtel, 1989) and that minority students do have positive attitudes toward science

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130 (Catsambis, 1995). Bachman and O'Malley (198 4) offered an explanation of why Black students might appear to have more positive attitudes toward science than other ethnic groups. They hypothesized it was because Bl ack students are more likely than White students to choose responses at the positive e nd of a Likert-type response scale (as cited in Pearson & Bechtel, 1989). 6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class activities reported by students and teachers ? In this study, teachers surveyed reported spending less time on lab activities (teachers less than one hour per week; students one to three hours per week) and lecture (teachers one to three hours per w eek; students three to five hours per week) than students did, and reported spending more time on analyzing, solving, and finding solutions to prevent envi ronmental problems (teachers one to three hours per week; students less than one hour per w eek), than students said they did. This is interesting because it parallels the student and teacher attitude su rvey data indicating that students felt their teachers encouraged la b work while the teachers reported that they did not encourage labs. Teacher responses on the survey agreed with those of the students regarding the amount of class time spent on fieldwork (less than one hour per week), identifying environmental problems (one to three hours per week), assessing the risks associated with environmental problems (one to three hours per week), cooperative group work (one to three hours per week), st udent independent research (less than one hour per week), class discussions (one to three hours per week ), and student presentations (less than one hour per week). In the survey sample, students reported lect ure as the most frequent activity (three to five hours per week) and fieldwork, analyzing, solving, and working on solutions to

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131 environmental problems, student independent research, and student presentations as the least frequent activities (l ess than one hour per week each). Teachers reported identifying, analyzing, assessing the risks associated with, and working on solutions to environmental problems, lecture, cooperativ e group work, and cla ss discussions as the most frequent activities (one to three hours pe r week each). The least frequent activities according to the teachers were: lab activities, fieldwork, st udent independent research, and student presentations (less than one hour per week each). Overall, there is less variability in the t eacher data than the student data for the survey sample. This is probably due to the fact that the teacher sample was much more homogeneous than the student sample and the teacher sample was much smaller than the student sample. Also, students may tend to be unclear as to what constitutes a particular activity whereas the teachers are not because they decide the activities and thus know how to categorize or label them. Regarding least frequent activities, over 50% of the students and over 75% of the teachers surveyed reported spending less than three hours per week on all of the above activities except for lecture. Regarding most frequent activities, over 65% of students felt their teacher spends either three to five or over five hours a week lecturing. Students overwhelmingly felt they spend most of thei r class time each week listening to their teacher lecture. In contrast, the majority of teachers (70%) felt they spend less than one to one to three hours a week lecturing. Obvi ously, a discrepancy ex ists between teacher and student perceptions of the amount of class time spent on lecture. Regarding the amount of time spent on di fferent APES class activities, the qualitative case study student interview data paralleled the quantit ative student survey

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132 data in most cases. For example, both groups of students reported spending very little class time on fieldwork, analyzing, solving, a nd working on solutions to environmental problems, student independent research, and student presentations. Interestingly, the 10 case study students interviewed reported spendi ng less time on labs and fieldwork than their teacher did, this was not the case for the survey sample. The students surveyed reported spending more time on lab activities th an their teachers, and the students and the teachers surveyed reported spending the same amount of time on fieldwork. By far, the most frequent activity reported by both the students surveyed and the students interviewed was lecture. Th e interviewed teacher and case study students agreed on the amount of class time spent on lecture (70% of each class). The surveyed students felt they spent more time on cooperative group work (one to three hours per week) than did the interviewed students (a total of three times all year). 7. What do students feel are th e strengths/weaknesses of APES ? The surveyed students felt the most important strength of th eir APES class was their teacher. It was interesting that students identified student presentations, fieldwor k, lab activities, and class discussions as strengths of APES cons idering they reported spending less than one class period per week on these activities. Perh aps it is because they highly value the time they do spend on these types of activities. Students also appreciated the content, small class size, the challenge, and the lectures associated with their APES classes. The students felt very strongly that there were not enough fieldw ork, fieldtrips, or lab activities in their APES classes. Th ey also did not feel the textbook or their preparation for the APES exam was adequate. The students also indi cated the lack of a

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133 review book, lack of class time to cover the large amount of content, difficult tests, too much out-of-class reading, and not enough lectur e as the most significant weaknesses. The case study students who were intervie wed expressed having the notes before class, learning how to do well on the AP exam high quality students, the quality of the information, learning about the environment, their teacher, class routines, good study habits for college, and college credit as the most important strengths of APES. During the interviews, the same students reported a la ck of time spent on preparing for essays on the APES exam, the amount of information, their teacher's style of teaching (lecture, worksheets not graded, format of quizzes, and questioning technique), class routines, lack of labs and hands-on activiti es, too much pressure to do well on APES exam, and the emphasis on coverage and memorization as th e most significant weaknesses of APES. Interestingly, there were no striking similarities between the strengths reported by the 355 surveyed students and those identif ied by the 10 interviewed students. The surveyed students tended to state more pos itive strengths than did the interviewed students. The two groups of students did ag ree that a lack of pr eparation for the AP exam, labs, hands-on activities, and cl ass time were weaknesses of APES. 8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES ? Based on the teacher survey data, teachers reported cl ass discussions, fieldwork and group work as important strengths of their APES classes, and reported a need for more fieldwork and lab work as the most significant weaknesse s of their APES classes. The case study teacher interviewed did not address any streng ths or weakness directly pertaining to the APES Program. Instead, he reported strength s and weaknesses specific to his experience

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134 as an APES teacher. The strength he e xpressed was preparing students well and the weakness was having 9th graders in APES who were not ready to be there. 9. How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board ? The data from the teacher and student surveys showed that students reported spending one to three hours a week doing lab activities, while the te achers reported spending less than one hour a week on labs. Both the students and teachers surveyed in this study reported only spending less than an hour per week on fieldwork. The students also reported spending less time analyzing, solving, and working on solutions to environmental pr oblems (less than one hour per week), than did the teachers (one to three hours per week). This study indicates that APES students sp end very little ti me on lab activities, which can be detrimental to students in several ways. For example, Freedman (1997) found that for students of diverse backgrounds, hands-on laboratory activities positively influence students’ attitudes toward science and increase their achievement on measures of science knowledge. Other relevant research has repeat edly supported the development of strong laboratory components in high school science classes. It is thought that a positive, supportive classroom environment incorporating laboratory instruction and more active student involvemen t (Hender, Fisher & Fraser 1998) leads to both more positive attitudes toward science and greater science achievement for students (Talton & Simpson, 1987). Data from the APES case study observati ons, teacher, and st udent interviews corroborates the survey data. During all 10 APES case study observations, no labs or fieldwork were witnessed. The teacher stat ed that they do some fieldwork and the

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135 amount of labs depends on the chapter. The students explained that they had completed only one lab and no fieldwork during the firs t half of the school year. The case study teacher said that he brings up environmental problems and they talk about them in class discussions, but the students disagreed. This lack of em phasis on labs, fieldwork, and environmental problem solving is a viola tion of the College Board APES guidelines, which state that students s hould perform at least one lab per week, a sign ificant amount of fieldwork, and a significant amount of time identifying, analyzi ng, solving, assessing, and working on solutions to environmental problems (College Board, 1997). It appears that APES is meeting so me of the College Board's goals of environmental science classes such as: havi ng students learn about the environment and especially how to take action to solve envir onmental problems, feeling prepared to take the APES exam, having teachers who promot e lab and fieldwork (College Board, 1997), and developing a concern for the environment (Howell & Warmbrod, 1974). Unfortunately, APES is not meeting all of th e goals of the College Board because APES classes are supposed to prepare students for college-level work and prepare teachers to provide excellent labs and fieldwork for thei r students as well as encourage independent research (College Board, 1997). 10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES ? Class Activities APES teachers need to increase the amount of time they spend on lab activities and fieldwork, identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing, and working on solutions to environmental problems, cooperative group wo rk, and hands-on activities. Teachers should increase the amount of time spent on thes e activities in order to meet the standards set by the College Board and because thes e were all major weaknesses of APES

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136 identified by teachers and students. Student s should also be engaged in problem-based learning in the environment to promote highe r order thinking and environmental problem solving skills. Guidelines/Teacher Training The College Board should provide better guidelines and training for teachers concerning what the students need to know to be better prepared fo r the APES exam and how to create high quality labs and fieldwor k. Teachers feel they need more specific guidelines and better training to adequately pr epare their students for the APES exam. Funding More funding should be pr ovided to schools that offe r APES classes because teachers identified a lack of lab equipmen t as a significant weakness of their APES classes. If teachers are going to plan and implement more high quality labs and fieldwork, they need funding to purchase the necessary equipment fo r such activities. Teachers should also be encouraged to spend more than five hours each month on professional development. The College Board could provide grants for teachers to attend conferences and seminars to learn about ways to improve their science teaching. Teacher Recruitment/ Student Recruitment/Selection This study reported an APES student popul ation that was 61% female and 56% White. With few minority students taking adva nced science classes, the United States is losing a valuable pool of potential scientists It is encouraging, however, that more females are now enrolling in advanced science classes. The demographic results of this study cl early support the need to develop more intensive strategies for targeting and recr uiting minority APES st udents and teachers. Research on how to increase the enrollment of minority students in advanced science

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137 classes has suggested the use of minority teachers as role models (Clark, 1999). As this study has shown, the majority of APES teacher s are female and White. Thus, to provide minority teachers as role models to recrui t minority students into advanced science classes we must first discover ways to recruit minority teachers to teach such classes. If there are more minority teachers in APES, minor ity students may see them as role models and be more apt to take APES. Other ideas for increasing minority enrollm ent in APES include using cooperative learning and varying teaching styles to acco mmodate the various learning styles of minority students. APES science classes them selves could also be redesigned to capture the interest of all students by providing oppor tunities for all stude nts to engage in scientific problem-solving and by encouraging and challenging all st udents (Clark, 1999). The AP Program has become one of the top i ndicators used by educators to determine the status of education in the United States. Advanced Placement classes give students an opportunity to excel in an atmosphere that has high academic standards and thus, should not leave minority students behind (Co llege Entrance Examination Board, 2000). The way in which students are selected or allowed to participate in APES should also be re-examined. The College Board stat es that any student who chooses to do so may take APES and the APES exam, but they do recommend that students have at least two years of a high school lab science pr ior to enrolling in APES due to the interdisciplinary nature of an environmental science course. Perhaps, students should be required, rather than encouraged, to take at least two years of high school laboratory classes before they are permitted to enroll in APES.

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138 Other Suggestions The College Board should work with teach ers and students in focus groups to find out why APES is not meeting their exp ectations, why teachers do not encourage independent research, labs, and fieldwork, and why teachers and students do not believe students do excellent work in APES. It is al so important to determine why the students, but not the teachers, develop more positive atti tudes toward the environment as a result of participating in APES. The College Board could design a review book or study guide for students and an APES question bank for teachers to help them prepare their students for the APES exam as well as suggest textbooks for students a nd teachers to review The College Board could also provide on-line services wher e AP teachers can share ideas. High schools could institute block scheduling to give APES students more class time to cover the large amount of material and provide lab space so th at teachers can actually conduct laboratory activities. Overall Implications for the APES Program As this study concluded, students an d teachers have overall positive attitudes toward their Advanced Placement Environmenta l Science classes. Other research has confirmed that advanced science students ha ve more positive att itudes toward science (Cannon & Simpson, 1985). It is extremely important for students to have positive attitudes toward science, especially envi ronmental science, because the stronger the commitment to, and the higher the interest in science, the more able students will be to make intelligent decisions regarding political and social issues involving science and the environment as adults, which is the overal l goal of environmental education (Ramsey, Hungerford, & Volk, 1992).

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139 Implications for Further Educational Research The findings of this study have impli cations for the way similar educational research should be conducted. Based on this study's observations, it appears that the interviewed students were more honest about the amount of time spent on APES class activities than the surveyed students were. This may be due to the f act that the classroom teachers administered the student surveys and the researcher conducted the student interviews. It is very intere sting that the surveyed teachers appeared to be more honest in their answers regarding the amount of class time spent on APES activities than was the interviewed teacher. Again, this may be due to the nature of the anonymous teacher survey versus a face-to-face interview. To en sure a complete, accurate data set in studies such as these, it is suggested that a mixe d methods approach be used. Complementing survey data with on-site observations and face-to-face interviews may help researchers obtain a clearer picture than e ither method could produce alone. Overall Conclusions Recently, the AP Program has received criticism for encouraging too much coverage at the expense of depth. Further re cent criticisms include : concerns about the preparation of AP teachers and restricted access to AP classes es pecially for minority students and those living in ur ban areas. The College Board reports that few teachers are qualified to teach AP classes and thus their students have poor AP backgrounds (Trounson & Colvin, 2002). Some schools have even dropped their AP Programs, stating that they focus too much on memorization a nd not on real learning. The College Board has responded by offering more AP teacher training sessions, creating more clear AP guidelines, and developing programs to bett er prepare middle and high school students for AP classes. Students have responded by explaining that they feel they are just

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140 memorizing a huge about of information that they forget after they take the test. Colleges and universities are also frus trated because the students who perform well on AP exams do not always do well in their college classes (Trounson & Colvin, 2002). These criticisms and concerns are validated by the data collected in this study. It appears as though the once highly valued, prestigious Advanced Placement Program is now facing the challenge of prep aring students for college classes in the face of an everincreasing information explosion. It is becoming more appare nt that students need to learn, not simply memorize, the information in these classes to be successful in college and in their careers. A new er a is emerging in which it must be decided what information is most important for our students to know to be able to adequately function in our changing society. With the Internet at our fingertips, we are entering deeper into the information age, and are facing more inform ation on a daily basis than ever before. Educators, scientists, and members of the Colle ge Board need to work together to address these concerns.

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141 APPENDIX A APES CONTENT GUIDELINES Table A-1. Advanced Placement Environmental Science Content Guidelines Topic Percent of Class Time I. Scientific Analysis 5% A. Observing the natural world and developing hypotheses B. Collecting data 1. observation controlled experiments C. Modeling D. Critical interpretation of data II. Interdependence of Ea rth's Systems: Fundamental Principles and Concepts 25% A. The Flow of Energy 1. forms and quality of energy 2. energy units and measurement 3. sources and sinks; conversions B. The Cycling of Matter 1. water 2. carbon 3. major nutrients a) nitrogen b) phosphorous 4. differences between cycling of major trace elements C. The Solid Earth 1. Earth history and the geologic time scale 2. Earth dynamics: plate tectonics, volcanism, the rock cycle, soil formation D. The Atmosphere 1. atmospheric history: orig in, evolution, composition, and structure 2. atmospheric dynamic: weather, climate E. The Biosphere 1. organisms: adaptations to their environment 2. populations and the communities: exponential growth, carrying capacity 3. ecosystems and change: biomass, energy transfer, succession 4. evolution of life: natu ral selection, extinction

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142 Table A-1. Continued. III. Human Population Dynamics 10% A. History of Human Population B. Global Distribution of Population 1. numbers 2. demographics 3. patterns of res ource utilization C. Carrying CapacityLocal, Regional, Global D. Cultural and Economic Influences IV. Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources: Distribution, Ownership, Use, Degradation 15% A. Water 1. fresh: agriculture, industrial, domestic 2. oceans: fisheries B. Minerals C. Soils 1. soil types 2. erosion control D. Biological 1. natural areas 2. genetic diversity 3. food and other agricultural products E. Energy 1. conventional sources 2. alternative sources F. Land 1. residential and commercial 2. agricultural and forestry 3. recreation and wilderness V. Environmental Quality 20% A. Air/Water/Soil 1. major pollutants a) types such as SOx, Nox, and pesticides b) measurement and the units of measure such as ppm, pH, g/L c) point and nonpoint sources (domestic, industrial, agricultural) effects of pollutants on: a) aquatic systems b) vegetation c) natural features, build ings, and structures d) wildlife 3. pollution reduction, remediation, and control

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143 Table A-1. Continued. B. Solid Waste 1. types, sources, and amounts 2. current disposal methods and their limitations 3. alternatives C. Impact on Human Health 1. agents: chemical and biological 2. effects: acute and chronic, dose-response relationships 3. relative risks: evaluation and response VI. Global Changes and Their Consequences 15% A. First-Order Effects 1. atmosphere: CO2, CH4, stratospheric O3 2. oceans: surface temperatures, currents, sea level 3. biota: habitat destruction, lo ss of biodiversity, introduced exotics B. High-Order Interactions 1. CO2 photosynthesis 2. ocean currents climate and biological communities 3. ultraviolet light cell damage VII. Environment and Society: Trade-Offs and Decision Making 5% A. Economic Forces 1. cost-benefit analysis 2. marginal costs Ownership and external costs B. Cultural and Aesthetic Considerations C. Environmental Ethics D. Environmental Laws and Regulations (International, National, and Regional) VIII. Choices for the Future 5% A. Conservation B. Preservation C. Remediation D. Sustainability

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144 APPENDIX B TEACHER SURVEY Advanced Placement Environmental Science Teacher Survey General Directions 1. There are 81 statements on the following pa ges. These items d eal with educational ideas and problems in Advanced Placemen t Environmental Science about which we all have opinions, beliefs, and attitudes. 2. The purpose of this survey is to determin e student and teacher attitudes toward AP Environmental Science and to evaluate the AP Environmental Science Program. It should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. 3. Please indicate what you personally think about the Advanced Placement Environmental Science course in your hi gh school. There ar e no right or wrong answers. 4. Please mark only one response to each question on the enclosed form. If a question does not pertain to your class leave it blank. For example, if your class does not do any fieldwork, leave t hose questions blank. 5. Please place all scantrons a nd written response sheets from all of your sections of AP Environmental Science in the envelope provided, indicate the name of your school and return the surveys to: Rebecca Pe nwell in the enclosed envelope. Thank you for your cooperation. Instructions: There are four possible res ponses to each statement: Strongly Disagree (SD), Disagree (D), Agree (A), and Strongly Ag ree (SA). Please i ndicate your agreement or disagreement with each item by filling in on the scantron the response that most closely matches your feelings. For example, Strongly Disagree (SD) = A, Disagree (D)= B, Agree (A) = C, and Strongly Agree (S A)= D on the scantron. Remember these statements reflect your personal attitudes towa rd the AP Environmental Science Program.

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145 The following questions pertain to how you f eel about your AP Environmental Science class. Class Subscale (items 1-12) SD D A SA 1. The benefits of teaching this class outweigh the costs of the time needed to prepare to teach it. 1 2 3 4 2. This course has met my expectations of having the opportunity to teach highly motivated students. 1 2 3 4 3. My decision to teach this course was a good one. 1 2 3 4 4. I have learned a lot about environmental science in preparing to teach this class. 1 2 3 4 5. In preparing to teach this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems. 1 2 3 4 6. As a result of teaching this class, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive. 1 2 3 4 7. As a result of teaching this class, my behavior towards the environment has become more positive. 1 2 3 4 8. I have enjoyed teaching this class. 1 2 3 4 9. I wanted to teach this class because I believe that it is important for students to l earn about the environment. 1 2 3 4 10. I feel the lab exercises de signed for this course are excellent. 1 2 3 4 11. I feel the fieldwork in this course is excellent. 1 2 3 4 12. I feel the textbook that is us ed for this class is helpful. 1 2 3 4

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146 The following questions pertain to how you feel about the students in your AP Environmental Science Class. Student Subscale (items 13-20) SD D A SA 13. I feel my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 1 2 3 4 14. I think the majority of my students do excellent work in this class. 1 2 3 4 15. I think my students are the type to do well in science. 1 2 3 4 16. I think it is important to my students to get good grades. 1 2 3 4 17. I think environmental science is an important subject to my students. 1 2 3 4 18. I think my students work hard in this class. 1 2 3 4 19. I think my students apprec iate the hard work they do in this class. 1 2 3 4 20. I think my students enjoy learning environmental science. 1 2 3 4 The following questions pertain to how you feel about yourself as an AP Environmental Science teacher. Teacher Subscale (items 21-45) SD D A SA 21. I feel I am well qualified to teach this course. 1 2 3 4 22. I feel I do an excellent job teaching this course. 1 2 3 4 23. I feel I explain concepts well. 1 2 3 4 24. I am very knowledgeable about environmental science. 1 2 3 4 25. I care about my students. 1 2 3 4 26. I listen to my students. 1 2 3 4

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147 SD D A SA 27. I am available to provide extra help for my students when needed. 1 2 3 4 28. I tell my students when they have done a good job. 1 2 3 4 29. I have high expectations fo r all students in this class. 1 2 3 4 30. I am fair to all students. 1 2 3 4 31. I believe it is important fo r students to learn about the environment. 1 2 3 4 32. I believe it is important for students to learn how to solve environmental problems. 1 2 3 4 33. I display a positive attit ude toward the environment. 1 2 3 4 34. I encourage my students to take the AP Environmental Science exam 1 2 3 4 35. I have made sure that my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science exam. 1 2 3 4 36. I give my students a lot of work in this class. 1 2 3 4 37. I use outside r eadings to supplement the textbook in this class 1 2 3 4 38. I encourage independent research in this class. 1 2 3 4 39. I encourage laboratory work in this class. 1 2 3 4 40. I encourage cooperative group work in this class. 1 2 3 4 41. I encourage fieldwork in this class. 1 2 3 4

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148 SD D A SA 42. I emphasize the benefits of taking an AP course to my students. 1 2 3 4 43. I respect my students 1 2 3 4 44. I like my students. 1 2 3 4 45. I am enthusiastic about environmental science 1 2 3 4 Instructions: Each statement has several re sponse options. Please indicate your response on the scantron. For example, <1= A, etc. The following questions pertain to how much time you spend on activities related to AP Environmental Science. Number of hours 46. How many hours a week do you spend preparing to teach?. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 47. How many hours a week do you spend grading? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 48. How many hours a week do you spend preparing for lab activities? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 49. How many hours a week do you spend doing lab activities? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 50. How many hours a week do spend preparing for fieldwork? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 51. How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork?. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 52. How many hours a week do you spend lecturing? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 53. How many hours a week do your students spend doing cooperative group work? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 54. How many hours a week do your students spend doing independent research? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 55. How many hours a week do you engage in class discussions with your students? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5

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149 56. How many hours a week do your students engage in presentations? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 57. How many hours a week do you spend helping students identify environmental problems? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 58. How many hours a week do you spend helping students analyze environmental problems?. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 59. How many hours a week do you spend helping students solve environmental problems? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 60. How many hours a week do you spend helping students assess the risks associated with environmental problems? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 61. How many hours a week do you spend helping students prevent environmental problems?. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 62. How many hours a month do you spend on professional development?. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 The following questions pertain to your AP Environmental Science Class. 63. How many sections of AP Environmental Science do you teach? 1 2 3 4 64. About how many students do you have in each section? <20 21-30 31-40 >41 65. In what grade are the majority of your students?. 9th 10th 11th 12th 66. What is the percent of students who take the AP Environmental Science Exam? 024% 25-49% 50-74% 75100% 67. What is the percent of students who pass the AP Environmental Science Exam? 024% 25-49% 50-74% 75100% 68. Did you complete formal training for the AP Environmental Science course? Yes No

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150 Instructions: Each statement has several re sponse options. Please indicate your response on the scantron. For example, <1= A, etc. The following questions pertain to general information. 69. What is your gender? Male Female 70. In what type of area do yo u live? Urban Suburba n Rural 71. What is your ethnic background? White Black Asian Latin Other 72. Indicate your highest academic degree. Bachelor Degree Master Degree Specialist Ph.D. Other 73. How many years of science teaching experience do you have including this year? 0-2 3-5 6-8 9-11 >12 74. How many years have you been teaching AP classes? 0-2 3-5 6-8 9-11 >12 75. Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are matching. <10% 11-30% 31-59% 60-79% >80% 76. Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are multiple-choice. <10% 11-30% 31-59% 60-79% >80% 77. Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are true/false. <10% 11-30% 31-59% 60-79% >80% 78. Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are essay. <10% 11-30% 31-59% 60-79% >80% 79. How often do you assess your students? 2X/Wk 1X/Wk 1X/2Wk 1X/3wk 1X/Mo

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151 Instructions: Please write your respon se to the following questions. 80. List the most important strengths of your AP Environmental Science class. _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ 81. List the most significant weaknesses of your AP Environmental Science class. _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ Thank you very much for taking the time to comp lete this survey. Y our input is greatly appreciated and will be used to evaluate a nd make suggestions for the improvement of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program. Please collect the scantrons and the separate sheets of paper with the student responses to questions 66-67 on the student survey from your students and place them the last page of this survey along with your signed consen t form and the signed student and parent consent forms in the envelope provided. Please mail to Rebecca Penwell in the enclosed envelope. Would you like to receive a copy of the results of this study? Yes____ No____ If yes, please indicate your preferred mailing address: Name ________________________________ Street Address ________________________________ City, State, Zip ________________________________ e-mail: ________________________________

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152 APPENDIX C STUDENT SURVEY Advanced Placement Environmental Science Student Survey General Directions 1. There are 67 statements on the following pa ges. These items d eal with educational ideas and problems in Advanced Placemen t Environmental Science about which we all have opinions, beliefs, and attitudes. 2. The purpose of this survey is to determin e student and teacher attitudes toward AP Environmental Science and to evaluate the AP Environmental Science Program. It should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. 3. Please indicate what you personally think about the Advanced Placement Environmental Science course in your high school. There ar e no right or wrong answers. 4. Please mark only one response to each ques tion on the enclosed form. If a question does not pertain to your class leave it blank. For example, if your class does not do any fieldwork, leave t hose questions blank. 5. REMEMBER: Do not sign your name. When you are finished, give your survey to your teacher. Your teacher will answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your cooperation. Instructions: There are four possible res ponses to each statement: Strongly Disagree (SD), Disagree (D), Agree (A), and Strongly Ag ree (SA). Please i ndicate your agreement or disagreement with each item by filling in on the scantron the response that most closely matches your feelings. For example, Strongly Disagree (SD) = A, Disagree (D)= B, Agree (A) = C, and Strongly Agree (S A)= D on the scantron. Remember these statements reflect your personal attitudes towa rd the AP Environmental Science Program.

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153 The following questions pertain to how you f eel about your AP Environmental Science class. Class Subscale (items 1-13) SD D A SA 1. The benefits of taking th is class outweigh the amount of put into it. 1 2 3 4 2. This course has met my expectations of preparing me for college level course work 1 2 3 4 3. My decision to take this course was a good one 1 2 3 4 4. I have learned a lot about environmental science in this class. 1 2 3 4 5. As a result of taking this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems. 1 2 3 4 6. As a result of taking this cl ass, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive. 1 2 3 4 7. As a result of taking this class, my behavior towards the environment has become more positive. 1 2 3 4 8. I enjoy this class. 1 2 3 4 9. I took this class because I believe it is important to learn about the environment. 1 2 3 4 10. Given the opportunity, I would take this class again. 1 2 3 4 11. The lab exercises in th is course are excellent. 1 2 3 4 12. The fieldwork in this course is excellent. 1 2 3 4 13. I feel prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 1 2 3 4

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154 The following questions pertain to how you f eel about your AP Environmental Science teacher. Teacher Subscale (items 14-38) SD D A SA 14. My teacher is well qualified to teach this course. 1 2 3 4 15. My teacher does an excelle nt job teaching this course. 1 2 3 4 16. My teacher explains concepts well. 1 2 3 4 17. My teacher enjoys teaching this course. 1 2 3 4 18. My teacher is very knowledgeable about environmental science. 1 2 3 4 19. My teacher cares about his/her students. 1 2 3 4 20. My teacher listens to his/her students. 1 2 3 4 21. My teacher is available to provide extra help for his/her students when needed. 1 2 3 4 22. My teacher tells his/her students when they have done a good job. 1 2 3 4 23. My teacher has high expect ations for all students in this class. 1 2 3 4 24. My teacher is fair to all students. 1 2 3 4 25. My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment 1 2 3 4 26. My teacher believes it is important to learn how to solve environmental problems. 1 2 3 4 27. My teacher displays a pos itive attitude toward the environment. 1 2 3 4 28. My teacher encourages his/her students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 1 2 3 4

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155 SD D A SA 29. My teacher has made sure that his/her students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. 1 2 3 4 30. My teacher uses outside readings to supplement the textbook in this class. 1 2 3 4 31. My teacher encourages independent research in this class. 1 2 3 4 32. My teacher encourages laboratory work in this class. 1 2 3 4 33. My teacher encourages cooperative group work in this class. 1 2 3 4 34. My teacher encourages fieldwork in this class. 1 2 3 4 35. My teacher emphasizes to his/her students the benefits of taking an AP course. 1 2 3 4 36. I respect my teacher. 1 2 3 4 37. I like my teacher. 1 2 3 4 38. My teacher is enthusia stic about environmental science. 1 2 3 4 The following questions pertain to how you f eel about yourself as a student in AP Environmental Science. Student Subscale (items 39-42) SD D A SA 39. I do excellent work in this class. 1 2 3 4 40. It is important to me to get good grades. 1 2 3 4 41. Environmental science is an important subject. 1 2 3 4 42. I enjoy learning environmental science. 1 2 3 4

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156 Instructions: Each statement has several res ponse options. Please indicate your response on the scantron. For example, <1= A, etc. The following questions pertain to how much time you spend on activities in AP Environmental Science. Number of hours 43. How many hours a week do you spend studying? <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 44. How many hours a week do you spend on homework. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 45. How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 46. How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 47. How many hours a week does your teacher spend lecturing. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 48. How many hours a week do you spend doing cooperative group work. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 49. How many hours a week do you spend identifying environmental problems. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 50. How many hours a week do you spend analyzing environmental problems. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 51. How many hours a week do you spend solving environmental problems. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 52. How many hours a week do you spend assessing the risks associated with environmental problems. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 53. How many hours a week do you spend working on solutions to prevent environmental problems. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 54. How many hours a week do you engage in class discussions with your teacher. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 55. How many hours a week do students engage in presentations. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5 56. How many hours a week do you spend doing independent research. <1 1-3 3.1-5 >5

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157 Instructions: Each statement has several res ponse options. Please indicate your response on the scantron. For example, male =A, etc. The following questions pertain to general information. 57. What is your gender? Male Female 58. In what type of area do you live? Urban Suburban Rural 59. What grade level are you in school? 9th 10th 11th 12th 60. What is your approximate grade point average? 2.0-2.4 2.5-2.9 3.0-3.4 3.5-4.0 61. What is your ethnic background? White Black Asian Latin Other 62. Indicate the highest academic degree of your mother. High School Diploma Bachelor Degree Master Degree Ph.D. NA 63. Indicate the highest academic degree of your father. High School Diploma Bachelor Degree Master Degree Ph.D. NA 64. How many high school science courses have you completed? <1 2-3 4-5 6-7 >8 65. How many other AP courses have you taken? <1 2-3 4-5 6-7 >8

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158 Instructions: Please write your response to the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. 66. List the most important strengths of your AP Environmental Science class. _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ 67. List the most significant weaknesses of your AP Environmental Science class. _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ Thank you very much for taking the time to comp lete this survey. Y our input is greatly appreciated and will be used to evaluate a nd make suggestions for the improvement of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program. Please return your scantron and a separate sheet of paper with your answers to questions 66-67 along with your signed student and parent consent fo rms to your teacher.

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159 APPENDIX D TEACHER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Table D-1. APES teacher interview questions. 1a. How do you define curriculum? 1b. How does your understanding of curriculum influence how you teach APES? 2. In your view, how important is it that you have a working knowledge of the principles of curriculum and why? 3a. What activities do you use to promote student learning and why? 3b. Do you feel that the students benefit from the independent study days that you give them? Why or why not? 3c. Do you feel that the students benefit from the study time that you give students at the end of the class period? Why or why not? 4. Describe some of the learning activities th at you use in order to facilitate successful outcomes for all students irrespective of various learning style preference? 5. Cite examples of how the type of instruction you provide reflects a multicultural approach? 6a. How and how often do you evaluate your students? 6b. What is the format of your quizzes and tests? 7a. Describe how you teach. 7b. What do you do best as a teacher? 8a. Describe the type of questions you ask of your students. Provide some examples. 8b. Why do you think that students do not ask many questions during class? 9a. How do you group students? 9b. What factors influence the ways in which students are grouped? 9c. What are the e-mail partners? 9d. How are they assigned? 9e. Do you think that the students benefit from the use of their e-mail partners? 10a. Do you believe that you interact with male and female students in equal proportions? If not, why? 10b. Do you believe that male and female students differ in their ability and interest in APES? 10c. Why do you think that the boys ask more questions than the girls? 10d. Why do you think that girls make better use of the study time that you give them than the boys? 11. Do you consider students interests when planning learning activities? Provide an example. 12a. How does the AP exam influence what and how you teach? 12b. Are there other content areas that you would like to teach but feel unable to because of the AP exam? 13. What do you feel are the most important strengths of APES and why? 14. What do you feel are the most significant weaknesses of APES and why? 15. If you could design the APES curriculum, how would you change it and why?

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160 Table D-1. Continued.. 16a. How much time do you spend on la b activities, fieldwork, lecture, cooperative group work, cla ss discussions, student presentations, student independent study, independent student research, identifying environmental problems, analyzing environmental proble ms, assessing the risks associated with environmental problems, and working on solutions to environmental problems? 16b. How does the proportionate amount of time spent on these activities relate to your desired outcomes? 16c. What types of projects do the students do? 16d. Do they have class time to work on their projects? 16e. Is the class time that you give them to work on their projects enough time to finish, or do they have to spend outside class time to finish their projects? 16f. Are all of the projects individu al, or are there any group projects? 16g. What is your rationale for the grouping that you use for student research projects? 17a. How do you feel about your ability to teach APES effectively? 17b. How do you feel about your students ability to learn what you teach in APES? 18. Do you feel that it is necessary for students to have at least two years of a lab science to do well in APES and why? 19. What is your gender? 20. In what type of area do you live? 21. What is your ethnic background? 22. What is your highest academic degree?

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161 APPENDIX E STUDENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Table E-1. APES student interview questions. 1a. What type of activities help you learn material most easily and why? 1b. Do you benefit from the independent study days? Why or why not? 1c. Do you benefit from having the class notes before class? Why or why not? 1d. Do you benefit from the use of your e-mail partners? Why or why not? 1e. Do you benefit from the class time that you have to study? Why or why not? 2. How and how often does your teacher evaluate your work? 3. Describe how you feel about the quality of your teacher's instruction? 4a. Do you feel that your teacher interacts with fe male students as often as male students and why? 4b. Why do you think the boys ask mo re questions than the girls? 4c. Why do you think that girls make better use of the study time that you are given than the boys? 5. Does your teacher incorporate st udent interests into his teaching? 6. What do you feel are the most im portant strengths of APES and why? 7. What do you feel are the most si gnificant weaknesses of APES and why? 8. If you could design the APES curricu lum, how would you change it and why? How much time do you spend on lab activitie s, fieldwork, lecture, cooperative group work, class discussions, student independent study, student presentations, independent student research, identif ying environmental problems, analyzing environmental problems, assessing the risks associated with environmental problems, and working on solutions to environmental problems? 10. How do you feel about taking APES and why? Do you feel that it is necessary for student s to have at least two years of a lab science to do well in APES and why? 12. What is your gender? 13. In what type of area do you live? 14. What is your ethnic background? 15a. What is your approxim ate grade point average? 15b. What is your current grade in this class? 16. What grade are you in school? 17. What is the highest acad emic degree of your mother? 18. What is the highest acad emic degree of your father? 19. How many high school scien ce courses have you completed? 20. What other AP classes have you taken?

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162 APPENDIX F STUDY DESIGN A ND TIMELINE Date Action November Develop teacher and student surveys March IRB approval April Pilot test surveys Revise surveys based on factor and item analysis Randomly choose APES schools for first mailing Mail first letter Mail reminder postcards May 1st Send out first round of surveys May 15th Send out reminder postcards June Receive surveys July t-tests ANOVAS August Write quantitative results September Determine observation and interview protocol Begin observations October Continue observations November Continue observations December Teacher and student interviews January Write case study Write quantitative/qualitative results Write conclusions and implications

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163 APPENDIX G ITEM ANALYSIS Table G-1. First item analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data. Item Mean Standard Deviation Alpha if Item Deleted Corrected Item-Total Correlation 1 3.0710 .7427 .9278 .4065 2 2.8097 .7795 .9273 .4589 3 3.3968 .6925 .9267 .5473 4 3.5484 .5933 .9271 .5129 5 3.1161 .7370 .9266 .5469 6 3.2710 .7444 .9274 .4491 7 3.1355 .7639 .9272 .4709 8 3.2194 .7265 .9271 .4892 9 2.8581 .8918 .9278 .4154 10* 2.2774 .8441 .9322 -.0587 11 2.9161 .8810 .9274 .4597 12 2.5742 .8001 .9277 .4226 13 2.6710 .7768 .9276 .4271 14 2.2516 .9354 .9314 .0781 15 2.9355 .8566 .9271 .4847 16 3.5871 .7741 .9296 .1919 17 3.6097 .6629 .9263 .6021 18 3.4097 .7695 .9252 .6997 19 3.4065 .6750 .9260 .6365 20 3.6355 .6227 .9268 .5477 21 3.7032 .5297 .9266 .6199 22 3.5129 .6766 .9262 .6070 23 3.4065 .7169 .9264 .5701 24 3.4290 .7149 .9271 .4890 25 3.3484 .7469 .9259 .6284 26 3.3290 .7513 .9280 .3765 27 3.3484 .7425 .9263 .5778 28 3.7290 .5252 .9270 .5476 29 3.6065 .5912 .9267 .5686 30 3.5484 .6604 .9267 .5491 31 3.6581 .5960 .9280 .3778 32 3.3903 .7456 .9258 .6345 33 2.8290 .8921 .9299 .2079 34* 2.2452 .9019 .9324 -.0416 35 3.1452 .8292 .9279 .3964 36 2.9839 .8494 .9281 .3765 37 3.1355 .7203 .9272 .4804 38 3.3065 .7011 .9266 .5583 39 3.1419 .7542 .9271 .4912 40 3.0806 .8184 .9271 .4909 41 3.5677 .6438 .9265 .5783 42 3.5065 .6767 .9259 .6453 43 3.6161 .6162 .9266 .5765 44 3.0000 .7717 .9284 .3337 45 3.4742 .6997 .9281 .3617 46 3.3806 .6992 .9269 .5191 47 3.2774 .7550 .9261 .6007 *Items that should be reverse coded

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164 Table G-2. Second item analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data with items 10 and 34 reverse coded. Item Mean Standard Deviation Alpha if Item Deleted Corrected Item-Total Correlation 1 3.0710 .7427 .9305 .4486 2 2.8097 .7795 .9307 .4205 3 3.3968 .6925 .9296 .5662 4 3.5484 .5933 .9301 .5201 5 3.1161 .7370 .9298 .5349 6 3.2710 .7444 .9304 .4584 7 3.1355 .7639 .9305 .4480 8 3.2194 .7265 .9299 .5188 9 2.8581 .8918 .9312 .3894 10* 3.7226 .8441 .9335 .1185 11 2.9161 .8810 .9304 .4702 12 2.5742 .8001 .9309 .4004 13 2.6710 .7768 .9310 .3936 14* 2.2516 .9354 .9345 .0502 15 2.9355 .8566 .9300 .5051 16* 3.5871 .7741 .9324 .2222 17 3.6097 .6629 .9293 .6199 18 3.4097 .7695 .9284 .7068 19 3.4065 .6750 .9290 .6563 20 3.6355 .6227 .9299 .5442 21 3.7032 .5297 .9296 .6228 22 3.5129 .6766 .9291 .6461 23 3.4065 .7169 .9293 .6091 24 3.4290 .7149 .9300 .5136 25 3.3484 .7469 .9291 .6196 26 3.3290 .7513 .9312 .3647 27 3.3484 .7425 .9294 .5891 28 3.7290 .5252 .9301 .5482 29 3.6065 .5912 .9298 .5719 30 3.5484 .6604 .9297 .5560 31 3.6581 .5960 .9310 .3850 32 3.3903 .7456 .9289 .6453 33* 2.8290 .8921 .9331 .1791 34* 3.7548 .9019 .9339 .0976 35 3.1452 .8292 .9311 .3881 36 2.9839 .8494 .9315 .3428 37 3.1355 .7203 .9303 .4685 38 3.3065 .7011 .9297 .5515 39 3.1419 .7542 .9304 .4574 40 3.0806 .8184 .9303 .4701 41 3.5677 .6438 .9295 .6024 42 3.5065 .6767 .9289 .6709 43 3.6161 .6162 .9296 .5955 44 3.0000 .7717 .9315 .3232 45 3.4742 .6997 .9311 .3718 46 3.3806 .6992 .9299 .5227 47 3.2774 .7550 .9292 .6031 *Poor Items

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165 Table G-3. Third item analysis for all 42 items of the revised student attitude scale pilot data with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted. Item Mean Standard Deviati on Alpha if Item Deleted Corr ected Item-Total Correlation 1 3.0710 .7427 .9403 .4317 2 2.8097 .7795 .9403 .4299 3 3.3968 .6925 .9393 .5607 4 3.5484 .5933 .9397 .5176 5 3.1161 .7370 .9395 .5358 6 3.2710 .7444 .9400 .4610 7 3.1355 .7639 .9401 .4564 8 3.2194 .7265 .9396 .5206 9 2.8581 .8918 .9407 .4134 11 2.9161 .8810 .9400 .4792 12 2.5742 .8001 .9405 .4115 13 2.6710 .7768 .9405 .4067 15 2.9355 .8566 .9399 .4957 17 3.6097 .6629 .9390 .6087 18 3.4097 .7695 .9381 .7031 19 3.4065 .6750 .9387 .6475 20 3.6355 .6227 .9394 .5587 21 3.7032 .5297 .9392 .6202 22 3.5129 .6766 .9388 .6286 23 3.4065 .7169 .9390 .5993 24 3.4290 .7149 .9397 .5081 25 3.3484 .7469 .9388 .6271 26 3.3290 .7513 .9407 .3760 27 3.3484 .7425 .9391 .5879 28 3.7290 .5252 .9396 .5442 29 3.6065 .5912 .9394 .5662 30 3.5484 .6604 .9394 .5538 31 3.6581 .5960 .9405 .3790 32 3.3903 .7456 .9387 .6368 35 3.1452 .8292 .9408 .3873 36 2.9839 .8494 .9410 .3627 37 3.1355 .7203 .9399 .4760 38 3.3065 .7011 .9393 .5636 39 3.1419 .7542 .9399 .4817 40 3.0806 .8184 .9400 .4796 41 3.5677 .6438 .9391 .5976 42 3.5065 .6767 .9386 .6658 43 3.6161 .6162 .9392 .5942 44 3.0000 .7717 .9411 .3363 45 3.4742 .6997 .9406 .3745 46 3.3806 .6992 .9396 .5257 47 3.2774 .7550 .9389 .6118 *Poor Items

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166 APPENDIX H FACTOR ANALYSIS Table H-1. First factor analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data with items 10 and 34 reverse coded. Item Factor Loadings on Factor Communalities (Extracted) # of Factors in Model Total Loading % Variance 1 2 .545 .413 1 13.219 28.125 2 10 .384 .417 2 2.976 6.332 3 2 .647 .558 3 2.744 5.838 4 2 .330 .423 4 1.990 4.235 5 1 .338 .432 5 1.637 3.483 6 5 .700 .589 6 1.523 3.239 7 5 .624 .518 7 1.250 2.660 8 2 .654 .575 8 1.160 2.469 9 2 .349 .392 9 1.113 2.367 10 8 .770 .664 10 1.077 2.291 11 2 .565 .458 11 1.023 2.177 12 3 .384 .498 12 .984 2.093 13 3 .451 .526 13 .937 1.993 14* 10 .418 .227 14 .895 1.904 15 9 .408 .470 15 .877 1.865 16* 11 .341 .208 16 .855 1.818 17 6 .642 .701 17 .809 1.721 18 6 .593 .779 18 .775 1.648 19 6 .458 .617 19 .668 1.421 20 1 .510 .579 20 .658 1.400 21 1 .477 .609 21 .630 1.339 22 4 .589 .647 22 .592 1.260 23 4 .697 .707 23 .555 1.181 24 4 .587 .525 24 .545 1.160 25 4 .427 .549 25 .528 1.123 26* 1 .314 .241 26 .482 1.025 27 4 .436 .476 27 .479 1.018 28 1 .759 .705 28 .455 .968 29 1 .742 .655 29 .430 .915 30 1 .561 .478 30 .422 .899 31 1 .378 .370 31 .403 .857 32 4 .387 .651 32 .392 .835 33* 1 .297 .220 33 .378 .804 34 8 .697 .563 34 .368 .783 35* 3 .397 .268 35 .343 .729 36 3 .585 .401 36 .324 .690 37 3 .690 .573 37 .297 .633 38 3 .533 .544 38 .291 .619 39 3 .715 .605 39 .267 .569 40 3 .371 .365 40 .265 .563 41 7 .715 .797 41 .244 .520 42 7 .581 .747 42 .240 .150 43 1 .499 .554 43 .215 .457 44 2 .244 .564 44 .204 .434 45 1 .283 .444 45 .180 .383 46 5 .457 .614 46 .154 .327 47 2 .528 .710 47 .149 .317

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167 Table H-2. Second factor analysis for all 42 items of the revised student attitude scale pilot data with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted. Item Factor Loadings on Factor Communalities (Extracted) # of Factors in Model Total Loading % Variance 1 3 .526 .361 1 13.084 31.152 2 4 .289 .338 2 2.803 6.673 3 3 .632 .548 3 2.288 5.448 4 5 .438 .448 4 1.795 4.274 5 6 .366 .461 5 1.545 3.679 6 6 .666 .531 6 1.296 3.085 7 6 .643 .508 7 1.198 2.852 8 3 .634 .562 8 1.071 2.550 9 6 .433 .357 9 1.022 2.434 11 3 .586 .454 11 .953 2.270 12 4 .462 .464 12 .938 2.234 13 4 .546 .521 13 .918 2.186 15 7 363 .437 15 .876 2.087 17 2 .276 .664 17 .830 1.976 18 5 .656 .774 18 .761 1.811 19 5 .522 .621 19 .734 1.748 20 2 .466 .581 20 .659 1.570 21 2 .488 .599 21 .619 1.475 22 1 .637 .629 22 .584 1.391 23 1 .695 .615 23 .565 1.344 24 1 .650 .551 24 .559 1.332 25 1 .496 .553 25 .524 1.248 26* 2 .304 .229 26 .505 1.203 27 1 .481 .495 27 .472 1.124 28 2 .777 .725 28 .443 1.055 29 2 .713 .626 29 .422 1.005 30 2 .526 .449 30 .418 .995 31 2 .375 .346 31 .407 .970 32 5 .554 .660 32 .393 .935 35* 4 .369 .265 35 .361 .859 36 4 .590 .391 36 .328 .781 37 4 .671 .563 37 .316 .753 38 4 .504 .540 38 .306 .728 39 4 .723 .597 39 .279 .664 40 4 .409 .377 40 .273 .651 41 1 .582 .604 41 .254 .605 42 1 .620 .686 42 .245 .584 43 2 .475 .537 43 .234 .557 44 7 .656 .552 44 .218 .520 45 7 .511 .443 45 .189 .451 46 6 .495 .576 46 .160 .382 47 3 .549 .675 47 .151 .360 Poor Items

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168 LIST OF REFERENCES Adams, C., Biddle, B., & Thomas, J. (1988). Pr esent status of environmental science in Texas public schools. Journal of Environmen tal Education, 19(3), 19-24. Andrews, H. & Marshall, R. (1991). Cha llenging high schools honors students with community college courses. Community College Review, 19, 47-51. Arcury, T. & Johnson, T. (1987). Public environmental knowledge: A statewide survey. Journal of Environmental Education, 18(4), 31-37. Arcury, T. Johnson, T., & Scollay, S. (1986). Ecological worldview and environmental knowledge: The "new environmental paradigm." Journal of Environmental Education, 17(4), 35-40. Baker, D. & Leary, R. (1995). Lettin g girls speak out about science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32 3-27. Barrow, L., & Morrisey, J. (1988-1989). Ener gy literacy of ninthgrade students: A comparison between Main and New Brunswick. Journal of Environmental Education, 20(2 ), 22-25. Bennett, D. (1982). Evaluating environmental edu cation in the context of a junior high school state studies program. Journal of Environmental Education, 13(4), 13-18. Bennett, D. (1988-1989). Four steps to eval uating environmental education learning experiences. Journal of Environmental Education, 20(2), 14-21. Blum, A. (1987). Students' knowledge and beli efs concerning environmental issues in Four countries. Journal of Environmental Education, 18(3), 7-13. Brody, M, Chipman, E, & Marion, S. (1988-1989) Student knowledge of scientific and natural resource concepts c oncerning acidic deposition. Journal of Environmental Education, 20(2), 32-42. Campbell, J. & Connolly, C. (1984). Impact of ethnicity on math and science among the gifted. (ERIC Document Reproducti on Service NO. ED251291), 1/24/2003. Campbell, K & Evans, C. (1993). Gender issues and the math/scien ce curricula: Effects on females. (ERIC Document Repro duction Service NO. 372943), 1/24/2003.

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169 Cannon, R.K. & Simpson, R.D. (1985). Relation ship among attitude motivation, and achievement of ability grouped, seventh-grade life science students. Science Education, 69, 121-138. Catsambis, S. (1995). Gender, race, ethnicity, and science education in the middle grades. Journal of Research in science Teaching, 32, 243-257. Chenoweth, K. (1999). Education's weak link. Black Issues in Higher Education, 16(1), 1-3. Clark, J.A.. (1999). Minorities in scien ce and math. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service NO. ED433216), 1/24/2003. Clewell, Anderson, & Thorpe. (1992). Breaking the Barriers San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publications, 3-14. College Board. (1997). Teacher's Guide: AP Environmental Science College Board, New York: NY. College Entrance Examination Board. (2000). Dispelling the culture of mediocrity: Expanding advanced placement. (ERI C Document Reproduction Service NO. ED445106), 5/10/2002. Curry, W., MacDonald, W., & Morgan, R. ( 1999). The advanced placement program: Access to excellence. Journal of Secondary Gift ed Education, 11(1), 17-23. Dooley, D. (2001). Social Research Methods Upper Saddle River, NY: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Doran, R. (1991). Enrollment in adva nced science courses in the USA. Science Education, 75, 613-618. Ellett, F. (1979). The foundations of e ducational evaluation. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service NO. ED177223), 1/6/2002. Ellingson, M., Haeger, W., & Feldhusen, J. (1986). The Purdue Mentor Program. Gifted Child Today, 9, 2-5. Feldhusen, J. (1983). University se rvices for highly gifted youth. The College Board Review, 126, 18-22.

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170 Freedman, M.P. (1997). Relationships among la boratory instruction, attitude toward science, and achievement in science knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34, 343-357. Gambro, J.S. & Switzky, H.S. (1996). A na tional survey of high school students' environmental knowledge. Journal of Environmental Education, 27(3), 28-33. Gambro, J.S. & Switzky, H.S. (1999). Vari ables associated with American high school students' knowledge of environm ental issues related to energy and pollution. Journal of Environmen tal Education, 30(2), 15-22. Germann, P. (1988). Development of the attit ude toward science in school assessment and its use to investigate the relation ship between science achievement and attitude toward science in school. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 25, 689-703. Greenfield, T.A. (1997). Gender-and grade-leve l differences in science interest and participation. Science Education, 81 259-276. Guba, E., and Lincoln, Y. (1982). Effective Evaluation San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Haladyna, T., & Shaughnessy, J. (1982). Atti tudes toward science: A quantitative synthesis. Science Education, 66, 547-563. Haladyna, T., Olsen, R., & Shaughnessy, J. (1982 ). Relations of student, teacher, and learning environment variables to attitude toward science. Science Education, 66, 671-687. Haladyna, T., Olsen, R., & Shaughnessy, J. (1983). Correlates of attitude toward science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 311-324. Henders, D., Fisher, D. & Fraser, B. (1998) Learning environment, student attitudes and effects of students' sex and other science study in environmental science classes. (ERIC Document Reprodu ction Service NO. ED420509), 1/20/2003. Herr, N. (1991). The influence of the program format on the professional development of science teachers: Teacher perceptions of AP and honors science courses. Science Teacher Education, 75, 619-629. Herr, N. (1992a). A comparative study of the perceived influence of advanced placement and honors programs upon science instruction. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29, 521-532. Herr, N. (1992b). Administrative policie s regarding advanced placement and honors coursework. NASSP Bulletin, May 1992, 8-87.

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171 Herr, N. (1993). The relationship between advanced placement and honors science courses. School Science and Mathematics, 93, 183-187. Howell, D.L. & Warmbrod, J.R. (1974). De veloping student attitudes toward environmental protection. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 29-30. Iozzi, L.A. (1989a). What research says to the educator part one: Environmental education and the affective domain. Journal of Environmental Education, 20(3), 3-9. Iozzi, L.A. (1989b). What research says to the educator part two: Environmental education and the affective domain. Journal of Environmental Education, 20(4), 6-13. Lucky, J.H. (1972). A study of the advanced pl acement program in high school biology. Memphis State University, Ann Arbor: Michigan. McFee, G. (1992). Triangulation in research: Two confusions. Educational Research, 34, 215-219. Meyers, W. (1981). The Evaluation Enterprise San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Morrell, P.D. & Lederman, N.G. (1998). Student s' attitudes toward school and classroom science: Are they independent? School Science a nd Mathematics, 98, 76-82. Myers, R.E. & Fouts, J.T. (1992). A cluster analysis of high school science classroom environments and attitude toward science. Journal of Research in Science teaching, 29, 929-937. North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. (1983 ). North Carolina science teacher profile. Grades 7-12. (ERI C Document Reproduction Service NO. ED244800), 12/5/2002. O'Hearn, G. (1982). What is the purpose of evaluation? Journal of Environmental Education, 13(4), 1-3. Oliver, J.S. & Simpson, R.D. (1988). Influences of attitude toward science, achievement motivation, and science self -concept on achievement in science: A longitudinal study. Science Education, 72, 143-155. Oregon University. (1999). Oregon early op tions study. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service NO. ED430470) ), 12/5/2002. Ornstein, A.C., Behar-Horenstei n, L.S. & Pajak, E.F. (2003). Contemporary Issues in Curriculum New York, NY: Pearson Education Inc.

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172 Pearson, W. & Bechtel, H.K. (1989). Blacks, Science, and American Education London: Rutgers University Press, 43-58. Peterson, A. (1977). The program of the international baccalaureate. The Journal of General Education, 28, 277-282. Peterson, A. (1983). Learning from experien ce in the internati onal baccalaureate program. The Journal of General Education, 35, 15-25. Poelzer, G., & Feldhusen, J. (1996). The inte rnational baccalaureate: A program for gifted secondary students. Roeper Review, 19, 168-171. Reiss, P.L. & Follo E.J. (1993). Accelerated education methods for in tellectually gifted secondary students. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service NO. ED359708), 3/12/2003. Schibeci, R.A. & Riley, J.P. (1986). Influen ce of students' background and perceptions on science attitudes and achievement. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23, 177-187. Simpson, R, & Oliver, S. (1985) Attitude toward science and achievement motivation profiles of male and female science students in grades six through ten. Science Education, 69, 511-526. Singletary, T.J. (1992). Case st udies of selected high school environmental education classes. Journal of Environmental Education, 23(4), 35-40. Sisk, D.A. (1988). The bored and disinteres ted child: Going through school lockstep. Journal for the Education of the Gifted. 11, 5-18. Stake, R. (1967). The countenance of educational evaluation. Teachers College Record, 68, p. 529. Starko, A.J. (1986). Meeting the needs of the gifted throughout the school day: Techniques for curriculum compacting. Roeper Review, 9, 27-33. Starko, A.J. (1989). The care a nd feeding of bright kids. Learning 89, 17, 72-77. Steinkamp, M.W. & Maehr, M.L. (1984). Gender differences in motivational orientations toward achievement in sc hool science: A quantitative synthesis. American Educational Research Journal, 21 39-59. Talton, E.L. & Simpson, R.D. (1987). Relations hips of attitude toward classroom environment with attitude toward and achievement in science among tenth grade biology students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 24, 502-525.

PAGE 185

173 Taylor, F.E. (1989). Pers pectives on giftedness. Gifted Child Today, 12, 46-49. Troidl, R. & DeGracie, J. (1984). The Mesa Un ified School District Advanced Placement Program: Perspectives of former st udents. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service NO. ED250366), 12/22/2001. Trouson, R. & Colvin, R.L. (2002, April 7). Rapid growth of advanced placement classes raises concerns. LA Times Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com, 5/20/2002. Weinburgh, M. (1995). Gender diffe rence in student attitudes toward science: A metaanalysis of the literature from 1970-1991. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32, 387-398. Wood, B. (2001). Stake's countenance model: Ev aluating an environmental education professional development course. Journal of Environmental Education, 32(2), 1827.

PAGE 186

174 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Rebecca Ann Penwell was born in Dayton, Ohio on March 31, 1974, two days before the big tornado hit. She moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, with her mother and younger sister at the age of fi ve. Rebecca grew up in little Washington and attended Joe Walker Elementary School and McGuffey Mi ddle and High School. She graduated in 1992. After graduation Rebecca moved north to the frozen tundra of Meadville, Pennsylvania, to study biology and environmen tal science at Allegheny College. In the fall of 1994 she studied marine biology at th e Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina. She graduated in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in biology and environmental science. Next, she moved to Miami, Florida, to pursue a master's degree in biology at Florida International University, where she studi ed the effects of turbidity on coral. As a teaching assistant she taught marine and gene ral biology labs for th ree years. Rebecca also had the opportunity to teac h a marine biology lecture cla ss before she graduated with her biology master's in 1996. After graduation, she took a job teach ing general biology at Miami-Dade Community College. It was through this teaching experience that Rebecca was convinced she had a love for teaching and thus decided to pursue a doctorate in science education at the University of Florida in the Fall of 1999.

PAGE 187

175 She received a M.Ed. in scie nce education from the University of Florida in 2001. As a teaching assistant there she had the privilege of teaching Elementary Science Methods classes for three years. Rebecca ha s learned a great deal about teaching and about herself through her many years and experiences in graduate school.


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0000913/00001

Material Information

Title: An Evaluation of the Advanced Placement Program in Environmental Science
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Penwell, Rebecca Ann ( Dissertant )
Cronin-Jones, Linda ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2003
Copyright Date: 2003

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Teaching and Learning thesis, Ph. D.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Teaching and Learning
Spatial Coverage: United States--California
United States--Florida
United States--New York

Notes

Abstract: Stakeholders' perceptions of the Advanced Placement Program in Environmental Science (APES) in California, Florida, and New York were evaluated. Research questions focused on teacher and student profiles, attitudes toward APES, the effect of gender and ethnicity on attitudes, differences in self-report data by teachers and students, strengths and weaknesses of APES and a match between implementation and College Board guidelines. Twelve teachers and 355 students completed attitude surveys, and 10 students and one teacher were interviewed. The results indicated that APES students spend few hours per week studying and doing homework. Most APES students are White 12th grade females with high grade point averages who have taken more than three high school science classes. APES students do not completed many other Advanced Placement classes. Further results indicated that APES teachers spend more hours preparing to teach than students spend studying. They also spend more time grading assignments than students spend doing homework. APES teachers were mostly White females who live in suburban areas. On average, students and teachers reported overall positive attitudes toward APES. Gender and ethnicity do not significantly influence students' attitudes toward APES. The student interview data corroborated the student survey data. Students reported spending less than one hour per week on labs, fieldwork, independent research, presentations, and identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing and working on solutions to environmental problems. Teachers and students identified fieldwork and class discussions as important strengths of APES classes while spending an insufficient amount of time on field and lab work were identified as the most significant weakness. Teachers reportedly did not follow many of the APES guidelines identified by the College Board, including offering one lab a week and spending a significant amount of time doing fieldwork and working on environmental problems. Recommendations for improvement of the APES Program include increasing the amount of time spent on lab activities and fieldwork and time spent working on solutions to environmental problems and hands-on activities. Additionally, schools need funding to purchase lab equipment and high schools should adopt block scheduling to allow APES classes more time for lab and fieldwork.
Subject: advanced, apes, attitudes, environmental, evaluation, placement, science, student, teachers, toward
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2003.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0000913:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0000913/00001

Material Information

Title: An Evaluation of the Advanced Placement Program in Environmental Science
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Penwell, Rebecca Ann ( Dissertant )
Cronin-Jones, Linda ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2003
Copyright Date: 2003

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Teaching and Learning thesis, Ph. D.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Teaching and Learning
Spatial Coverage: United States--California
United States--Florida
United States--New York

Notes

Abstract: Stakeholders' perceptions of the Advanced Placement Program in Environmental Science (APES) in California, Florida, and New York were evaluated. Research questions focused on teacher and student profiles, attitudes toward APES, the effect of gender and ethnicity on attitudes, differences in self-report data by teachers and students, strengths and weaknesses of APES and a match between implementation and College Board guidelines. Twelve teachers and 355 students completed attitude surveys, and 10 students and one teacher were interviewed. The results indicated that APES students spend few hours per week studying and doing homework. Most APES students are White 12th grade females with high grade point averages who have taken more than three high school science classes. APES students do not completed many other Advanced Placement classes. Further results indicated that APES teachers spend more hours preparing to teach than students spend studying. They also spend more time grading assignments than students spend doing homework. APES teachers were mostly White females who live in suburban areas. On average, students and teachers reported overall positive attitudes toward APES. Gender and ethnicity do not significantly influence students' attitudes toward APES. The student interview data corroborated the student survey data. Students reported spending less than one hour per week on labs, fieldwork, independent research, presentations, and identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing and working on solutions to environmental problems. Teachers and students identified fieldwork and class discussions as important strengths of APES classes while spending an insufficient amount of time on field and lab work were identified as the most significant weakness. Teachers reportedly did not follow many of the APES guidelines identified by the College Board, including offering one lab a week and spending a significant amount of time doing fieldwork and working on environmental problems. Recommendations for improvement of the APES Program include increasing the amount of time spent on lab activities and fieldwork and time spent working on solutions to environmental problems and hands-on activities. Additionally, schools need funding to purchase lab equipment and high schools should adopt block scheduling to allow APES classes more time for lab and fieldwork.
Subject: advanced, apes, attitudes, environmental, evaluation, placement, science, student, teachers, toward
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2003.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0000913:00001


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AN EVALUATION OF THE ADVANCED PLACEMENT PROGRAM IN
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
















By

REBECCA ANN PENWELL


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003



























I dedicate this dissertation to my late father, Harold Russell Penwell, Jr., who I never had
the chance to know, and my late grandfather, Edward Kolaczynski, who was always there
to make me laugh and brighten up my life. I also dedicate this dissertation to my mother
Karen Penwell, who showed me that life is not always the way we perceive it, that we
have the chance to make it better, and to learn to understand each other. I also dedicate
this work to my grandmother, Anna Kolaczynski, who gave me so much love and support
and made sure that I always had good food to eat, and to my little sister, Maria Friday,
who was always there to remind me that I should finish school because I was getting old.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First of all I would like to thank the members of my doctoral committee. My chair,

Dr. Linda Jones, has encouraged me to write proposals and present papers at conferences

over the years, but she has also been patient, supportive, and helpful during the

frustrating times of my doctoral experience. Dr. Rose Pringle has always had her office

door open to me when I needed to talk, yell, scream, or cry because of difficult students

or when I was fighting my lack of motivation during the writing of my dissertation. Dr.

Randall Penfield has always had his office door open to me when I needed advice, or just

had so many ideas and questions about statistics that I wanted to explore. Dr. Susan

Jacobson made me really expand my mind for my qualifying exams, but that was

eventually greatly appreciated. E.O. Wilson should be an inspiration to us all.

I would like to also acknowledge my grandfather, Harold Russell Penwell, and my

grandmother, Kathleen Penwell, whom I did not have the opportunity to spend as much

time with as I would have liked, but who were always so supportive and proud of me. I

would like to thank my many friends near and far, especially Sherine El-Sawa, Chris

Wickson, Tony Dominick, Cindy McCallum, Courtney Johnson, Meral Hakverdi, Steve

Swanson, and Kathryn Hammer, for listening to all of my frustrations and triumphs and

especially for reading parts of my dissertation. Without all of their patience,

understanding, support, and love, I never would have had the motivation to complete this

work
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iii

L IST O F T A B L E S .................................................................... .... .... ........... viii

ABSTRACT .............. .......................................... xi

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

History of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program ...............1.....1
Im portance of the Study ............................................................................... ...... ..2
Purpose of the Study ............... ..................................................4
R research Q uestions........... .................................................................... ........ .. .. ...
D description of the Study ............................................ .... .... ................ .5
T heoretical Fram ew ork .......... ..... ........................................................ ................ .5
Attitude Model ..................... ................................ 5
Evaluation M odel .................................... .............................
D definition of Term s ............................................................9
M methods ............................................................................10
Survey Study Sam ple ........................... .... .... .... ............... 10
Observation/Interview Study Sam ple....................................... ............... 11
D ata C collection and A analysis ................................... ................. .... ........... ... 11
L im stations of the Study ........................................... ....................................... 14
D elim stations of the Study ........................................................................... ...... 14
Sum m ary of Chapters ..... .......................... ............................ ............... 14

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................... 15

Introdu action ........................................................ ............. ................. 15
Status of Environm ental K now ledge .................................. ..................................... 15
High School Accelerated Programs...................................................................... 18
Curriculum Com acting ......................................................... .............. 19
Subject A acceleration .................. .......................... .... .. .. .............. ... 20
H honors courses ................................................... .......... ... ... ...... .. 20
International Baccalaureate Program ................................. ............... 21
Advanced Placem ent Program .......................................... ............... 22
M entorships .................................... ................................ ........26



iv









D ual Enrollm ent ........................................ .... ....... .... ....... 26
E arly A dm mission to C ollege........................................... .......................... 27
A advanced Science C ourses.............................................................. .....................27
Environm ental Science Courses ........................................ ........................... 28
Goals of Environm ental Science Courses ................................. ............... 30
Difficulties Inherent in Teaching Environmental Science ................................31
Importance of Studying Students' Attitudes Toward Science .............. ....................31
Students' Attitudes Toward Science .......................................... ....................... 32
The Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program ....................................35
Advanced Placement Environmental Science Guidelines...................................36
Advanced Placement Environmental Science Teacher Training Workshops .....36
The Advanced Placement Environmental Science Exam ..................................37

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 39

Introduction ....................... ....... ................... .. .................. 39
D description of the Study ......... ................. ..................................... ........................39
R research Q uestions............ ................................................................ ........ .. ... 40
Survey Study Sam ple............. ...... ...... ..... ................................... 41
Observation/Interview Study Sample ......... ... .... .. ....... .......................42
D ata Sources/D ata C ollection.......................................................... ............... 42
Teacher and Student Surveys ........................................ ......................... 43
A PE S C lass O bservations......................................................... ............... 43
APES Class Interview s......................................................... ............... 44
Observation/Interview D ata Analysis..................................... ........................ 45
Survey Instrumentation/Data Analysis ......................................... ...............46
Pilot Testing..................................................... ....... ........... 50
Reliability/Construct Validity ................................... ...... ................. 50
Limitations to Reliability and Construct Validity ............................................54
F ace V alid ity .................................................... ................ 6 2

4 QUANTITATIVE RESULTS .............................................................................64

Introdu action ...................................... ................................................. 64
R research Q uestions............ ................................................................ ........ .. ... 64

5 CASE STUDY OF AN ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL
SC IEN C E C L A SS ................. ........ ...................... ............ ... .. .............80

Introduction..................................... .................................. ........... 80
M eth o d s .............................................................................. 8 0
Case Study Sam ple .................. ............................ .. ........ .. ............ 80
D ata Sources .................................................................... ......... 81
A PE S C lass O bservations......................................................... ............... 81
A PE S C lass Interview s.............. .............. ........................... ............... 81
D ata A n aly sis ............................. ....................................................... ............... 82
A rea s o f F o cu s ............... .............. ................................................ .. 8 2









D em graphic Inform ation ................................................ ....................................83
Description of the Teacher ................................. .................................. 83
D description of the Students ........................................... ........... ............... 83
C u rricu lu m ................ .......... ......... .. ..............................................8 4
Classroom Learning Environment ............... ..........................................84
Physical Classroom Environm ent..................................... ....................... 84
D e sk s ............................................................................................................... 8 5
P la n n in g ...................... .. ............. .. .....................................................8 6
C ontent S election ........... ........................................................ ...... ..... 86
L esson C content .............................................................................. ..........86
Instructional Methodology and Teaching Strategies................................................88
L e c tu re ................. .......... ............ ... .................................................8 8
Independent Study D ays........................................................... ............... 90
C cooperative L earning ............................ ....................... .. ...... .... ............9 1
Review ........................ .............................92
Discussions .............. .................................93
Questioning .......................... ........... .. ........................93
Student Presentations/Independent Student Research ...................... ............. 94
H ands-on Learning A ctivities......................................... .......... ............... 95
C classroom M anagem ent ..................................................................... ..................95
A ssessm ent ........................................................... 96
M atch W ith A PE S Guidelines ............................. ......................... ...............97
Lab Activities/Fieldwork...................................................... 97
Environm mental Problem s/Solutions ........................................... .. ............ 97
Characteristics of Students ........................................................................... 99
APES Exam ................................................. .................. 100
Strengths/Weakness of APES .......................... ................................. 101

6 QUANTITATIVE/QUALITATIVE RESULTS AND
CONCLU SION S/IM PLICATION S ...................................................... ............... 104

Introdu action ................................................................................................ 104
R research Q uestions........... ................................................................ .. .... .. ... ... 104
Quantitative R results ............................................................................104
Qualitative Results ....................................... ........ ............. 107
L ab A c tiv itie s .............................................................................................. 1 0 7
Fieldwork .................. .............................................. 108
Environm mental Problem s/Solutions........................... ................ .... .......... 108
Lecture ................................ ............. .................... 108
Cooperative Group W ork .......................... ... .............. ........................ 109
Student Independent Research ........................................ ....... ............... 109
C lass D discussions ............................... ..... ............. .... ...... ..... 110
Student Presentations .................................. .. ................. ........ ... ... 110
Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results .................................... 110
Q uantitative R results ......... ......................... ........ .. ........ .............. 111
Qualitative Results........................ .................. ...... ................ 114
Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results .............................117









Q uantitative R esults..................................................................................... 117
Qualitative Results................................... .............. .. ................. 118
Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Results .............. ....................119
Quantitative Results ............ ..... .... .......... ........ ........... .. 119
L ab A ctivities/Fieldw ork .............................. ..... ................... ............... 119
Environm ental Problem s ............................................................................120
Q u alitativ e R esults........... ...... ................................. ................ .. .... ...... .. 12 1
C o n c lu sio n s......................................................................................................... 12 2
R research Q questions ................................................. .. ...... .. ................122
Class Activities ............ .............................. 135
Guidelines/Teacher Training ................. ....... ................ ............... 136
Funding ...... ................................ .........136
Teacher Recruitment/ Student Recruitment/Selection .....................................136
O their Suggestions.................................................. .. ...... .... ........ .... 138
Overall Implications for the APES Program ..................................................138
Implications for Further Educational Research...............................................139
O overall C onclusions......... .......................................................... ... ... .... ...... 139

APPENDIX

A APES CONTENT GUIDELINES ........................................ ........................ 141

B TEA CH ER SU R VEY ..................... .. .. ............. ........................... ............... 144

C U D E N T SU R V E Y ............................................................. ..... ............................152

D ACHER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ........................................... ............... 159

E UDENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ........................................... ............... 161

F UDY DESIGN AND TIMELINE ........................................ ........................ 162

G EM ANALYSIS ........................................................ .............. ..... 163

H FA C T O R A N A L Y SIS .............................................................. .... .................... 166

LIST OF REFEREN CES ........................................................... .. ............... 168

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................................................... ........174
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

1-1. Research Questions and Data Collection and Analysis Tools................................13

3-1. Self-report and demographic items on the student survey. .....................................47

3-2. Self-report and demographic items on the teacher survey. .....................................47

3-3. O original student attitude scale item s...................................... ........................ 49

3-4. Items that were reverse coded after the first student attitude scale item analysis. ....51

3-5. Items deleted from the student attitude scale.................................. ............... 52

3-6. Descriptive statistics for the revised student attitude scale and subscales with
item s 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted. ........................................ ...... ............... 53

3-7. Items in the 1-factor model for the revised student attitude scale...........................54

3-8. Attitude scale and subscale questions for the teacher assessment instrument..........56

3-9. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other
class activities on the student survey.................................. ......................... 57

3-10. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other
class activities on the teacher survey........ .............................. ................... 58

3-11. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class
activities on the student survey. ........................................ ......................... 60

3-12. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class
activities on the teacher survey. ........................................ ......................... 60

3-13. Standards set by the College Board for the amount of time that should be
spent on APES class activities. ........................................ .......................... 61

3-14. Teacher interview item ................................................ ............................... 61

3-15. Student interview item .............. .............. ............. ........................ ............... 61

4-1. Student frequency of responses for self-report and demographic items. ..................65









4-2. Teacher frequency of responses for self-report and demographic items .................66

4-3. Descriptive statistics for the student attitude scale ................................................69

4-4. Descriptive statistics for the teacher attitude scale.................................................74

4-5. Two-way ANOVA for gender and ethnicity. ...................................................77

4-6. Student total attitude scale and class, teacher, and student subscale descriptive
statistics for gender and ethnicity .................................................. ......... ...... 77

4.7. 95% confidence intervals for student total attitude scale and class, teacher, and
student subscales for gender and ethnicity. ............. ......................... ...............78

5-1. Description of students interviewed. .............................................. ............... 83

5-2. Major types of instructional techniques used and the percentage of time
ob served. ............................................................................89

6-1. Most frequent responses for the amount of time spent on APES and other class
activities on the student and teacher surveys. .............................. ............... .106

6-2. Categories of the most important APES strengths reported by students on the
survey. .................................... ................................. ........... 113

6-3. Categories of the most significant APES weaknesses reported by students on
the survey. .................................... ................................ ..........115

6-4. Categories of the most important APES strengths reported by teachers on the
survey. .................................... ................................. ........... 118

6-5. Categories of the most important APES weaknesses reported by teachers on
the survey. .................................... ................................ ..........118

6-6. Standards set by the College Board for the amount of time that should be
spent on APES class activities. ........................................ .......................... 120

6-7. Most frequent responses for the amount of time spent on APES class activities
on the student and teacher surveys. ........................................ ...... ............... 120

A-1. Advanced Placement Environmental Science Content Guidelines ......................141

D-1. APES teacher interview questions. ........................................ ....... ............... 159

E-1. A PE S student interview questions ................................... ..................................... 161

G-1. First item analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data............ 163









G-2. Second item analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data
with item s 10 and 34 reverse coded. ........................................... ............... 164

G-3. Third item analysis for all 42 items of the revised student attitude scale pilot
data with item s 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted. ................... ................... .......... 165

H-1. First factor analysis for all 47 items of the student attitude scale pilot data
with item s 10 and 34 reverse coded. ........................................... ............... 166

H-2. Second factor analysis for all 42 items of the revised student attitude scale
pilot data with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted ................ ...................167






xi









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

AN EVALUATION OF THE ADVANCED PLACEMENT PROGRAM IN
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
By

Rebecca Ann Penwell

August 2003


Chair: Linda Cronin-Jones
Major Department: Teaching and Learning

Stakeholders' perceptions of the Advanced Placement Program in Environmental

Science (APES) in California, Florida, and New York were evaluated. Research

questions focused on teacher and student profiles, attitudes toward APES, the effect of

gender and ethnicity on attitudes, differences in self-report data by teachers and students,

strengths and weaknesses of APES and a match between implementation and College

Board guidelines. Twelve teachers and 355 students completed attitude surveys, and 10

students and one teacher were interviewed.

The results indicated that APES students spend few hours per week studying and

doing homework. Most APES students are White 12th grade females with high grade

point averages who have taken more than three high school science classes. APES

students do not completed many other Advanced Placement classes. Further results

indicated that APES teachers spend more hours preparing to teach than students spend

studying. They also spend more time grading assignments than students spend doing









homework. APES teachers were mostly White females who live in suburban areas. On

average, students and teachers reported overall positive attitudes toward APES. Gender

and ethnicity do not significantly influence students' attitudes toward APES. The student

interview data corroborated the student survey data. Students reported spending less than

one hour per week on labs, fieldwork, independent research, presentations, and

identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing and working on solutions to environmental

problems.

Teachers and students identified fieldwork and class discussions as important

strengths of APES classes while spending an insufficient amount of time on field and lab

work were identified as the most significant weakness. Teachers reportedly did not

follow many of the APES guidelines identified by the College Board, including offering

one lab a week and spending a significant amount of time doing fieldwork and working

on environmental problems. Recommendations for improvement of the APES Program

include increasing the amount of time spent on lab activities and fieldwork and time spent

working on solutions to environmental problems and hands-on activities. Additionally,

schools need funding to purchase lab equipment and high schools should adopt block

scheduling to allow APES classes more time for lab and fieldwork.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

History of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program

As national interest in environmental issues increased in the 1990's, the Advanced

Placement Environmental Science (APES) Program was created. It is the most recent of

the Advanced Placement (AP) Science Programs and was approved for adoption in May

of 1998. In 1993, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for the College Board recognized

the need for an AP ecology course and funded research to determine its feasibility. The

resulting study suggested that a course in AP environmental science be offered instead of

AP ecology because the goal of environmental science courses is to create citizens who

can make intelligent, informed decisions concerning environmental issues (College

Board, 1997).

In a follow-up study, faculty in more than 300 college biology, environmental

science, and interdepartmental programs were surveyed to determine their attitudes

concerning the offering of an AP Environmental Science Program (College Board, 1997).

The results indicated that most colleges and universities already offered an introductory-

level environmental science course and could support an AP Environmental Science

Program. High schools that already had AP Programs in place were also surveyed to

determine their attitudes regarding an AP Environmental Science Program. The

respondents stated that their schools already had some type of environmental science

course in place or would be interested in offering a course in environmental science,

indicating that secondary schools were also willing to support the offering of an AP









environmental science class. Additionally, the survey revealed that high school students

were interested in participating in an AP environmental science course (College Board,

1997).

The goals of APES focus on processes and systems and include student experiences

such as

* Evaluating information
* Applying concepts to new information
* Understanding natural systems
* Asking questions
* Recognizing how humans have impacted the environment
* Understanding the limits of science and
* Devising solutions to environmental problems (College Board, 1997).

Importance of the Study

This study is based on a modification of a previous study evaluating the Advanced

Placement Biology Program (APBP) (Lucky, 1972). Lucky (1972) investigated the

attitudes of students, teachers, and principals involved in the APBP in high schools in

Memphis, Tennessee, during the 1970-71 academic year. The current study evaluated the

Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program (APESP) in four high schools in

California, Florida, and New York. It investigated the types of students and teachers

involved in the APESP and their attitudes towards the program. It is important to

determine students' attitudes toward APES because students' attitudes toward science

affect their science achievement and knowledge (Cannon & Simpson, 1985; Schibeci &

Riley, 1986; & Weinburgh, 1995). The current study also highlighted the program's

strengths and weaknesses and provided recommendations for program improvement.

The current study was needed because the Advanced Placement Environmental

Science Program has not been evaluated since its 1998 inception. Education programs









should be evaluated using quantitative and qualitative methods because without such

evaluation it cannot be determined if programs are achieving their goals (O'Hearn, 1982).

In the case of the APES Program, it is important to determine whether it is being

implemented according to the guidelines developed by the College Examination Board.

Currently, there is no evidence to support whether or not the APES Program is achieving

its goals, or if the design of the program is functioning to benefit the stakeholders

(students and teachers involved in APES).

One previous study has been conducted to determine the demographics of students

who take AP exams (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000), but there have been no

studies specifically investigating the demographics of students and teachers of APES

classes. The current study provides a baseline for studies of other AP programs. It is

important to determine the types of students and teachers involved in the Advanced

Placement Environmental Science Program especially because the College Examination

Board is seeking new ways to increase the enrollment of poor (low-income) and minority

(Hispanic and African American) students in AP classes (College Entrance Examination

Board, 2000).

The data from the current study also provided information regarding the strengths

and weaknesses of the program as perceived by teachers and students. These findings

were used to develop recommendations for program improvement, and to highlight areas

of the program that teachers and students viewed differently. The data were also used to

provide explanations of why teachers do or do not follow the guidelines for APES set

forth by the College Examination Board.









Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to evaluate stakeholders' perceptions of the

Advanced Placement Environmental Science Programs in 12 high schools in California,

Florida, and New York. Specifically this study gathered data pertaining to the following

six categories:

* General characteristics of students and teachers participating in the Advanced
Placement Environmental Science Program.

* Attitudes of students and teachers toward the APES Program.

* Gender and ethnic differences in student attitudes toward the APES Program.

* Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the program identified by teachers and
students.

* Match between stated APES goals/guidelines and actual implementation.

* Recommendations for improvement of the program.

The above six categories were used to develop 10 research questions, which are listed in

the section below.

Research Questions

1. What is the profile of students who enroll in APES?

2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES?

3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES?

4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES?

5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity?

6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class
activities reported by students and teachers?

7. What do students feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES?

8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES?









9. How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the goals/guidelines
stated by the College Board?

10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES?

Description of the Study

This was an exploratory study designed to describe and evaluate the Advanced

Placement Environmental Science Program in 12 high schools in California, Florida, and

New York.

Theoretical Framework

Attitude Model

The theoretical framework used to measure the construct of students' and teachers'

attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environmental Science is based on the model

developed by Haladyna, Olsen, and Shaughnessy (1982, 1983). This model suggests that

student, teacher, and learning environment variables affect students' attitudes toward

science and arise from factors that cannot be controlled (age of the teacher, gender of the

student, or condition of the classroom) and from factors that can be controlled (teacher

praise and student reinforcement, the relationship students have with each other, and the

tone of the classroom). Haladyna et al. (1983) identified three variables that affect

students' attitudes toward science:

* Self-confidence
* Fatalism
* Feelings of the importance of science.

They suggested that either students enjoy science because they feel that it is important, or

they feel that science is important because they enjoy it. Students with high academic

self-confidence who believe they control their academic fate have more positive attitudes

toward science. Most importantly, Haladyna et al. (1982, 1983) posited that the









following four factors are the most significant factors predicting students' attitudes

toward science:

* Teacher enthusiasm
* Respect for teacher knowledge
* Teacher support for students
* Praise and commitment to learning fairness.

The learning environment variables shown to affect students' positive attitudes toward

science were

* Overall satisfaction
* Enjoyment of classmates
* Positive class environment
* Organized instruction
* Attentiveness (Haladyna et al, 1982).

This current study was designed to determine stakeholders' perceptions of the

APES Program by focusing on the three facets of student variables, teacher variables, and

learning environment variables that function together to explain the construct of student

attitude toward science. A construct is a complex, inferred concept (Dooley, 2001),

which can be made up of parts or facets. Student and teacher attitude surveys were

developed specifically for this study and included items pertaining to students' and

teachers' attitudes toward student variables, teacher variables, and learning environment

variables in an attempt to determine students' and teachers' attitudes toward Advanced

Placement Environmental Science.

Evaluation Model

The evaluation of an educational program is important because it establishes the

worth or value of that program (O'Hearn, 1982). Evaluation and communication of

results to stakeholders are keys to the success of any program (Bennett, 1982). Currently,

two basic types of educational evaluation paradigms exist. One is descriptive or









empirical and explains events or phenomena and is often referred to as educational

evaluation analysis. The other type of evaluation theory is normative and defines the

applicability of educational activities and the techniques that should be used to perform

them. Normative evaluation approaches are used to make value judgments regarding

activities or programs (Ellett, 1979). In this study, an evaluation of the Advanced

Placement Environmental Science Program was conducted using a combination of

empirical and normative approaches.

Of particular interest to this study is the Bennett model (1988-1989), which outlines

four steps for evaluating environmental education programs. The first step is to set

expectations for the evaluation. In this step, the evaluator asks, "What is the goal of the

evaluation?" Step two involves planning of the evaluation. The evaluator needs to

determine how to design the evaluation, what kind of data he/she will collect, how and

when he/she will collect the data, and how the data will be recorded. The third step is

determining the results of the evaluation. Did the evaluator achieve the objective of the

evaluation; were there any unexpected outcomes; and were there any problems with the

evaluation? The final step involves using the results of the evaluation. The evaluator

needs to decide who should see the results, how will they be used, and how to improve

the program (Bennett 1988-1989).

Stake's (1967) Countenance Model provided the basis for the APES evaluation

design because it focuses on describing and making judgments about a program. Stake

(1967) provided a framework for evaluators to collect, organize, and interpret both

qualitative and quantitative data. His model separates descriptive from judgmental

activities and determines whether they occur as antecedents (are prior evaluation









conditions), transactions (occur during the implementation of the educational program),

or outcomes (the results of the program). In Stake's (1967) model, descriptive activities

are subdivided into intended and observed. Judgmental activities are subdivided into

standards used to make judgments and the actual judgments about the educational

program being evaluated. Stake (1971) recommended that evaluators study the

relationships among program antecedents, transactions, and outcomes. His model is

extremely useful for educational program evaluation. It provides broad insights

regarding the successes and shortcomings of programs because it investigates links

among all aspects of a program (Wood, 2001). The Stake model also helps researchers

determine whether teaching and learning processes are followed as prescribed by

guidelines or other standards (Guba & Lincoln, 1982).

The framework for this current evaluation of the APES program followed the four

steps of the Bennett model. In step one, the research questions were developed. Step two

involved determining the types of data, data sources, and data collection methods needed

to answer the research questions. The third step involved analysis of the data and

identification of key results, and the fourth step focused on making suggestions for

improvement of the APES Program.

Throughout all four steps of the Bennett evaluation model, antecedent, transaction

and outcome components of the Stake model (1967) were incorporated. Antecedents

investigated included the demographic characteristics of students and teachers involved

in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program in selected schools in

California, Florida, and New York. The transactions investigated focused on student and

teacher reports regarding implementation of the program. Specific transactions studied









included the types of and amount of time spent on various classroom activities such as

lab activities, fieldwork, lecture, cooperative group work, student independent research,

class discussions, and identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing, and preventing

environmental problems was also collected. These transactions were also compared to

standards and guidelines prescribed by the College Board. The outcomes investigated in

this study focused on the affective domain, specifically, attitudes of teachers and students

toward APES.

All 10 of the research questions investigated in this study required the collection

and analysis of quantitative data. To provide further insight into the APES Program,

qualitative data were also gathered via classroom observations and interviews of a teacher

and 10 students in one Advanced Placement Environmental Science class at a high school

in Gainesville, Florida. Qualitative data from this case study supplemented the

quantitative data and helped answer research questions 6-10. Figure 1-1 contains a flow

chart illustrating the evaluation design used in this study.

Definition of Terms

Specialized terms used in this study are discussed below.

Advanced Placement Program. A program designed by the College Board to

give high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses while still in high

school.

Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program. An Advanced

Placement Program course in environmental science.

APESP. An abbreviation for Advanced Placement Environmental Science

Program.

APES. An abbreviation for Advanced Placement Environmental Science.










Environmental Science. The study of the natural sciences in an interdisciplinary
context that always includes consideration of people and how they have influenced
the systems under examination. It includes many aspects of biology, earth and
atmospheric sciences, fundamental principles of chemistry and physics, human
population dynamics, and appreciation for biological and natural resources.
(College Board, 1997, p, 1)

Student Teacher
Characteristics Characteristics
ANTECEDENT Research Research
Question 1 Question 2


Implementation of APES
TRANSACTIONS Research Questions 6, 7, 8


Outcomes
OUTCOMES Research Questions 3, 4, 5


Comparison to
Standards
Research Question 9

Recommendations to
Improve APES
Research Question 10



Figure 1-1. Flow Chart of Evaluation Procedure.

Methods

Survey Study Sample

California, Florida, and New York were selected for this study because they are the

three states with the highest numbers of schools having at least 10 students who took the

Advanced Placement Environmental Science exam in 2000. A letter explaining the study

and asking for participation was sent to 50 APES teachers from 50 randomly selected

schools in each of the three states. Follow-up postcards were sent one month later to

those teachers who had not responded to encourage more participation. The 15 teachers

from five schools in each state who agreed to participate were then sent teacher and









student surveys. The final sample consisted of four schools in each state: California,

Florida and New York and included a total of 12 teachers and 355 students who filled out

and returned the surveys. The student sample was 61% female, and 56% White, 17%

Hispanic, 16% Asian, 8% Black, and 4% other ethnic groups. The majority of the

students were in 12th grade (52%), followed by 46% in 11th grade, 2% in 10th grade, and

1% in 9th grade. The teachers were 100% White and 60% female.

Observation/Interview Study Sample

The case study sample was included to collect qualitative data and to add to the

richness of the survey data, to provide insights into the interpretation of the survey data,

and for triangulation. The case study site was chosen because it was one of two high

school AP Environmental Science class sites in Gainesville, Florida, that had a teacher

willing to participate and was the most convenient location for the researcher to visit.

The class was taught by a White male teacher and contained 30 students in the class

(19 females and 11 males). All of the students were White except for one Asian female

and two Black females. The majority of the students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th

four 11th, and four 12th graders. Ten of these students were chosen to be interviewed

based on gender, ethnicity, grade level, APES class grade, and overall grade point

average to make the sample as heterogeneous as possible.

Data Collection and Analysis

Surveys were completed by teachers of four Advanced Placement Environmental Science

courses in each state. The teachers filled out a teacher survey and a data sheet providing

information specific to their Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes

(Appendix B). The teachers then administered a student survey to all students in each

section of their Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes (Appendix C).









Additional data were collected through 10 class observations and teacher and student

interviews at the case study APES class site. Table 1-1 summarizes the data collection

and analysis techniques used to investigate each research question. Questions 1-5

utilized quantitative data from the survey study sample while questions 6-10 were

investigated using a combination of quantitative survey data and qualitative survey and

case study data.

Research questions 1 and 2 were analyzed by calculating the frequency of

responses for each survey item. Research question 3 was analyzed by computing an

average attitude scale score for each student and by computing descriptive statistics

(means, standard deviations) and a 95% confidence interval for individual attitude items.

Descriptive statistics, such as means and standard deviations, for the overall attitude scale

as well as individual attitude items were also computed to answer research question 4. A

two-way ANOVA was conducted to investigate research question 5. The remaining five

research questions were investigated using both quantitative and qualitative data sources.

The quantitative data were analyzed by calculating the frequency of responses for

relevant survey or interview items and the case study observation field notes were

analyzed using the constant comparison method.

The two assumptions used to interpret the results of this study were:

* Teachers and students have particular attitudes toward APES
* Teachers and students properly followed the directions on the surveys.








13



Table 1-1. Research Questions and Data Collection and Analysis Tools.
Research Question Types of Data Study Data Collection Data
Subjects Tools Analysis

1. What is the profile of students enrolled in Demographic Students Survey Frequency


APES?

2. What is the profile of teachers who teach
APES?

3. What are the attitudes of students
toward APES?







4. What are the attitudes of teachers
toward APES?

5. Do the attitudes of students toward
APES differ by gender or ethnicity?

6. Are there differences in the amount of
time spent on APES and other class activities
reported by students and teachers?



7. What do students feel are the
strengths/weaknesses of APES?




8. What do teachers feel are the
strengths/weaknesses of APES?




9. How closely does the actual
implementation of APES match the
goals/guidelines stated by the College Board?



10. What recommendations can be made
to improve APES?


Demographic


Attitude








Attitude


Attitude
Demographic

Time spent on
class activities




Free response





Free response





Time spent on
class activities


Free response


Teachers


Students








Teachers


Students


distributions


Survey Frequency
distributions

Survey Attitude scale
scores
Descriptive
statistics
95%
Confidence
interval

Survey Descriptive
statistics

Survey Two-way
ANOVA


Students Survey Frequency
Teachers Interviews Distribution
Case study-
constant
comparison


Students





Teachers


Survey Frequency
Interviews distributions
Case study-
constant
comparison

Survey Frequency
Interviews distributions
Case study-
constant
comparison


Students Survey
Teachers Observations
Interviews


Frequency
distributions
Case study-
constant
comparison


Students Survey Categorizing
Teachers Interviews survey data


responses
Categorizing
case study
data









Limitations of the Study

The following areas limit the generalizability of this study:

* The sample size for the attitude survey was small (355 students and 12 teachers).

* The students who completed the survey only consisted of those who returned to
school after the taking APES exam.

* The teachers and students who completed the attitude surveys were only from three
states (Florida, California, and New York).

* The student survey sample consisted of mostly juniors and seniors while students
who were observed and interviewed were mostly freshman.

* Teacher and student observations and interviews were only completed for one
APES class at one local high school.

Delimitations of the Study

The scope of the current study is limited to the following:

* The 355 students and 12 teachers from the 12 high school APES classes in Florida,
California, and New York.

* The 30 students who were observed and the one teacher and 10 students who were
interviewed were in one APES class at one local high school.

Summary of Chapters

This chapter provided an overview of the entire study, while Chapter 2 outlines

related literature. The data sample, data collection, data analysis and methodology are

described in Chapter 3. The results of the quantitative research questions are discussed in

Chapter 4. Chapter 5 presents a case study of one APES class. Chapter 6 presents the

results of the mixed-method research questions as well as the conclusions and

implications of the study.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

This chapter contains a review of related literature. The purpose of the literature

review is to set the context for this study. This review of the literature was conducted on

each of the following topics:

* Status of environmental knowledge
* High school accelerated programs
* Advanced science courses
* Environmental science courses
* Students' attitudes toward science
* High school environmental science courses
* History of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program.

Status of Environmental Knowledge

Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, environmental issues have been highly

publicized due to the efforts of environmentalists and scientists seeking to increase the

awareness and knowledge of the public about environmental problems caused by human

impact. Methods used to increase public knowledge include books and periodicals as

well as presentations and rallies by environmental groups (Arcury & Johnson, 1987).

The news media have supported this effort through reports of environmental problems

and crises that have occurred over the years (Arcury & Johnson, 1987). Therefore, the

act of publicizing environmental issues has created an emotionally charged and

environmentally aware citizenry, but unfortunately has not increased their environmental

knowledge (Gambro & Switzky, 1996).









The status of environmental knowledge in the United States is rather grim and is

further compounded by the lack of literature on the topic (Gambro & Switzky, 1996).

Environmental knowledge describes the factual information that one has about the

environment and the impact that humans have on it (Arcury & Johnson, 1987). A study

showed that most students and adults have very little knowledge of the environment and

environmental issues, and therefore, are unable to make educated decisions regarding the

environment (Gambro & Switzky, 1996).

Most high school students have low levels of environmental knowledge; they are

able to remember basic facts about environmental problems, but they are unable to apply

this knowledge to understand the consequences of solutions to environmental problems

and thus will not be able to make intelligent decisions concerning environmental

problems and solutions in the future (Gambro & Switzky, 1996). This is tragic

considering how rapidly environmental problems and issues are becoming a part of our

everyday lives (Gambro & Switzky, 1996). Therefore, educators need to find ways to

increase the environmental knowledge of students. The next generation must be

equipped with environmental knowledge and skills now, so that when the time comes,

they will be able to make informed decisions concerning environmental problems and

solutions (Gambro & Switzky, 1996). Research has shown the most important factors

affecting students' environmental knowledge are the level of their parents' education or

socioeconomic status, the number of high school science classes they have taken, and

gender (males have more environmental knowledge than females) (Gambro & Switzky,

1999).









This finding could be due to gender biases in school (Gambro & Switzky, 1999).

For example, teachers pay more attention to male students, ask them more questions and

give them higher quality feedback than they do female students (Gambro & Switzky,

1999). Also, particularly in science classes, it is the males who control lab equipment,

which deprives females of the laboratory educational experience (Gambro & Switzky,

1999). Therefore, the effects of teachers paying more attention to males, lack of

laboratory education experiences for females, and the fact that females take fewer science

classes than males can all have a profound effect on females' environmental knowledge

(Gambro & Switzky, 1999).

A study of 429 ninth-grade students by Barrow and Morrisey (1988-1989) revealed

that males demonstrated a higher degree of knowledge concerning energy than did

females. The study also indicated that the energy literacy of these students was very low.

Blum (1987) also found low levels of environmental knowledge among 9th and 10th

graders. He found that the students received most of their knowledge and beliefs about

the environment from the media and not from school. This may explain why their

environmental beliefs were stronger than their factual and conceptual environmental

knowledge. The portrayal of terrible environmental events in the world is downplaying

local issues causing students to think that local issues are not important (Blum, 1987).

The media is less apt to present all the facts about a situation, let alone educate students

in how to analyze a problem, clarify values, and suggest viable solutions to

environmental problems (Blum, 1987). A study of 175 students in 4th, 8th, and 11th

grades revealed that their level of knowledge about acidic deposition and related concepts

did not increase from 4th through 11th grade (Brody, Chipman, & Marion, 1988-1989).









The environmental knowledge of students in the United States is low and does not seem

to be improving as they move from elementary, through middle, and then to high school

(Brody et al., 1988-1989).

A study by Gambro and Switzky (1999) showed that high school seniors who took

the highest number of laboratory science courses possessed the highest levels of

environmental knowledge, but the majority of the students in the sample had only taken

two science laboratory courses. Unfortunately, many high school students are not

capitalizing on the opportunity to increase their environmental knowledge by taking more

science courses (Gambro & Switzky, 1999). The results of this study suggest that high

school students should be encouraged or even required to take more science classes,

especially those incorporating laboratory exercises. It makes sense that students who

have had more science classes will have a larger repertoire of knowledge to utilize in

making complex decisions pertaining to environmental issues (Gambro & Switzky,

1999).

Arcury, Johnson, and Scollay, in a 1986 study of Kentucky residents, showed that

increased general education is positively associated with positive environmental attitudes

and a higher degree of environmental knowledge if the cognitive and affective aspects of

the environment are taught. This study also found that the level of environmental

knowledge one has is influenced by one's worldview of the place of humans in relation to

the environment. It is the worldview of a person that determines how much and what is

learned and understood about the environment.

High School Accelerated Programs

Many high schools in the United States offer accelerated programs for their

students such as:









* Curriculum compacting
* Subject acceleration
* Mentorships
* Dual enrollment
* Early college admission.

These programs differ widely. Each will be discussed in detail.

Curriculum Compacting

Curriculum compacting is an idea that arose to prevent gifted or accelerated

students from repeating information they have already mastered. Therefore, these

students are permitted to skip parts of the curriculum. Textbook pre and posttests can be

used to evaluate which parts) of the curriculum these students have mastered and on

which they need to concentrate (Starko, 1989). There are several benefits of curriculum

compacting for gifted students such as:

* Allowing these students to spend more time on their personal areas of interest

* Reducing the chance that students will feel bored

* Ensuring that students are not repeating material

* Allowing students to progress at their own pace (Sisk, 1988).

Some of the disadvantages include:

* The students must be mature enough to learn on their own (Taylor, 1989)

* It takes much time for a teacher to plan a compact curriculum for different students
(Starko, 1986)

* Each student needs an individualized curriculum to meet their particular needs
(Sisk, 1988)

* The students need to feel support from their teachers and their parents (Starko,
1986).









Subject Acceleration

Subject acceleration is comprised of honors courses, the International Baccalaureate

Program and the Advanced Placement Program. Each of these topics will be discussed in

further detail under the appropriate heading.

Honors courses

Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs

are all designed to prepare students for college, but the AP and IB programs are much

more rigorous courses of study than are honors classes. There is no documentation of

when honors classes began (Herr, 1993). It is known that they pre-date AP classes,

which began in the 1950's and were often replaced by AP classes (Herr, 1993).

There is not much literature outlining the history of honors classes in high

schools (Herr, 1992a). A study by Herr in 1992b surveyed 361 high school

administrators about their feelings toward AP and honors classes at their schools. The

results indicate that administrators are more supportive of AP classes than honors classes.

In 1992, Herr also performed a study that compared the influence of AP and honors

classes on science instruction. The study involved 847 AP and honors high school

science teachers from California and New York. Herr found that teachers use lecture

more in AP classes than in honors classes due to the vast amount of material that must be

covered in AP classes. In addition, AP classes cover science content in more breadth and

depth, and the pace of AP classes is much faster than honors classes. Teachers have more

curricular freedom in honors classes, and one third of the teachers stated they would

rather teach honors classes if given the choice due to the pressure of preparing students

for the AP exam (Herr, 1992a). Another study by Herr (1991) looked at the relationship

between teachers of AP and honors classes and professional development. He









interviewed 19 teachers from southern California and reported that teachers felt teaching

AP classes was more effective in promoting professional development and

communication and teaching AP classes was more intellectually stimulating.

International Baccalaureate Program

The IB program began in the 1970's as a way of devising a standardized

international curriculum for students traveling throughout European countries and

between the United States and European countries (Poelzer & Felhusen, 1996). The IB

program, a two year program designed for highly gifted and highly motivated juniors and

seniors provides an opportunity for students to begin specializing in an academic area of

their choice while still in high school (Peterson, 1977).

Unlike the AP program, the IB program is based on a set of classes and is not

offered as separate individual classes. The classes required for students to receive their

IB diploma include: English, literature, foreign language, science, math, social studies,

theory of knowledge, independent research, and 150 hours of social service or creative

aesthetic activities (Peterson, 1983).

The IB program is similar to the AP program in that they both offer college-level

work to students in high school, prepare students for college-level work, provide training

for teachers, have externally developed, internationally standardized curricula, and

externally evaluated exams. If the students do well on the exams, they may receive

college credit. The IB and AP programs differ in that the IB exam is graded on a 1-7

point scale whereas the AP exam is graded on a 1-5 point scale. The IB exam is much

more expensive than the AP exam, and the IB Office specifies which textbooks to use in

the IB program while the College Examination Board does not dictate the textbooks for

the AP program (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000).









Advanced Placement Program

In an attempt to spur higher academic achievement in high schools and to prevent

curricular overlap between high schools and colleges and universities, the College

Entrance Examination Board accepted the Advanced Placement (AP) Program in the

United States in 1954 (Herr, 1993). The first AP exams were administered in the spring

of 1956. Since then, the AP Program has grown to include 32 subjects in 18 disciplines

(College Board, 1997).

Representatives of the College Board decide and enforce the polices of the AP

Program. The representatives are made up of College Board member institutions and

agencies, public and private high schools, and colleges and universities. The Educational

Testing Service (ETS) is in charge of developing and scoring the exams (College Board,

1997).

The AP Program operates through cooperative efforts of secondary schools,

colleges, and universities. It is based on the idea that college-level material can be

successfully taught to high achieving, able high school students. The goal of the AP

Program is to acknowledge students who succeed in AP courses while still in high

school. Colleges and universities are encouraged to grant credit, advanced placement, or

both in recognition of students' high scores on the AP exam (Curry, MacDonald, &

Morgan, 1999).

Many secondary schools offer AP classes in a variety of subjects, and any high

school that chooses to do so may participate in the AP Program. The AP curriculum

includes:

* Art (art history, studio art drawing portfolio, studio art general portfolio)

* Biology









* Calculus (calculus AB, calculus BC)

* Chemistry

* Computer science (computer science A, computer science AB)

* Economics (macroeconomics, microeconomics)

* English (English language and composition, English literature and composition,
international English language)

* Environmental science

* French (French language, French literature)

* German (German language)

* Government and politics (comparative, United States)

* History (European, United States, World)

* Latin (Latin literature, Vergil)

* Music (music theory)

* Physics (physics B, physics C-electricity and magnetisms, physics C-mechanics)

* Psychology

* Spanish (Spanish language, Spanish literature)

* Statistics (Curry et al., 1999).

Some schools choose to offer AP classes as an integral part of the curriculum, while

others offer AP classes as electives (College Board, 1997).

Advanced Placement Programs can now be found all over the world and in all 50

states. They have become one of the top indicators used by educators to determine the

status of education in the United States (Curry et al., 1999). In some states, about 80% of

both public and private schools offer AP courses. Currently in the United States, about

77% of all AP students are from public schools, 60% are in 12th grade (40% in 11th

grade), 55% are female (Curry et al., 1999), 31% are minorities (African American and









Hispanic), and 7.8% are from low-income families (College Entrance Examination

Board, 2000). Overall, about 40% of the public high schools in the United States, most

of which are in rural and inner city areas, do not offer AP classes (Oregon University,

1999).

Since the program's inception, the number of disadvantaged students (poor and

minority) taking AP exams has increased (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000).

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education provided $4 million in grants to pay for the

examination fees of disadvantaged students in AP classes as an incentive for high schools

to offer more AP classes and raise their academic standards (Curry et al., 1999).

Advanced Placement classes give such students an opportunity to excel in an atmosphere

that has high academic standards (College Entrance Examination Board, 2000).

Every year more colleges and universities grant college credit to students who score

a 3 or higher on the AP exam (College Board, 1997). The AP grade qualifications are as

follows:

* Extremely well qualified = 5
* Well qualified = 4
* Qualified = 3
* Possibly qualified = 2
* No recommendation = 1 (Curry et al., 1999).

In the United States, about 3,500 four-year colleges/universities participate in the

AP program (Curry et al., 1999). According to the College Board, about 63.8% of the

students in AP courses take the AP exam (Oregon University 1999); though anyone who

chooses can take the AP exam (College Board, 1997). In 1999, 64% of all AP exam

grades were a 3 or higher (Curry et al., 1999).









There are several benefits of the AP Program for the students, teachers, and high

schools involved. Students can receive college credit for AP classes they take while still

in high school, which saves them the cost of college tuition. Advanced Placement classes

also provide students with knowledge and skills that may help them to be successful in

college. The benefits to teachers include opportunities to teach rigorous content and

attend professional development workshops (College Entrance Examination Board,

2000). The benefits to high schools are that AP courses enrich the curriculum, motivate

teachers and students, and set high academic standards (Curry et al., 1999).

A study by Troidl and DeGracie (1984) found that of 182 high school graduates

who took AP classes in high school, over 80% of the students believed their AP classes

prepared them for college-level work, provided valuable experiences, and were more

interesting and challenging than any of their other classes. A study by Curry et al. (1999)

analyzed 66,125 first and second year college students' academic performance in upper-

level college classes by comparing students who received advanced placement into the

upper-level college courses with those who took the prerequisite college courses first.

The results showed that the 27,268 students who received advanced placement

credit earned higher grades in their upper-level college courses than the students who did

not receive advanced placement but took the equivalent introductory level college

courses first (Curry et al, 1999). As a result of this study, Curry et al (1999) concluded

that students who take AP classes in high school are:

* Academically better prepared for college than those students who do not take AP
classes

* Have a higher probability of majoring in more academically challenging fields

* Complete more college-level coursework









* Take more upper-level college courses in the area of their high school AP classes

* Have stronger leadership skills

* Have a greater probability of graduating with a double major

* Are two times as likely to continue their education in graduate or professional
school.

The authors of the study have coined these attributes of AP students the "AP Effect"

(Curry et al., 1999).

Mentorships

Another way to help gifted students learn is to provide them with a mentor. A

mentor is an older student who acts as teacher and friend to the gifted student (Ellingson,

Haeger, & Feldhuse, 1986). Mentorships provide a way for gifted students to learn

content that is above and beyond their school curriculum. For example, gifted students

can observe their mentor outside of class, perhaps at his/her place of work, where

students can learn about careers or other interests (Reiss & Follo, 1993).

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment programs have been established as a way to challenge gifted

students in their junior and senior years of high school (Andrews & Marshall, 1991).

These students are enrolled in high school as well as college courses. The students may

attain high school and college credit for their college courses. The students can either

attend the college to take their classes or a college professor may teach a few college

classes at local high schools (Reiss & Follo, 1993). Most states enable high school

students to take college courses at no additional cost (Andrews & Marshall, 1991).









Early Admission to College

An Early Admission to College Program allowing students to attend college early

came as an extension of AP and dual enrollment programs (Feldhusen, 1983). Transition

Programs have been established to help high school students with the transition from high

school to college. Such programs provide orientation sessions, college student mentors,

and separate living quarters for the high school students during their first year of college

(Reiss & Follo, 1993).

Advanced Science Courses

Currently, there is no one report that can provide complete information pertaining

to the number of students enrolled in advanced science classes (Doran, 1991). This is

due in part to the wide variety of titles for these classes, the methods used to collect such

data (teachers are asked to use surveys to report the number of students at their school

enrolled in a list of pre-existing science courses), and the fact that students take these

classes in 10th, 11 th, or 12th grade. In the United States it is estimated that between 1.4

and 1.7% (28,000) of high school students complete advanced physics courses, between

3.9 and 4.5% (107,000) complete advanced chemistry courses, and about 15.6%

(341,000) complete advanced biology courses (Doran, 1991).

A study by Campbell and Connolly in 1984 that involved surveys of 287 students

from advanced science and math classes found that females enroll in fewer advanced

science and math classes than males. This was thought to occur because females tend to

have lower self-esteem and because males portray negative attitudes towards females in

advanced classes. Through their research of 720 females enrolled in advanced science

and math classes, Campbell and Evans (1993) concluded that females who enroll in









advanced science and math classes tend to have high self-esteem and an internal locus of

control.

Thomas (1986) found that few Black students enroll in advanced science classes in

high school (as cited in Pearson & Betchel, 1989). A 1993 study by Malcom reported

that few Blacks and Hispanics take advanced science classes as a result of years of

teachers and school counselors discouraging minority students from enrolling in such

classes (as cited in Pearson & Betchel, 1989; Chenoweth, 1999). Several other reasons

have been given as to why females and minorities avoid advanced science classes:

* They do not feel these classes are necessary for their future career plans

* They perceive these classes as difficult and requiring too much effort to do well in
them

* They have had unsuccessful experiences in previous science classes

* They have had negative student/teacher interactions in previous science classes

* Females feel that these classes will destroy their friendships with males because
science is masculine and not feminine (Clewell, Anderson, & Thorpe, 1992).

Environmental Science Courses

Courses in environmental science were created as a response to the interest in, and

concern for, the environment that was piqued by the first Earth Day in 1970 (Howell &

Warmbrod, 1974; Singletary, 1992; College Board, 1997). Since then, environmental

science has grown in popularity and, as a result, today it is a definite field of science

(College Board, 1997). It is taught in many colleges, universities, and high schools and is

brought to our attention almost every day through news media such as newspapers and

television. The following is the definition of environmental science as outlined by the

College Examination Board:









Environmental science is the study of the natural sciences in an interdisciplinary
context that always includes consideration of the people and how they have
influenced the systems under examination. It includes many aspects of biology,
earth and atmospheric sciences, fundamental principles of chemistry and physics,
human population dynamics, and an appreciation for biological and natural
resources (College Board, 1997, p.1).

An environmental science course will focus on science concepts, but it may also briefly

touch on some subjects such as: environmental economics, environmental policy, and

sustainable futures (College Board, 1997).

A case study by Singletary (1992) of six secondary schools in Illinois found that

the teachers of environmental science classes used individualized instruction and student

projects in their classes, but class discussion was the teaching method most commonly

used. Few laboratory exercises were performed. Nature films and videotapes were used

quite often. The majority of the courses studied were initially designed as a way to offer

an additional science course to students who were uninterested in, or lacked the

prerequisite knowledge for, chemistry or physics. Therefore, the environmental science

courses were seen as classes that were not academically challenging, thus allowing low

ability students the chance to take more science courses (Singletary, 1992).

Additional sections of some of these courses were added later as more college-

bound students became interested in such courses. Teachers who taught both the upper

and lower level environmental science classes could not clearly articulate how these

classes actually differed. The goals of these courses were to provide students with

information about the environment and environmental issues and the skills to evaluate

such information (Singletary, 1992).

None of the courses in Singletary's case study emphasized the affective domain of

environmental science. The teachers explained this by saying they thought if they just









increased the students' environmental knowledge it would be enough to encourage them

to behave in a more environmentally responsible manner. But, without addressing the

affective along with the cognitive domain and without providing students with the

opportunity to practice behaviors that are more environmentally appropriate, it is doubtful

that students will begin to behave in a more environmentally responsible manner

(Singletary, 1992).

High school environmental science courses such as the ones described in the above

case study have the opportunity to be the last valuable formal exposure to science for

students not planning to attend college as well as for students who do not intend to major

in science in college. These high school environmental science classes could also

provide the framework from which all other formal environmental science courses extend

(Singletary, 1992).

Science curriculum supervisors and 7th-12th grade science teachers in Texas were

asked to identify their use of environmental science facilities, the environmental science

teaching materials and techniques used, and what they needed to improve environmental

science classes (Adams, Biddle, & Thomas, 1988). The participants stated they needed

adequate training and environmental science facilities, curricula, and successful programs

to model (Adams et al., 1988).

Goals of Environmental Science Courses

The goals of environmental science are:

* To provide knowledge and skills that will enable students to understand
environmental issues (Singletary, 1992)

* To develop concern for the environment

* To create citizens who are motivated to work to solve problems concerning the
environment (Howell & Warmbrod, 1974).









Originally, environmental science classes were created for students who were

academically unprepared to take chemistry or physics, and higher levels were developed

later as more college-bound students became interested. Due to the interdisciplinary

nature of environmental science, it may attract college-bound students or those who are

not interested in chemistry or physics (Singletary, 1992). Therefore, it may be a chance

to get more students to take science classes in high school, which could lead to students

having more environmental knowledge upon which to draw when making decisions

concerning environmental issues (Gambro & Switzky, 1999).

Difficulties Inherent in Teaching Environmental Science

There are some inherent difficulties specific to implementing environmental

science courses. Four aspects that make environmental science difficult to teach and

understand are:

* It is interdisciplinary, thus, one needs to have knowledge of a variety of science
concepts

* There is no agreement on the terminology used to define energy; energy is a unit of
measure, but it is measured using different units such as: electricity (kilowatts),
gasoline (gallons), and natural gas (cubic feet), which are all different from the
calorie (used in science) and the kilocalorie (used in nutritional information)

* There are no absolutes (for example, how do you measure environmental quality?)

* There is no baseline or an untouched Earth to compare with today's Earth to know
exactly what humans have done to the Earth, and what has been the result of natural
processes (College Board, 1997).

Importance of Studying Students' Attitudes Toward Science

Research has shown that the cognitive domain should not be the only domain of

learning addressed by teachers. Although the affective domain should not be addressed

at the expense of the cognitive, it should have substantial curricular time. How students

feel about, or their attitudes toward, school subjects should be considered an important









goal of education. Therefore, it can be inferred that it is important to determine students'

attitudes toward science as well as how and why such attitudes were formed. It should

thus be an important objective of science education to promote positive attitudes toward

science in schools. Once educators know what the attitudes of students are toward

science and how and why they are formed, they can work towards improving these

attitudes in their classrooms (Myers & Fouts, 1992).

Students' Attitudes Toward Science

Studies have suggested that teacher variables may be the most powerful predictors

of students' attitudes toward science (Haladyna, Olsen, & Shaughnessy, 1982). It is also

known that variables such as socioeconomic status, family background, and student

aptitude for learning play a part in the initial development of attitudes toward science

(Haladyna et al., 1982). A study by Haladyna, et al. (1982) of 315 students in 4th grade,

322 in 7th grade, and 365 in 9th grade found the student variables with the most consistent

significant relationship to students' attitudes toward science were self-confidence in

ability to learn science, fatalism (feeling that how they perform in science is

predetermined), and feelings of the importance of science.

For teacher variables, overall quality of the teacher (teacher enthusiasm, respect for

teacher's knowledge, teacher support for students, praise and commitment to learning and

fairness) was the best predictor of students' attitudes toward science. The learning

environment variables shown to affect students' positive attitudes toward science were

overall satisfaction, enjoyment of classmates, positive class environment, organized

instruction, and attentiveness (Haladyna et al., 1982). A study of 125 science students in

7th and 8th grade by Germann in 1988 also concluded that students' feelings about the

importance of science strongly correlated to students' attitudes toward science.









A study by Cannon and Simpson (1985) which involved 821 7th grade life science

students and 11 science teachers, a study involving 673 11th grade students by Schibeci

and Riley (1986), and a study by Weinburgh (1995) presenting a meta-analysis of 6,753

students found that males have more positive attitudes toward science than females and

that students' attitudes toward science affect their science achievement. However, a study

of 5th, 7th, and 10th graders by Morrell and Lederman (1998) concluded that gender does

not affect students' attitude toward science. Catsambis (1995) found that a gap in the

attitudes of male and female students toward science exists even when females

outperform males in science classes. Therefore, female students' negative attitudes

toward science develop independent of their levels of science achievement (Catsambis,

1995).

Although Black students have historically been outperformed by their White

counterparts, they have retained more positive attitudes toward science in high school

(Pearson & Bechtel, 1989). Bachman and O'Malley (1984) reported that Black students

may appear to have more positive attitudes toward science because they are more likely

than White students to choose responses at the positive end of a Likert-type scale (as

cited in Pearson & Bechtel, 1989).

Another study of 1,560 students in 6th through 10th grade and 23 10th grade teachers

(Talton & Simpson, 1987) revealed that 56-61% of the variance in students' attitudes

toward science could be explained by students' attitudes toward their classroom

environment. The authors of this study suggest that when determining students' attitudes

toward science it is important to consider how the students feel about the emotional and









physical climate of their classroom, activities performed, and their interactions with their

classmates and teachers.

The stronger the commitment to, and the higher the interest in science, the more

able students will be to make intelligent decisions on political and social issues relating to

science as adults. It is thought that a positive, supportive classroom environment

incorporating laboratory instruction (Freedman, 1997) and more student involvement

(Hender, Fisher & Fraser, 1998) will lead to both more positive attitudes toward science

and greater science achievement for students (Talton & Simpson, 1987).

Students' attitudes toward science become more negative as students move from the

beginning of the school year to the end (Cannon & Simpson, 1985), and as students pass

through middle and junior high school (Haladyna & Shaughnessy, 1982; Morrell &

Lederman, 1998). Advanced science students have the most positive attitudes toward

science and basic science students have the least positive attitudes toward science

(Cannon & Simpson, 1985).

A study involving 4,000 science students in grades 6-9 and 57 teachers by Simpson

and Oliver (1985), found that as students progress through school, science becomes less

fun, less interesting, and more boring. In light of the fact that students' attitudes toward

science become more negative as students get older, it is important to consider that

science achievement motivation and science self-concept are powerful predictors of

achievement in science as demonstrated in a study by Oliver and Simpson (1988) in

which they collected data on 5000 students in grades 6-10. This conclusion can be

disheartening if viewed from the vantage point that students' attitudes toward science

decrease with age. It can be enlightening if looked at from the view that there is hope if









we can promote positive student attitudes toward science among students early in their

schooling because then we can increase their science achievement in subsequent years.

The Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program

Faculty from colleges and high schools formed the AP Environmental Science

Development Committee. They created the first edition of the Course Description for AP

Environmental Science, also known as the acorn booklet, in 1997. This publication

contained content outlines Appendix A), lab activity suggestions, as well as sample

APES exam questions (College Board, 1997).

The goals of the APESP are:

to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies
needed to understand the interrelationships between people and their environment,
to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human made, to
assess the risks associated with these problems, and to identify solutions for
resolving or preventing them, and to understand natural systems, be able to ask
questions, recognize when and how human perturbations may become or have
become problems, and understand the limits of what questions science can answer.
(College Board, 1997, p. 1, 11)

The APES course is a yearlong course that meets for at least one period per day and

has at least one lab period per week. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental

science, the course builds on students' prior knowledge of chemistry, physics and

biology, and may function to attract students who would not normally be enrolled in an

AP course. Therefore, as a prerequisite, students must have done well in, and completed,

at least two years of science (one physical and one life science) and one year of algebra.

Thus, students should take AP Environmental Science in either their junior or senior year

(College Board, 1997).









Advanced Placement Environmental Science Guidelines

APES requires students to perform significant laboratory and fieldwork as an

integral part of the course. Laboratory and fieldwork are a necessity if students are to

gain an adequate understanding of how natural processes operate. It is through such

laboratory and fieldwork that students receive hands-on experiences and are able to test

the ideas they learn about in the classroom. This is their chance to do real science. It is

recommended that students perform at least 12 labs throughout the course (College

Board, 1997).

When establishing a new course, such as the AP Environmental Science Program,

teacher selection and training is crucial if the course is to be successful. An enthusiastic,

highly motivated, and dedicated teacher can make a course, while the opposite can break

it. The following are suggested criteria for teacher selection:

* Enthusiastic about teaching

* Works well with others, which is particularly important due to the interdisciplinary
nature of environmental science

* Strong knowledge base of environmental science, chemistry, physics, biology, and
earth science

* Highly motivated to provide students with much laboratory and fieldwork (College
Board, 1997).

Advanced Placement Environmental Science Teacher Training Workshops

The College Board offers workshops to help train teachers in the teaching of AP

classes. The workshop sessions include training in instructional and laboratory methods,

an explanation of the format of the AP exam, and strategies for preparing students for the

AP exam. Several colleges and universities also offer their own training programs for

teachers. Some high schools pay for these teacher-training sessions. Teachers can









receive information about training sessions and gain valuable ideas and activities by

attending conferences and searching the Internet (College Board, 1997).

The Advanced Placement Environmental Science Exam

The focus of the APES exam is to quantify how well students are able to express

their knowledge and understanding of environmental science concepts. It is a three-hour

exam that consists of multiple-choice and essay questions. Scores range from 1 to 5, with

3 as a minimum passing score (College Board, 1997).

The purpose of the APES exam is to evaluate a student's level of knowledge and

understanding of environmental science. The College Board AP Environmental Science

Development Committee devises the questions. The exam takes three hours to complete.

Sixty percent of the exam grade is determined by the multiple-choice section, which

evaluates the breadth of the student's knowledge (College Board, 1997).

The questions vary widely by topic and level of difficulty. The score on the

multiple-choice section is calculated by adding the number of questions the student

answered correctly and subtracting a quarter of the questions the student answered

incorrectly. The free response section constitutes 40% of the AP exam grade and consists

of four equally-weighted questions. These questions must be answered in the form of an

essay. The free response questions fall into three categories:

* Data analysis (which presents the student with data to interpret)

* Document based (which presents the student with documents such as newspaper
articles and asks students to apply knowledge)

* Synthesis and evaluation (which involves in-depth synthesis and evaluation of
environmental science concepts).

Of the four free response questions, one is data based, one is document based, and two

are synthesis and evaluation (College Board, 1997).









These questions are graded by only giving points to arguments that are supported

by scientific facts. Each question is scored from 1-10 points. Samples of all question

types are available for students in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science

Course Description (College Board, 1997). Currently, no data are available regarding the

number of AP environmental science classes offered each year or the number of students

in these classes, but there is data on the number of students who take the APES exam. In

2000, 13,546 students took the APES exam in the United States (R. Morgan, personal

communication, July 13, 2001).

This chapter discussed the relevant research that has been done in several areas

related to the current study. The following topics were reviewed:

* Status of environmental knowledge
* High school accelerated programs
* Advanced science courses
* Environmental science courses
* Students' attitudes toward science
* High school environmental science courses
* History of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program

Chapter 3 discusses the study sample, data sources, data collection, and analysis

techniques. Chapter 4 reports the results of the quantitative research questions. Chapter 5

describes the case study that was developed from the APES observations and interviews.

Chapter 6 discusses the results of the quantitative/qualitative research questions as well as

the conclusions drawn base and the overall implications of the results.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

This chapter gives a brief description of the study, explains the research questions

and how they were developed, describes the study sample (comprised of a survey sample

and a case study sample), and outlines the data sources, data collection, and data analysis

techniques for each of the 10 research questions. Specifically, it summarizes the

demographics of the survey study sample and the case study observation and interview

study sample. This chapter also summarizes the processes used to develop and pilot test

the teacher and student assessment instruments. The techniques used to validate and

determine the reliability of the student attitude scale are explained and potential

limitations to the validity and reliability of the student attitude scale are also discussed.

Description of the Study

This was an exploratory study designed to describe and evaluate the Advanced

Placement Environmental Science Program in 12 high schools in California, Florida, and

New York. Specifically this study gathered data pertaining to the following six

categories:

* General characteristics of students and teachers participating in the Advanced
Placement Environmental Science Program.

* Attitudes of students and teachers toward the APES Program.

* Gender and ethnic differences in student attitudes toward the APES Program.

* Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the program identified by teachers and
students.









* Match between stated APES goals/guidelines and actual implementation.

* Recommendations for improvement of the program.

The following ten research questions were developed related to these six categories.

Research Questions

1. What is the profile of students who enroll in APES?

2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES?

3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES?

4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES?

5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity?

6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class
activities reported by students and teachers?

7. What do students feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES?

8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES?

9. How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the goals/guidelines
stated by the College Board?

10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES?

To answer these research questions, data were collected from two different groups

of APES teachers and students. These two groups consisted of one large survey study

sample from three states and one intact AP Environmental Science class case study

sample in Gainesville, Florida. The large survey study sample was used to gather

quantitative data to be used in statistical analyses and the case study sample was included

to collect qualitative data to supplement the survey data by adding richness to the data

set, providing insights into the interpretation of the survey data, and for triangulation

purposes.









Survey Study Sample

California, Florida, and New York were selected for this study because they are the

three states with the highest numbers of schools having at least 10 students who took the

Advanced Placement Environmental Science exam in 2000. A composite list of all

schools in the United States currently offering APES was obtained from the College

Board. A letter explaining the study and asking for participation was sent to 50 APES

teachers from 50 different schools in each of the three states of interest.

The teachers were randomly selected from the total available population of APES

teachers in each state using SPSS. Due to a poor response of only six volunteer teachers

(two from each state), follow-up postcards were sent one month later to the 48 teachers in

each state who had not responded. Five teachers from five schools in each state agreed to

participate and all 15 of these sites received teacher and student surveys.

The final sample consisted of four schools in each state, which included a total of

12 teachers and 355 students. One teacher from each state did not return the surveys.

The total student sample was 60% female, and 56% White, 17% Hispanic, 16% Asian,

8% Black, and 4% other ethnic groups. The majority of the students were in 12th grade

(52%), followed by 46% in 11th grade, 2% in 10th grade, and 1% in 9th grade. The

teachers were 100% White and 60% female.

The student sample was not random because the students who filled out the survey

were those who returned to class after taking the APES exam. Due to the nature of APES

and the pressure that teachers feel to cover material to prepare students for the APES

exam, the teachers only agreed to administer the survey after the exam. The entire

sample of students and teachers was collapsed across all states and no state-by-state

comparisons were made.









Observation/Interview Study Sample

The case study sample was included to collect qualitative data and to add to the

richness of the survey data, to provide insights into the interpretation of the survey data,

and for triangulation. The case study site was chosen because it was one of two high

school AP Environmental Science class sites in Gainesville, Florida that had a teacher

willing to participate and was the most convenient location for the researcher to visit.

Mr. S. is the instructor of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science class at

a large, high socioeconomic, suburban high school in Gainesville, Florida. He is a White

male teacher who lives in a rural area, has a bachelor's degree in biology education, and

has taught science for 11 years, and APES three and a half years. There were 30 students

in the class, 19 females and 11 males.

All of the students were White except for one Asian female and two Black females.

The majority of the students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th, four 11th, and four 12th

graders. Ten of these students were chosen to be interviewed based on gender, ethnicity,

grade level, and APES class grade point average to make the sample as heterogeneous as

possible. Each of the 10 students interviewed lived in the suburbs, their grade point

averages ranged from 2.8 to 4.0, and their APES class grades ranged from an A to a C.

There were six freshman, two juniors, and two seniors in the student interview sample.

The highest academic degree of the students' mothers ranged from technical school

certification to a master's degree, while the highest academic degree of their fathers

ranged from a high school diploma to M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.

Data Sources/Data Collection

The data sources for this study consisted of two different groups of APES teachers

and students. One of these groups consisted of a large sample of 12 teachers and 355









students from four APES classes in each of three states. Quantitative data from this study

sample was used to answer the first five research questions. The other group was a

smaller intact group of 30 students and a teacher from an APES class in Gainesville,

Florida. Qualitative data was collected to develop a case study of an APES class and was

combined with quantitative data to answer the last five research questions.

Teacher and Student Surveys

To collect information from the large survey study sample, mail-in paper and pencil

surveys were used. Teacher and student surveys were mailed to teachers of five

Advanced Placement Environmental Science courses in each state: California, Florida,

and New York. The teachers were asked to complete the teacher survey (Appendix B),

and to administer a student survey to all students in each section of their Advanced

Placement Environmental Science classes (Appendix C). Both the teacher and student

surveys were composed of four major sections: an attitude scale, self-report data on the

amount of time spent on APES activities, demographic and personal profile information,

and self-report data on the most important strengths and most significant weaknesses of

APES. Each section of the surveys will be discussed in more detail under the research

question to which it pertains.

APES Class Observations

To collect information from the case study sample, on-site class observations and

oral teacher and student interviews were used. The APES class observations were

conducted during a first period class at a local high school in Gainesville, Florida. They

began in September 2002 and ended in December 2002. A total of 10 fifty-minute class

periods were observed. The observations were made on five Mondays and five Fridays

according to the availability of the researcher. The researcher was a non-participant









observer, and thus did not interact with the students. The teacher was only

communicated with either before or after each observed class. A diagram of the

classroom is presented in Chapter 5 along with the case study developed as a result of the

observations. Detailed field notes were collected during each observation day. The

observations were analyzed using the constant comparison method (Meyers, 1981) in

which all incidences were coded, and then compared to provide information regarding the

following categories:

* Teacher instructional methodology

* Student/teacher interactions

* Student/student interactions

* Student level of involvement during instruction/class activities

* Use of classroom resources

* Student use of class time

* Type and frequency of different instructional activities (e.g. lecture, labs,
fieldwork, discussions, student presentations, cooperative group work, student
independent research, and working on solutions to environmental problems)

* Teacher use of real-world examples

* Teacher use of methods for a variety of learning styles

* Teacher questioning techniques.

APES Class Interviews

Teacher, parent, and student consent forms were distributed to the teacher and the

10 students to be interviewed. The interviews were only conducted once all of the

consent forms were signed and returned to the researcher. Interviews were conducted on

days convenient for the teacher and students. The students interviewed were chosen









based on gender, ethnicity, grade level, and APES Grade Point Average to be as

heterogeneous as possible.

The 10 students were randomly selected based upon the above criteria from a list of

the students in the APES class being observed. A summary of characteristics of the

students chosen for the interview is presented in Chapter 5. The 22-item teacher

(Appendix D) and 20-item student (Appendix E) interview protocols were developed by

the researcher and were based on observations and data collected during the previous 10

class observations and on the guidelines stated by the College Board regarding the

amount of class time that should be spent on certain types of activities. The interviews

were audiotaped and then transcribed.

The teacher and student interviews were conducted to enhance and clarify the

interpretation of the field note observational data. The teacher and each student were

only interviewed on one occasion. Each interview lasted approximately 20 minutes. The

teacher and student interviews were used to develop a case study of one AP

Environmental Science class that focused on:

* Demographic Information
* Curriculum
* Classroom Learning Environment
* Planning
* Instructional Methodology
* Classroom Management
* Assessment
* Match with APES Guidelines.

Observation/Interview Data Analysis

The field note and interview data were analyzed using the constant comparison

method (Meyers, 1981). First, each incidence was coded and then all related incidences

were placed into the same category. Then the incidences within a given category were









compared to determine the properties of each category. Finally, a theory was developed

to explain how the categories of data were related to each other, and thus attempted to

explain the incidences that were observed (Meyers, 1981).

The teacher and student interview data were then compared to the field note data to

see how well the teacher's and students' statements matched what was observed in the

classroom. Both the field note data and the interview data were also compared to the data

reported by the teachers and students on the teacher and student surveys. Using multiple

methods to collect the same type of data is used as an effort to validate data (McFee,

1992). The observation and interview data were analyzed collectively and used to

prepare a case study of one Advanced Placement Environmental Science class. For a

detailed outline of the study design and timeline see Appendix F.

Survey Instrumentation/Data Analysis

Teacher and student assessment instruments (surveys) were designed to collect

information in four distinct areas. How each instrument was developed, and the data

analysis techniques used to analyze survey results are discussed under each research

question.

1. What is the profile of students who enroll in APES? Two items on the student

survey specifically focused on self-report profile data and nine items focused on

demographic characteristics of students (see Table 3-1). All 11 items were combined to

provide a profile of students enrolled in APES. The self-report and demographic data

were analyzed by calculating the frequency of each response category for the entire

student sample.










Table 3-1. Self-report and demographic items on the student survey.
Self-report Items
How many hours a week do you spend studying?
How many hours a week do you spend on homework?
Demographic Items
What is your gender?
In what type of area do you live?
What grade level are you in school?
What is your approximate grade point average?
What is your ethnic background?
Indicate the highest academic degree of your mother.
Indicate the highest academic degree of your father.
How many high school science courses have you completed?
How many other AP courses have you taken?

2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES? Fifteen items on the teacher

survey specifically focused on self-report profile data. Six pertained to instructional

techniques, four contained information about his/her APES students, and five asked about

assessment techniques.

Table 3-2. Self-report and demographic items on the teacher survey.
Self-report Items Instructional Techniques
How many hours a week do you spend preparing to teach?
How many hours a week do you spend grading?
How many hours a week do you spend preparing for lab activities?
How many hours a week do you spend preparing for fieldwork?
How many hours a month do you spend on professional development?
How many sections of AP Environmental Science do you teach?
Self-report Items APES Students
About how many students do you have in each section?
In what grade are the majority of your students?
What is the percent of students who take the AP Environmental Science Exam?
What is the percent of students who pass the AP Environmental Science Exam?
Demographic Items
Did you complete formal training for the AP Environmental Science course?
What is your gender?
In what type of area do you live?
What is your ethnic background?
Indicate your highest academic degree?
How many years of science teaching experience do you have including this year?
How many years have you been teaching AP classes?
Self-report Items Assessment Techniques
Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are matching.
Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are multiple-choice.
Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are true/false.
Indicate the percentage of your assessments that are essay.
How often do you assess your students?









The remaining seven items focused on demographic characteristics of teachers (see Table

3-2). All 22 items were combined to provide a profile of teachers who teach APES. The

self-report and demographic data were analyzed by calculating the frequency of each

response category for the entire teacher sample.

3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES? The majority of the student

assessment instrument was developed to measure student attitudes toward APES using

the model proposed by Haladyna, Olsen and Shaughnessy (1982). Their study of 315

students in 4th grade, 322 in 7th grade, and 365 in 9th grade found three main categories of

variables that affect students' attitudes toward science. They include:

* Student variables (factors that are attributable only to the individual student)

* Teacher variables (factors that are unique to an individual teacher)

* Learning environment variables (factors that describe the context and setting in
which learning takes place).

To assess student attitudes related to these three categories, a 42-item attitude scale

was used. This attitude scale was designed around the subscales of student, teacher, and

learning environment variables to explain the overall construct of student attitudes toward

APES (see Table 3-3 for items included in each subscale). All items were original and

developed by the researcher because of the outdated nature of the questions from the

Haladyna et a. (1982) study. Lucky's study (1972) was used as a guide for the

development of the teacher and student attitude scales because his study looked at the

attitudes of teachers and students toward AP Biology in the Memphis City Schools. His

study utilized a teacher and student attitude survey of 25 items each and a Likert scale

ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree with four response choices to measure

attitudes.











Table 3-3. Original student attitude scale items
Attitude Toward The Class Subscale Items
The benefits of taking this class outweigh the amount of work I put into it.
This course has met my expectations of preparing me for college-level course work.
My decision to take this course was a good one.
I have learned a lot about environmental science in this class.
As a result of taking this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve
environmental problems.
As a result of taking this class, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive.
As a result of taking this class, my behavior towards the environment has become more
positive.
I enjoy this class.
I took this class because I believe it is important to learn about the environment.
The workload for this class is too extensive.
Given the opportunity, I would take this class again.
The lab exercises in this course are excellent.
The fieldwork in this course is excellent.
It is necessary for a student to have at least two years of a high school
Laboratory science to do well in this class.
I feel prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.
I took the AP Environmental Science exam.
Attitude Toward The Teacher Subscale Items
My teacher is well qualified to teach this course.
My teacher does an excellent job teaching this course.
My teacher explains concepts well.
My teacher enjoys teaching this course.
My teacher is very knowledgeable about environmental science.
My teacher cares about his/her students.
My teacher listens to his/her students.
My teacher is available to provide extra help for his/her students.
My teacher tells his/her students when they have done a good job.
My teacher has high expectations for all students in this class.
My teacher is fair to all students.
My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment.
My teacher believes it is important to learn how to solve environmental problems.
My teacher displays a positive attitude toward the environment.
My teacher encourages his/her students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.
My teacher has made sure that his/her students are prepared to take the AP Environmental
Science Exam.
My teacher's main mode of instruction for this course is lecture.
My teacher gives us too much work in this class.
My teacher uses outside readings to supplement the textbook in this class.
My teacher encourages independent research in this class.
My teacher encourages laboratory work in this class.
My teacher encourages cooperative group work in this class.
My teacher encourages fieldwork in this class.
My teacher emphasizes to his/her students the benefits of taking an AP course.
I respect my teacher.
I like my teacher.
My teacher is enthusiastic about environmental science.
Attitude Toward The Student Subscale Items
I do excellent work in this class.
It is important to me to get good grades.
Environmental Science is an important subject.
I enjoy learning environmental science.









This study used the same Likert scale to measure the attitudes of teachers and students

toward APES. The response choices were coded as follows: Strongly Disagree=0,

Disagree=l, Agree=2, and Strongly Agree= 3. Therefore, a response coding of 2 or 3

indicated an agree or strongly agree response and was considered a positive attitude,

while codings of 0 or 1 indicated a negative attitude.

To determine student attitudes, a total scale score for each student for the attitude

scale and each of the three attitude subscales was calculated. This was done by summing

each student's coded response to all items. The total scale score was divided by the

number of items to determine an average scale score for each student. The attitude

toward APES of the entire student sample was determined by averaging the average scale

score (overall average attitude scale score) of all students for the attitude scale and each

of the subscales. Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) were computed to

evaluate the students' attitudes regarding individual attitude items.

Pilot Testing

The student attitude scale was pilot tested by administering it to 50 students at two

suburban high schools currently offering Advanced Placement Environmental Science

courses in Gainesville, Florida. Data were analyzed using SPSS (10.0) to perform factor

and item analyses. Based on the results of the data analyses, the surveys were revised

before final distribution. These analyses are explained in more detail later in this chapter.

Reliability/Construct Validity

Reliability of the student attitude scale was determined by performing an item

analysis on the pilot test results and using Cronbach's alpha as a measure of internal

consistency of the entire set of items. Construct validity was determined by performing a

factor analysis on the pilot test results for the student attitude scale.









Results of the first item analysis of all 47 items of the student attitude scale

indicated that items 10 and 34 had negatively corrected item-total correlations and needed

to be reverse coded (see Appendix G, Table F-l for results of the first item analysis).

The reliability of the 47-item student attitude scale as measured by Cronbach's alpha was

0.9289. Items 10 and 34 were reverse coded, and a second item analysis was performed

(see Table 3-4).

Table 3-4. Items that were reverse coded after the first student attitude scale item
analysis.
The workload for this class is too extensive.
My teacher gives us too much work in this class.

The second item analysis with items 10 and 34 reverse coded yielded item response

means between 2.574 and 3.730, standard deviations between 0.530 and 0.892, and

corrected item-total correlations between 0.050 and 0.707 (see Appendix G, Table F-2 for

the results of the second item analysis). The reliability of the revised total attitude scale

as measured by Cronbach's alpha was 0.938, an increase from 0.930 when items 10 and

34 were reverse coded. To be considered acceptable, target means and corrected item-

total correlations for individual items were 3.0 and 0.3 or higher respectively, and an

overall Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient was 0.8 or higher was targeted for the

entire attitude scale. Items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 had low corrected item-total

correlations, indicating they needed to be either revised or removed.

The first factor analysis of all 47 student attitude items with items 10 and 34

reverse coded yielded 11 factors with loadings ranging from 0.244 to 0.770 and items

displayed communalities between 0.208 and 0.779. Target loadings for individual items

were >0.3 and target communalities were >0.5. Based on these criteria, items 14, 16, 26,

33, and 35 had low communalities (around 0.2), which provided evidence to remove









them because they were not loading high on any factors (see Appendix H, Table G-1 for

the results of the first factor analysis). All items had loadings above or near 0.3, therefore

no changes were needed.

Based on the results of the initial item and factor analyses, items 10, 14, 16, 33, and

34 were removed from the survey (see Table 3-5).

Table 3-5. Items deleted from the student attitude scale.
10. The workload for this class is too extensive.
14. It is necessary for a student to have at least two years of a high school
laboratory science to do well in this class.
16. I took the AP Environmental Science exam.
33. My teacher's main mode of instruction for this course is lecture.
34. My teacher gives us too much work in this class.

Items 14, 16, and 33 were removed because they performed poorly on both the item and

factor analyses. Items 10 and 34 were removed because they had low corrected item-

total correlations on the item analysis. The fact that they had high loadings and

communalities on an eighth factor did not support keeping them since their correlations

with the other items of the student attitude scale were so low. Items 26 and 35 were not

removed because although they had low communalities on the factor analysis, their

corrected item-total correlations on the item analysis were acceptable.

A third item analysis for the 42-item student attitude scale was performed after

items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 were deleted. The coded response means of the items were

between 2.574 and 3.729. The standard deviations were between 0.525 and 0.892. The

corrected item-total correlations increased and were between 0.336 and 0.703. Thus, the

remaining items were found to be of good quality because they had good spread, meaning

that individuals were responding in all four response categories, and each response

category was providing information about students' attitudes toward APES (see Appendix









G, Table F-3 for the results of the third item analysis). The reliability of the revised

student attitude scale as measured by Cronbach's alpha was 0.941, an increase from

0.932.

After items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 were removed, a second factor analysis yielded

seven factors. The loadings ranged from 0.289 to 0.777, and communalities were

between 0.229 and 0.774. The number of factors decreased from 11 for the first factor

analysis to seven, and the loadings and communalities increased as items 10, 14, 16, 33,

and 34 were removed (see Appendix H, Table G-2 for the results of the second factor

analysis). Based on the results of the item and factor analyses, the number of student

attitude items was decreased from 47 to 42 with items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted.

Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) were performed for the overall

attitude scale and each of the subscales (see Table 3-6).

Table 3-6. Descriptive statistics for the revised student attitude scale and subscales with
items 10, 14, 16, 33, and 34 deleted.
Scale Mean Standard Number of N
Score Deviation Items
Student 3.256 0.564 4 50
Teacher 3.403 0.440 25 50
Class 3.403 0.455 13 50
Overall 3.291 0.392 42 50

For the most part, the items on the student attitude scale loaded on factors with

items associated with each of the three subscales: attitude toward teacher, attitude toward

student, and attitude toward classroom environment, with some overlap of the class and

student and class and teacher subscales. This may have occurred because the students

could not separate themselves or their teachers from a few of the classroom environment

questions. An example of an item with overlap is "As a result of taking this class, I have

learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems, and given the










opportunity, I would take this class again." When responding to this item, students could

be focusing on the APES class, themselves as students, or having a good teacher.

In order to determine if the construct of students' attitudes toward science could be

measured by a one-factor model, it was determined how well a one-factor model fit the

pilot data. The resulting one-factor model consisted of items 22-25, 27, and 41-42,

explained 31.15% of the variance of the items, had loadings >0.48, and adding additional

factors did not contribute significantly to the amount of variance explained by the 1-

factor model (see Table 3-7). Therefore, the student attitude scale overall was considered

to measure the one factor of student's attitudes toward APES with the three subscales of

students' attitudes toward their teacher, themselves as students, and their APES classroom

environment.

Table 3-7. Items in the 1-factor model for the revised student attitude scale
Item Subscale
My teacher tells his/her students when they have done a good job. Teacher
My teacher has high expectations for all students in this class. Teacher
My teacher is fair to all students. Teacher
My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment. Teacher
My teacher displays a positive attitude toward the environment. Teacher
Environmental Science is an important subject. Student
I enjoy learning environmental science. Student

Limitations to Reliability and Construct Validity

Several factors beyond the researcher's control may limit the reliability and

construct validity of the student attitude scale. The students filled out the surveys by

bubbling their responses on scantron sheets, which, due to human error in marking their

responses to each question, could have had an undetermined effect. In addition, the

teachers administered the student assessment instruments; therefore, students may not

have been completely honest in their responses. Students may have felt that their









teachers would not approve of their truthful answers especially if their answers differed

from their teachers' expectations.

4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES? A 45-item attitude scale was

developed to assess teacher attitudes toward APES overall, their attitudes toward their

APES class, their attitude towards their students, and their attitudes toward themselves as

APES teachers. Each of the subscales of attitudes toward class, students, and themselves

as teachers functioned together to explain the overall construct of teacher attitudes toward

APES (see Table 3-8 for items included in each subscale). Descriptive statistics (means

and standard deviations) were computed to determine the teachers' attitudes toward

individual attitude items.

The items included in the teacher attitude scale paralleled those of the student

attitude scale. Due to the small pilot test teacher sample size (N=2), item and factor

analyses could not be performed for the teacher attitude scale. The items in the teacher

attitude scale that were similar to the items deleted in the student attitude scale after pilot

testing and subsequent analyses were also deleted from the teacher attitude scale. Thus, it

was assumed that if the student attitude scale was reliable and valid, the teacher attitude

scale was also reliable and valid since the attitude questions on both instruments

paralleled each other. Therefore, based on the results of the item and factor analyses for

the student attitude scale, the teacher attitude scale was modified to include questions

paralleling those in the final student survey.







56


Table 3-8. Attitude scale and subscale questions for the teacher assessment instrument.
Attitude Toward The Class Subscale Items
The benefits of teaching this class outweighs the costs of the time needed to prepare to teach it.
This course has met my expectations of having the opportunity to teach highly motivated students.
My decision to teach this course was a good one.
I have learned a lot about environmental science in preparing to teach this class.
In preparing to teach this class, I have learned a lot about how to take action to solve environmental problems.
As a result of teaching this class, my attitude toward the environment has become more positive.
As a result of teaching this class, my behavior toward the environment has become more positive.
I have enjoyed teaching this class.
I wanted to teach this class because I believe that it is important for students to learn about the environment.
I feel the lab exercises designed for this course are excellent.
I feel the fieldwork in this course is excellent.
I feel the textbook that is used for this class is helpful.
Attitude Toward The Student Subscale Items
I feel my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.
I think the majority of my students do excellent work in this class.
I think my students are the type to do well in science.
I think it is important to my students to get good grades.
I think environmental science is an important subject to my students.
I think my students work hard in this class.
I think my students appreciate the hard work they do in this class.
I think my students enjoy learning environmental science.
Attitude Toward The Teacher Subscale Items
I feel I am well qualified to teach this course.
I feel I do an excellent job teaching this course.
I feel I explain concepts well.
I am very knowledgeable about environmental science.
I care about my students.
I listen to my students.
I am available to provide extra help for my students when needed.
I tell my students when they have done a good job.
I have high expectations for all students in this class.
I am fair to all students.
I believe it is important for students to learn about the environment.
I believe it is important for students to learn how to solve environmental problems.
I display a positive attitude toward the environment.
I encourage my students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.
I have made sure my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.
I give my students a lot of work in this class.
I use outside readings to supplement the textbook in this class.
I encourage independent research in this class.
I encourage laboratory work in this class.
I encourage cooperative group work in this class.
I encourage fieldwork in this class.
I emphasize to my students the benefits of taking an AP course.
I respect my students.
I like my students.
I am enthusiastic about environmental science.



5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity?


Using students' average scale scores on the attitude scale (items 1-42) and each of the


three attitude subscales, a two-way ANOVA was used to determine if the students'


attitudes towards their APES class was dependent on gender or ethnicity. This was done










by comparing the male students' average scale scores to the female students' average

scale scores and by comparing the students' average scale scores for each ethnicity to all

of the other ethnicities. The Type I error (a) used for both the t-test and the one-way

ANOVA was 0.05.

6. Are there differences in the amount of time spent on APES and other class

activities reported by students and teachers? The Teacher's Guide AP Environmental

Science (College Board, 1997) was consulted to develop a set of items measuring teacher

and student self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class activities (items 45,

46, and 49-53 on the student survey; items 49, 51, and 57-61 on the teacher survey). The

items were designed to reflect the types of activities that should occur in APES classes as

recommended by the College Board. The researcher also included items pertaining to

other class activities such as: amount of class time spent on lecture, cooperative group

work, class discussions, student presentations, and independent research.

Table 3-9. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other
class activities on the student survey.
Amount of Time Spent on APES Class Activities
How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities?
How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork?
How many hours a week do you spend identifying environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend analyzing environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend solving environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend assessing the risks associated with environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend working on solutions to prevent environmental problems?
Amount of Time Spent on Other Class Activities
How many hours a week does your teacher spend lecturing?
How many hours a week do you spend doing cooperative group work?
How many hours a week do you engage in class discussions with your teacher?
How many hours a week do students engage in presentations?
How many hours a week do you spend doing independent research?

The rationale for these items was based on the idea that critical thinking and

knowledge application skills are important for students to be able to succeed in our

democratic society (Omstein, Behar-Horenstein, & Pajak, 2003). This set of items










measured teacher and student self-reports of the amount of time spent on other class

activities (items 47-48, and 54-56 on the student survey; items 52-56 on the teacher

survey). Tables 3-9 and 3-10 list the items that were used to assess self-reports of the

amount of time spent on APES and other class activities on the student and teacher

surveys respectively.

Table 3-10. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES and other
class activities on the teacher survey.
Amount of Time Spent on APES Class Activities
How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities?
How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students identify environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students analyze environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students solve environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students assess the risks associated with environmental
problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students prevent environmental problems?
Amount of Time Spent on Other Class Activities
How many hours a week do you spend lecturing?
How many hours a week do your students spend doing cooperative group work?
How many hours a week do your students spend doing independent research?
How many hours a week do you engage in class discussions with your students?
How many hours a week do your students engage in presentations?

The frequency of each response category for the amount of time spent on APES

and other class activities for the student sample and the teacher sample was tabulated and

compared. The interview protocol administered to a teacher and 10 students in an AP

Environmental Science class at a local high school in Gainesville, Florida also included

self-report items focusing on the amount of time spent on the same APES and other class

activities. The response frequencies for these teacher and student interview items were

also tallied and compared with frequency results from the survey data.

7. What do students feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES? Two self-report

items on the student survey pertained to students' perceptions of the most important

strengths and the most significant weaknesses of APES: "List the most important

strengths of your AP Environmental Science class" (item 66) and "List the most









significant weaknesses of your AP Environmental Science class" (item 67). The

strengths/weaknesses the students expressed were categorized and the frequency of

responses in each category was calculated. The interview protocol administered to 10

students in an AP Environmental Science class at a local high school in Gainesville,

Florida also included self-report items focusing on the most important strengths and the

most significant weaknesses of APES. The response frequencies for the student

interview items were also tallied and compared with, frequency results from the student

survey data.

8. What do teachers feel are the strengths/weaknesses of APES? Two self-report

items on the teacher survey pertained to teachers' perceptions of the most important

strengths and the most significant weaknesses of APES: "List the most important

strengths of your AP Environmental Science class" (item 80) and "List the most

significant weaknesses of your AP Environmental Science class" (item 81). The

strengths/weaknesses the teachers expressed were categorized and the frequency of

responses in each category was calculated. The interview protocol administered to a

teacher in an AP Environmental Science class at a local high school in Gainesville,

Florida also included self-report items focusing on the most important strengths and the

most significant weaknesses of APES. The response frequencies for the teacher

interview items were also tallied and compared with, frequency results from the teacher

survey data.

9. How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the

goals/guidelines stated by the College Board? The Teacher's Guide AP Environmental

Science (1997) was used to develop a standard for comparison to answer the research










question "How closely does the actual implementation of APES match the

goals/guidelines stated by the College Board?" Self-report items 45-46, 49-53 on the

student survey and self-report items 49, 51, 57-61 on the teacher survey specifically

addressed this question (see Table 3-11 for the student survey items and Table 3-12 for

the teacher survey items).

Table 3-11. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class
activities on the student survey.
How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities?
How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork?
How many hours a week do you spend identifying environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend analyzing environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend solving environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend assessing the risks associated with environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend working on solutions to prevent environmental problems?

Table 3-12. Items assessing self-reports of the amount of time spent on APES class
activities on the teacher survey.
How many hours a week do you spend on lab activities?
How many hours a week do you spend doing fieldwork?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students identify environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students analyze environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students solve environmental problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students assess the risks associated with environmental
problems?
How many hours a week do you spend helping students prevent environmental problems?

Frequency data for each response category were tabulated for the amount of time

spent on APES class activities on the teacher and student surveys. The data were

compared to a standard to look for a match (see Table 3-13). The College Board has

designed the APES Program to include a significant amount of lab and fieldwork. The

researcher interpreted "significant" to mean at least one lab or field activity per week.

The College Board also states that one of the goals of APES is for students to be able to

identify, analyze, solve, assess the risks of, and work on solutions to prevent

environmental problems. The College Board suggests no specified amount of time for

these activities. Thus, when developing a standard for comparison the researcher









interpreted the amount of time that should be spent on these goals as more than half of

one class period per week (approximately 3 hours/week).

Table 3-13. Standards set by the College Board for the amount of time that should be
spent on APES class activities.
Time spent on lab activities/fieldwork Significant = at least 1 lab
or field activity/week
Time spent on identifying environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week
Time spent on analyzing environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week
Time spent solving environmental problems Goal = 3hours/week
Time spent assessing the risks associated with Goal = 3hours/week
environmental problems
Time spent on working on solutions to prevent Goal = 3hours/week
environmental problems

In addition to analyzing survey item responses for this research question,

the relative amount of time spent on different learning activities, labs, fieldwork, and

identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing the risks of, and working on solutions to

environmental problems during 10 case study observations of the high school APES class

in Gainesville, Florida was also computed. The frequency of time spent on the same

activities that was self-reported during the teacher and student interviews at the APES

case study site in Gainesville was also tallied (see Table 3-14 for the teacher interview

and Table 3-15 for the student interview items related to this research question).

Table 3-14. Teacher interview item.
How much time do you spend on lab activities, fieldwork, identifying environmental
problems, analyzing environmental problems, assessing the risks associated with
environmental problems, and working on solutions to environmental problems?

Table 3-15. Student interview item.
How much time do you spend on lab activities, fieldwork, identifying environmental
problems, analyzing environmental problems, assessing the risks associated with
environmental problems, and working on solutions to environmental problems?

The frequencies of responses to these interview items were compared to the same

standard and to those reported in the teacher and student surveys. All of the data from the









teacher and student surveys, case study observations, and the teacher and student

interviews were combined to determine how well the actual implementation of APES

matched the goals/guidelines stated by the College Board. Specifically, the data from all

sources were used to compare the average amount of time teachers and students reported

spending on lab activities, fieldwork, and identifying, analyzing, solving, assessing, and

working on solutions to environmental problems to the standard amount of time

recommendation by the College Board.

10. What recommendations can be made to improve APES? Recommendations

for improvement of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program were made

based on all data sources. The data sources included the teacher and student attitude

scales, the amount of time devoted to APES class activities as reported by the teachers

and students, and what the students and teachers felt were the most important strengths

and the most significant weaknesses of APES as stated on the student and teacher survey.

Data collected from the APES class observations, and the teacher and student interviews

at a local high school in Gainesville, Florida were also used to supplement the survey

data.

Face Validity

A panel of Four University experts that consisted of a science educator, two

environmental educators, and an educational research methods specialist determined face

validity of the entire teacher and student survey instrument. The research specialist

provided comments on the structure, response choices, directions, and order of questions.

The educators provided comments on the types of questions asked, wording, and content

of the questions. As a result of their comments, the demographic information was placed









at the end of the survey, the directions were made more clear, the structure of the survey

was simplified, and the wording and content of some of the questions was changed.

This chapter outlined the research questions, study sample, data sources, data

collection techniques, and procedures for data analysis for all research questions.

Chapter 4 reports the results of research questions 1-5. Chapter 5 describes the APES

observations and interviews for the case study sample. Chapter 6 discusses the results of

research questions 6-10 as well as the conclusions and implications of the results on the

Advanced Placement Environmental Science Program.















CHAPTER 4
QUANTITATIVE RESULTS

Introduction

This chapter revisits the data analysis procedures and reports results for the five

quantitative research questions (1-5). The results will be discussed under the appropriate

research question.

Research Questions

1. What is the profile of students who enroll in APES? The student survey

sample consisted of 355 students. The frequency of responses to items 43- 44 (self-

report) and items 57-65 (demographics) on the student survey were calculated to

determine a profile of the types of students enrolled in APES (see Table 4-1). The

majority of APES students in this study:

* Study for APES one to three hours a week

* Do less than one hour of APES homework a week

* Are female (61%)

* Live in the suburbs (52% suburban, 37% urban, and 9% rural)

* Are in 12th grade

* Have a 3.5-4.0 G.P.A.

* Are White (56% White, 17% Hispanic, 16% Asian, 8% Black, and 4% other ethnic
groups)

* Have mothers with bachelor's degrees

* Have fathers with master's degrees

* Have taken four to five high school science classes

64









* Have taken one or no other AP classes.

Table 4-1. Student frequency of responses for self-report and demographic items.
Item Abbreviation Response Valid Percent
43 Studying 1-3 (hrs./wk) 43.0
44 Homework <1 (hrs./wk) 44.9
57 Gender Female 60.6
58 Live Suburban 51.7
59 Grade 12th 51.7
60 G.P.A 3.5-4.0 53.7
61 Ethnic White 55.7
62 Degree mom Bachelors degree 35.9
63 Degree dad Masters degree 35.3
64 H.S. science 4-5 62.4
65 AP classes <1 37.0


2. What is the profile of teachers who teach APES? The teacher survey sample

contained 12 teachers. The frequency of responses regarding self-report instructional

techniques (items 46-48, 50, and 62-63), self-report information on APES students (items

64-67), self-report responses regarding assessment techniques (items 75-79), and

demographics (items 68-74) on the teacher survey were calculated to determine the

profile of teachers involved in APES (see Table 4-2). The majority of APES teachers

spend three to five hours a week preparing to teach, one to three hours a week grading,

one to three hours a week preparing for lab activities, and less than one hour per week

preparing for fieldwork. They spend less than five hours a month on professional

development and teach two sections of APES with 21-30 mostly 12th grade students in

each section. About 75-100% of their students take the APES exam and 75-100% of

those students pass the exam. Most of the teachers have no formal AP training, a

master's degree, over 12 years of science teaching experience, and three to five years of

AP teaching experience. These teachers assess their students about once every two

weeks and less than 10% of their assessments are matching, 31-59% are multiple-choice,









less than 10% are true/false, and 31-59% are essay. All of the teachers are White, 60%

are female, and 60% live in the suburbs (40% urban).

Table 4-2. Teacher frequency of responses for self-report and demographic items.
Item Abbreviation Response Valid Percent
46 Preparing to teach 3.1-5 40.0
(hrs./wk)
47 Grading 1-3 (hrs./wk) 60.0
48 Preparing for lab 1-3 (hrs./wk) 80.0
activities
50 Preparing for fieldwork <1 (hrs./wk) 60.0
62 Professional >5 44.4
development (hrs./month)
63 Sections APES 2 60.0
64 Students per section 21-30 70.0
65 Grade 12th 66.7
66 % students taken AP 75-100 100.0
exam
67 % students pass AP exam 75-100 60.0
68 AP training No 60.0
69 Gender Female 60.0
70 Live Suburban 60.0
71 Ethnic White 100.0
72 Degree Masters 50.0
degree
73 Science teaching >12 40.0
74 AP teaching 3-5 60.0
75 % Matching <10 100.0
76 % Multiple-choice 31-59 40.0
77 % True/false <10 100.0
78 % Essay 31-59% 50.0
79 How often assess 1X2weeks 50.0


3. What are the attitudes of students toward APES? To determine the attitudes of

the 355 students in this study, a total scale score for each student for the attitude scale and

each of the subscales was calculated (items 1-42). This was done by summing each

student's response to all items. The total scale score was divided by the number of items

to get the average scale score for each student. The students' attitudes toward APES were









determined by averaging the average scale score (overall average scale score) of each

student for the attitude scale and each of the subscales.

The overall average scores for all students on the attitude scale (items 1-42) and

each of the subscales (class, teacher, and student) were all close to 2.0 (responses of

0=strongly disagree, 1=disagree, 2=agree, and 3=strongly agree), indicating that the

students in this study have overall positive attitudes toward APES. Specifically, the

average attitude score for the entire attitude scale was 1.99, the class subscale average

score was 1.60, the teacher subscale average score was 2.20, and the student subscale

average score was 2.24. Overall, the students in this study have the most positive

attitudes toward themselves as students in APES, followed by attitudes toward their

teachers, overall attitudes, and attitudes toward their APES classes (see Table 4-3).

Regarding individual items, mean responses were two or above for 34 of the items

and less than two for eight of the items. The standard deviations of mean student attitude

scores for the entire attitude scale ranged from 0.56 to 0.92, indicating a great deal of

variability in the students' attitudes and thus, the data should be interpreted with caution.

Students have less than positive attitudes toward the following items:

Class subscale:

* This course has met my expectations of preparing me for college-level course
work.

* I took this class because I believe it is important to learn about the environment.

* Given the opportunity, I would take this class again.

* The lab exercises in this course are excellent.

* The fieldwork in this course is excellent.

* I feel prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.









Teacher subscale:

* My teacher encourages independent research in this class.

Student subscale:

* I do excellent work in this class.

Students had more positive attitudes toward the following items:

Class subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher):

* My decision to take this course was a good one.

* I have learned a lot about environmental science in this class.

* As a result of taking this class, my attitude toward the environment has become
more positive.

Teacher subscale (criteria = mean of 2.50 or higher):

* My teacher is well qualified to teach this course.

* My teacher enjoys teaching this course.

* My teacher is very knowledgeable about environmental science.

* My teacher believes it is important to learn about the environment.

* My teacher believes it is important to learn how to solve environmental problems.

* My teacher displays a positive attitude toward the environment.

* My teacher encourages his/her students to take the AP Environmental Science
Exam.

* I respect my teacher.

* My teacher is enthusiastic about environmental science.

Student subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher):

* It is important to me to get good grades.
* Environmental science is an important subject.
* I enjoy learning environmental science.











Table 4-3. Descriptive statistics for the student attitude scale.
Item Question N Mean Std.
Dev.
Class Subscale
1 The benefits of taking this class outweigh the amount 353 2.020 0.774
of work I put into it.
2 This course has met my expectations of preparing me 349 1.765* 0.807
for college-level course work.
3 My decision to take this course was a good one. 354 2.325 0.763
4 I have learned a lot about environmental science in this 354 2.492 0.635
class.
5 As a result of taking this class, I have learned a lot 355 2.080 0.751
about how to take action to solve environmental
problems.
6 As a result of taking this class, my attitude toward the 353 2.250 0.753
environment has become more positive.
7 As a result of taking this class, my behavior towards the 353 2.108 0.769
environment has become more positive.
8 I enjoy this class. 354 2.170 0.782
9 I took this class because I believe it is important to 355 1.834* 0.916
learn about the environment.
10 Given the opportunity, I would take this class again. 353 1.867* 0.915
11 The lab exercises in this course are excellent. 354 1.542* 0.807
12 The fieldwork in this course is excellent. 333 1.670* 0.779
13 I feel prepared to take the AP Environmental Science 352 1.906* 0.851
Exam.
Teacher Subscale
14 My teacher is well qualified to teach this course. 355 2.575 0.699
15 My teacher does an excellent job teaching this course. 354 2.350 0.812
16 My teacher explains concepts well. 354 2.370 0.703
17 My teacher enjoys teaching this course. 354 2.588 0.673
18 My teacher is very knowledgeable about 355 2.651 0.608
Environmental science.
19 My teacher cares about his/her students. 355 2.482 0.694
20 My teacher listens to his/her students. 354 2.376 0.736
21 My teacher is available to provide extra help for his/her 352 2.409 0.738
students when needed.
22 My teacher tells his/her students when they have done a 354 2.297 0.782
good job.
23 My teacher has high expectations for all students in this 354 2.288 0.765
class.
24 My teacher is fair to all students. 353 2.323 0.775
25 My teacher believes it is important to learn about the 354 2.689 0.558
environment.
24 My teacher is fair to all students. 353 2.323 0.775
25 My teacher believes it is important to learn about the 354 2.689 0.558
environment.
26 My teacher believes it is important to learn how to 355 2.578 0.630
solve environmental problems.
27 My teacher displays a positive attitude toward the 354 2.528 0.674
environment.
*= mean <2 (less than "agree")










Table 4-3 Continued..
28 My teacher encourages his/her students to take the AP 355 2.639 0.610
Environmental Science Exam.
29 My teacher has made sure that his/her students are 355 2.344 0.778
prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.
30 My teacher uses outside readings to supplement the 354 2.133 0.833
textbook in this class.
31 My teacher encourages independent research in this 351 1.940* 0.891
class.
32 My teacher encourages laboratory work in this class. 354 2.093 0.722
33 My teacher encourages cooperative group work in this 353 2.275 0.747
class.
34 My teacher encourages fieldwork in this class. 346 2.095 0.787
35 My teacher emphasizes to his/her students the benefits 354 2.065 0.820
of taking an AP course.
36 I respect my teacher. 353 2.527 0.691
37 I like my teacher. 353 2.473 0.707
38 My teacher is enthusiastic about environmental science. 352 2.585 0.644
Student Subscale
39 I do excellent work in this class. 351 1.974* 0.801
40 It is important to me to get good grades. 352 2.460 0.707
41 Environmental science is an important subject. 351 2.345 0.743
42 I enjoy learning environmental science. 353 2.241 0.788
* = mean <2 (less than "agree")


Results of the attitude scale analyses indicate that overall, students enjoy their

APES classes, but would not take them again. Students feel their APES classes are

beneficial because their decision to take this course was a good one, they learn a lot about

environmental science and how to take action to solve environmental problems, feel the

class has made their attitudes and behaviors toward the environment more positive,

consider environmental science to be an important subject, but did not take the class

because they feel it is important to learn about the environment. Interestingly, the

students do feel their teachers believe it is important to learn about the environment and

how to solve environmental problems.

Students do not feel personally prepared to take the APES exam, nor do they feel

this course has met their expectations of preparing them for college-level course work,

but do feel the teachers make sure their students are prepared to take the APES exam.









They think they have well qualified, knowledgeable, excellent, and caring teachers who

encourage lab work, fieldwork, and cooperative, not independent group work, but at the

same time the students feel the quality of the lab and fieldwork in APES is poor. Finally,

students like and respect their enthusiastic APES teachers who display positive attitudes

toward the environment, and feel it is important to get good grades, but do not think they

do excellent work in their APES classes.

Results indicate that APES is meeting some of the College Board's stated goals for

the environmental science class such as: having students learn about the environment and

especially how to take action to solve environmental problems, having knowledgeable

teachers who feel it is important to learn about the environment, preparing students for

the APES exam, and promoting lab and fieldwork. But, students do not feel that APES

meets their expectations of preparing them for college-level work or to take the APES

exam, nor do they consider the lab and fieldwork to be of high quality. These findings

are important because the College Board believes APES should prepare students for

college-level work and the APES exam and that APES should include excellent labs and

fieldwork.

4. What are the attitudes of teachers toward APES? On average, the 12 teachers

in this study have overall positive attitudes toward APES (responses of 0=strongly

disagree, 1=disagree, 2=agree, and 3=strongly agree). The mean score for the total

attitude scale was 2.27 (items 1-45). Mean subscale attitude scores were: 2.07 for the

class subscale, 1.90 for the student subscale, and 2.40 for the attitude toward self as a

teacher subscale. Teachers feel the most positive about themselves as teachers of APES,

followed by their overall attitudes toward APES, attitudes toward their APES classes, and









attitudes toward their APES students, but none of these differences in attitudes are

statically significant. (see Table 4-4).

Regarding individual items, mean responses were two or above for 33 of the items

and less than two for 12 of the items. The standard deviations of mean teacher attitude

scores for the entire attitude scale ranged from 0.00 to 1.10, but did not vary as much as

those of the student attitude scores, indicating there is not as much variability in the

teachers' attitudes.

Teachers have less than positive attitudes toward the following items:

Class subscale:

* This course has met my expectations of having the opportunity to teach highly
motivated students.

* As a result of teaching this class, my attitude toward the environment has become
more positive.

* I feel the lab exercises designed for this course are excellent.

* I feel the fieldwork in this course is excellent.

Student subscale:

* I think the majority of my students do excellent work in this class.
* I think my students are the type to do well in science.
* I think my students work hard in this class.
* I think my students appreciate the hard work they do in this class.

Teacher subscale:

* I feel I do an excellent job teaching this course.
* I encourage independent research in this class.
* I encourage laboratory work in this class.
* I encourage fieldwork in this class.

Teachers had more positive attitudes toward the following items:

Class subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher):









* My decision to teach this course was a good one.

* I have learned a lot about environmental science in preparing to teach this class.

* I have enjoyed teaching this class.

* I wanted to teach this class because I believe that it is important for students to
learn about the environment.

* I feel the textbook that is used for this class is helpful.

Student subscale (criteria = mean of 2.20 or higher):

* I think it is important to my students to get good grades.
* I think my students enjoy learning environmental science.

Teacher subscale (criteria = mean of 2.60 or higher):

* I care about my students.
* I am available to provide extra help for my students when needed.
* I have high expectations for all students in this class.
* I am fair to all students.
* I believe it is important for students to learn about the environment.
* I encourage my students to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.
* I like my students.
* I am enthusiastic about environmental science.

Teachers in this study feel that teaching APES is beneficial because in teaching the class

they personally learn a lot about environmental science and how to take action to solve

environmental problems, develop more positive behaviors toward the environment, and

enjoy teaching APES. They feel it is important for students to learn about the

environment and how to solve environmental problems. They feel their students are

prepared to take the APES exam, think environmental science is an important subject to

their students, and feel their students enjoy learning about environmental science. The

teachers also feel qualified to teach APES, care about their students, display positive

attitudes toward the environment, report that they encourage cooperative group work, and

are enthusiastic about teaching environmental science. The teachers do not feel that the







74


course has met their expectations of having the opportunity to teach highly motivated


students, did not develop a more positive attitude toward the environment, and feel that


the APES lab and fieldwork activities are poor. They do not think their students work


hard, do excellent work in their classes, are the type of students to do well in science, or


appreciate the hard work they do in APES. The teachers also admit they do not feel they


do an excellent job teaching this course and do not encourage labs, fieldwork, or


independent student research. These results are important because the College Board


recommends that students complete at least one lab activity each week and spend a


significant amount of time doing fieldwork.


Table 4-4. Descriptive statistics for the teacher attitude scale.
Item Question N Mean Std.
Dev.


Class Subscale
1 The benefits of teaching this class outweighs the costs of the
time needed to prepare to teach it.
2 This course has met my expectations of having the opportunity
to teach highly motivated students.
3 My decision to teach this course was a good one.
4 I have learned a lot about environmental science in preparing to
teach this class.
5 In preparing to teach this class, I have learned a lot about how
to take action to solve environmental problems.
6 As a result of teaching this class, my attitude toward the
environment has become more positive.
7 As a result of teaching this class, my behavior towards the
environment has become more positive.
8 I have enjoyed teaching this class.
9 I wanted to teach this class because I believe that it is important
for students to learn about the environment.
10 I feel the lab exercises designed for this course are excellent.
11 I feel the fieldwork in this course is excellent.
12 I feel the textbook that is used for this class is helpful.
Student Subscale
13 I feel my students are prepared to take the AP Environmental
Science Exam.
14 I think the majority of my students do excellent work in this
class.
15 I think my students are the type to do well in science.
16 I think it is important to my students to get good grades.
17 I think environmental science is an important subject to my
students.
18 I think my students work hard in this class.
19 I think my students appreciate the hard work they do in this
class.
20 I think my students enjoy learning environmental science.


12 2.167 0.718

12 1.750* 0.754

12 2.417 0.515
12 2.667 0.651

12 2.083 0.996

11 1.818* 0.751

11 2.091 0.701


2.250 0.622
2.583 0.515


1.167*
1.250*
2.250


0.577
0.754
0.622


12 2.000 0.000

12 1.500* 0.522


1.583*
2.417
2.000


0.515
0.515
1.095


11 1.667* 0.492
12 1.750* 0.622

12 2.250 0.622











Table 4-4. Continued.
Item


Question


Teacher Subscale
21 I feel I am well qualified to teach this course.
22 I feel I do an excellent job teaching this course.
23 I feel I explain concepts well.
24 I am very knowledgeable about environmental science.
25 I care about my students.
26 I listen to my students.
27 I am available to provide extra help for my students when
needed.
28 I tell my students when they have done a good job.
29 I have high expectations for all students in this class.
30 I am fair to all students.
31 I believe it is important for students to learn about the
environment.
32 I believe it is important for students to learn how to solve
environmental problems.
33 I display a positive attitude toward the environment.
34 I encourage my students to take the AP Environmental Science
Exam.
35 I have made sure that my students are prepared to take the AP
Environmental Science exam.
36 I give my students a lot of work in this class.
37 I use outside readings to supplement the textbook in this
class.
38 I encourage independent research in this class.
39 I encourage laboratory work in this class.
40 I encourage cooperative group work in this class.
41 I encourage fieldwork in this class.
42 I emphasize the benefits of taking an AP course to my students.
43 I respect my students.
44 I like my students.
45 I am enthusiastic about environmental science.
* = mean <2 (less than "agree")


N Mean Std.
Dev.


2.333
1.917*
2.417
2.333
2.750
2.583
2.667

2.583
2.750
2.667
2.750


0.651
0.515
0.515
0.651
0.452
0.515
0.492

0.515
0.452
0.492
0.452


12 2.500 0.674


2.500 0.674
2.750 0.452


12 2.583 0.515


2.000 0.426
2.417 0.669


1.500*
1.750*
2.417
1.667*
2.167
2.583
2.750
2.667


0.905
0.622
0.669
1.073
0.718
0.515
0.452
0.492


When results of the student and teacher attitude scales are compared, teachers and


students agree that APES is beneficial, has not met their expectations, has taught them a


lot about environmental science and how to take action to solve environmental problems,


and that their behaviors toward the environment are more positive. Both groups enjoy


the class, but feel the lab activities and fieldwork are poor. They also agree that the


students do not do excellent work in the class, that their teacher is qualified to teach


APES, that the teacher does not encourage independent research, but does encourage


cooperative group work, and that they both like and respect each other.









Student and teacher attitude scale results indicate a lack of consistency or

agreement between the two groups pertaining to the following items: that their attitudes

changed as a result of the APES class, that environmental science is important, that the

teacher does an excellent job teaching the class, that the teacher encourages lab and

fieldwork, and that students are prepared to take the APES exam. These inconsistencies

are interesting, but must be interpreted with caution because the sample size for the

teacher attitude survey was small (N=12) relative to the size of the student survey sample

(N=355).

5. Do the attitudes of students toward APES differ by gender or ethnicity? A

two-way ANOVA was used to determine if gender and ethnicity had an effect on

students' attitude towards APES (items 1-42 and 57 and 61). Results indicate students'

attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environmental Science did not statistically differ

for males and females for the overall student attitude scale, F(1, 325) = 2.525,p = 0.113

or any of the subscales. The effect size for Omega Squared was 0.005, which indicates a

very small effect size. Therefore, the non-significant effect of gender on attitude is likely

attributable to the small effects size as opposed to a lack of power (see Table 4-5).

Results indicate that students' attitudes toward Advanced Placement Environmental

Science did not significantly differ across levels of ethnicity for the student total attitude

scale F(4, 325) = 0.977,p = 0.420 or any of the subscales. The effect size for Omega

Squared was zero, which indicates a very small effect size. Therefore, the non-

significant effect of ethnicity on attitude is likely attributable to the small effect size as

opposed to a lack of power (see Table 4-5). There was no interaction between gender

and ethnicity for the student total attitude scale F(4, 325) = 1.133, p = 0.341 or any of the










subscales. The effect size for Omega Squared was 0.002, which indicates a very small

effect size. Effect sizes will only be reported if they are significant for the remainder of

the paper. Although the differences were not significant, Table 4-6 results indicate that

females have more positive attitudes toward APES overall than do their male

counterparts. Other ethnic groups in this study have more positive attitudes toward APES

overall than White, Black, Asian, or Hispanic students. However, none of the ethnic

groups' differences in attitudes were statistically significant.

Table 4-5. Two-way ANOVA for gender and ethnicity.
Scale Levene's Test SS df MS F P Effect
of Equal Size
Variances
Total 0.005 Gender 2.357 1 2.357 2.525 0.113 0.0045
Ethnicity 3.649 4 0.912 0.977 0.420 -0.0003
GXE 4.232 4 1.058 1.133 0.341 0.0016
Total 303.359 334

Table 4-6. Student total attitude scale and class, teacher, and student subscale descriptive
statistics for gender and ethnicity.
Total scale Class subscale Teacher subscale Student subscale
Group X SD N X SD N X SD N X SD N
All 1.994 0.402 355 1.596 0.434 355 2.195 0.441 355 2.235 0.596 355
Gender
Male 1.986 0.398 126 1.584 0.470 126 2.189 0.446 126 2.222 0.641 126
Female 2.015 0.386 214 1.615 0.390 214 2.216 0.417 214 2.259 0.553 214
Ethnic
White 2.012 0.404 194 1.606 0.438 194 2.219 0.433 194 2.236 0.587 194
Black 1.966 0.471 27 1.590 0.410 27 2.165 0.590 27 2.130 0.728 27
Asian 1.904 0.393 55 1.524 0.390 55 2.082 0.458 55 2.232 0.518 55
Hispanic 2.029 0.332 59 1.631 0.395 59 2.230 0.354 59 2.259 0.589 59
Other 2.129 0.372 13 1.716 0.495 13 2.328 0.377 13 2.442 0.542 13
ethnic
groups

Table 4-7 results indicate that the total attitude scale has the smallest 95%

confidence interval, meaning that the mean of the total attitude is more stable than the

mean of any of the three individual subscales and has a smaller range which will contain

the population mean 95% of the time. The student attitude toward self subscale had the

largest 95% confidence interval, meaning that the mean of this subscale is the least stable










compared to the total attitude scale and the other two subscales and has a larger range

which will contain the population mean 95% of the time. This may be due to the fact that

students have a more difficult time determining how they feel about themselves as

students in APES than they do about determining how they feel about the class in general

and their teachers in particular.

Table 4.7. 95% confidence intervals for student total attitude scale and class, teacher, and
student subscales for gender and ethnicity.
95% Confidence Intervals Total Scale Class Subscale Teacher Subscale Student Subscale
Group
All 1.799 <|t< 2.189 1.253 < L <1.939 1.966 < .L < 2.425 1.616 < .L <2.855
Gender
Male 1.793 < L <2.179 1.213 < L <1.955 1.957 < < 2.421 1.556 < <2.888
Female 1.828 Ethnicity
White 1.816 <|t< 2.208 1.260 < .L <1.952 1.994 < p < 2.444 1.626 < pi <2.846
Black 1.737 < pL <2.195 1.266 < pL <1.914 1.858 < p. < 2.472 1.373 < p <2.887
Asian 1.713 < p <2.095 1.216 < pL <1.832 1.844 < p. < 2.320 1.694 < p. <2.770
Hispanic 1.868 < p <2.190 1.319 < p <1.943 2.046 < i < 2.414 1.647 < p <2.871
Other ethnic groups 1.948 < L <2.310 1.325 < L <2.107 2.132 < g < 2.524 1.879 < g <3.005


For the total attitude scale and each of the subscales, females had the smallest

confidence intervals. Students of other ethnic backgrounds had the smallest 95%

confidence interval for the total attitude and teacher and the class subscales, while Asian

students had the smallest 95% confidence interval for the class and student subscales.

These findings are interesting. Perhaps the students of other ethnic backgrounds had the

smallest confidence interval for the teacher subscale because their cultures have greater

respect for teachers or elders in general. The Asian students may have had the smallest

confidence intervals for the class and student subscales because they view school as very

important, take their classes very seriously, and feel very confident in their ability as

students to do well in science.






79


This chapter reported the results of each of the study's five quantitative research

questions. Chapter 5 contains a case study that was developed from observations and

interviews with students and teachers in one APES class. The results of the five mixed

method quantitative/qualitative research questions along with the conclusions and

implications based on results for all 10 research questions are provided in Chapter 6.














CHAPTER 5
CASE STUDY OF AN ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
CLASS

Introduction

This chapter presents a case study of one intact Advanced Placement

Environmental Science class based on observations and teacher and student interviews at

a local high school in Gainesville, Florida. The case study was conducted to provide

qualitative data to enrich the data set, provide more specific insights into the

interpretation of the quantitative survey data, and for triangulation purposes.

Methods

Case Study Sample

The case study sample consisted of 30 students and their teacher in one intact AP

Environmental Science class in a large, high socioeconomic, suburban high school in

Gainesville, Florida. The case study site was chosen because it was one of two high

school AP Environmental Science class sites in Gainesville, Florida that had a teacher

willing to participate and was the most convenient location for the researcher to visit.

The instructor of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science class will be

referred to as Mr. S. in this case study. Mr. S. is a White male teacher, in his mid-forties

who lives in a rural area, has a bachelor's degree in biology education, has taught science

for 11 years, and has taught APES three and a half years.

Of the 30 students in the class, 19 were female and 11 were male. All of the

students were White except for one Asian female and two Black females. The majority









of the students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th, four 11th, and four 12th graders. Ten of

the 30 students in this class were chosen to be interviewed based on gender, ethnicity,

grade level, and APES class grade point average to make the sample as heterogeneous as

possible. Each of the 10 students interviewed lived in the suburbs, their grade point

averages ranged from 2.8 to 4.0, and their APES class grades ranged from A to C. There

were six freshman, two juniors, and two seniors in the student interview sample. The

highest academic degree of the students' mothers ranged from technical school

certification to a master's degree, while the highest academic degree of their fathers

ranged from a high school diploma to M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.

Data Sources

The two major qualitative data sources used to develop this case study were field

notes of classroom observations and transcripts of teacher and student interviews. The

observations and interviews were completed in the Fall semester of 2002.

APES Class Observations

The APES class observations were conducted during a first period class, which met

from 8:30 am to 9:20 am. They began in September 2002 and ended in December 2002.

A total of 10 fifty-minute class periods were observed. All observations were made on

five Mondays and five Wednesdays according to the availability of the researcher. The

researcher was a non-participant observer, and thus did not interact with the students or

Mr. S. during observations. Mr. S. was only communicated with either before or after

each observed class. Detailed field notes were collected during each observation day.

APES Class Interviews

The teacher and student interviews were conducted to enhance and clarify

interpretations of the field note observational data. Teacher, parent, and student consent









forms were distributed to the teacher and the 10 students to be interviewed in October,

2002. The interviews were conducted once all of the consent forms were signed and

returned to the researcher. Interviews were conducted on days convenient for Mr. S. and

students and occurred during November and December, 2002.

The 22-item teacher (Appendix D) and 20-item student (Appendix E) interview

protocols were developed by the researcher and were based on observations and data

collected during the previous 10 class observations and on the guidelines stated by the

College Board regarding the amount of class time that should be spent on certain types of

activities. The interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed. Mr. S. and each student

were only interviewed on one occasion. Each interview lasted approximately 20 minutes.

Data Analysis

The field note and interview data were analyzed using the constant comparison

method (Meyers, 1981). The teacher and student interview data were then compared to

the field note data to see how well the teacher's and students' statements matched what

was observed in the classroom. The observation and interview data were analyzed

collectively and used to prepare a case study of one Advanced Placement Environmental

Science class.

Areas of Focus

The following headings and subheadings outline major areas of focus for the case

study:

Demographic Information
Curriculum
Classroom Learning Environment
Planning
Instructional Methodology
Classroom Management
Assessment










Match with APES Guidelines.

They were derived from a combination of the categories that emerged during analysis of

the classroom observation and teacher and student interview data. Results presented here

are based on data collected from 10 class observations, an interview with Mr. S., the

instructor of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science class, and interviews of a

sample of 10 students in the class.

Demographic Information

Description of the Teacher

During the period of the case study, Mr. S. taught four sections of APES in which

the majority of students were 9th graders (12) with ten 10th, four 11th, and four 12th

graders. Mr. S. has taught chemistry, AP biology, honors biology, general biology,

physical science, physics, geology, marine biology, honors earth and space science and

APES. He has been teaching APES for three and a half years without any formal AP

training.

Description of the Students

Six freshman, two juniors, and two seniors were interviewed. The juniors and

seniors interviewed had taken high school biology, chemistry, physics, and earth space

science, as well as AP Calculus I & II, Economics, and APES. Table 5-1 summarizes

other demographic characteristics of the student interview sample.

Table 5-1. Description of students interviewed.
Student Grade Level APES Grade Gender Race
1 9th/10th A Male White
2 9th/10th B Male White
3 9th/10th C Male White
4 9th/10th A Female White
5 9th/10th B Female White
6 9th/10th C Female White
7 lth"/12th A Male White
8 11"/12th C Male White
9 11"/12th A Female Asian
10 11 "/12th C Female Black









Curriculum

The textbook used in the APES case study class was the 11th edition of Living in

the Environment by Miller copyrighted in 1999. This text was specifically designed for

use in college environmental science classes. During the interview, Mr. S. explained that

he designs his own labs based on previous AP exam questions instead of using a

particular laboratory manual. He also reported that he supplements the textbook with

videos on pollution, garbage, biogeochemical cycles, and rainforests, as well as

newspaper articles and television news clips related to environmental science topics.

Mr. S. defined curriculum as "What is on the APES exam." He explained that the

way in which he understands curriculum strongly influences what he teaches. As he

explained, "I teach what is on the APES exam." He felt that it was important to be

familiar with the curriculum so that he could teach the topics in a logical sequence in

which each topic builds on knowledge from the previous topics.

During the interview, Mr. S. responded to the question, "Are there other content

areas that you would like to teach but feel unable to because of the APES exam?" by

stating, "I feel that I do not have enough time to spend with the curriculum that I got."

He did not feel there was anything in particular he would like to change about the APES

curriculum, but he said, "I do not think that I would change anything except that I would

like to be able to spend more time on some of the topics."

Classroom Learning Environment

Physical Classroom Environment

During all 10 observations, the room was warm and the lighting was dim. The

room had two computers, a set of encyclopedias, and a collection of older National

Geographic magazines. A complete layout of the classroom is presented in Figure 5-1.











Chalkboard


Lab Table Teacher's Desk


I Clock lnnr

Science
Posters
EE


E:
En






[]


Bulletin Board


Computer


E E Desks Safety
HHI FI Shower
H H White White White Asian White Black
H] H__| Female Female Female Female Female Female
II II White White White White White White
H] H Male Male Femnle Femnle Female Female
H HL White White White White White White
II II Female Female Female Male Femnle Female
H H White White White White White White
H H Female Male Male Male Male Male
E H ElLab Tables

White White White White Black White
Male Male Female Male Female Female

Observer

Ct
Encyclopedias National Geographic Microscopes (30)
Magazines

The dimensions of the classroom are 35 ft by 23 ft.

Figure 5-1. Diagram of the observed APES classroom

There were 30 microscopes and a safety shower as well as a bulletin board and 32

science-related posters focusing on topics such as endangered species and chemistry.

There were 24 desks and three lab tables with very little lab counter space. This

classroom was set up for lecture rather than lab activities. There was no seating chart, but

the students always sat in the same seats. All three of the minority students in this class

were female and they all sat on the right side of the room, but not all next to each other.

The girls tended to sit next to girls and the boys tended to sit next to boys. The majority

of the students sat at desks not lab tables.









During the 10 observations, the students used the computers in the classroom to

download chapter outline notes and the students did not use the encyclopedias or

National Geographic magazines. The microscopes were not used during any of the 10

class observations.

Planning

Content Selection

In an interview, Mr. S. explained that he selects content based on the topics covered

on the APES exam. He pointed out that:

The topics that are on the APES exam have a very strong influence on what I teach
because if a lot of my students do not pass, then I do not get to teach this class
anymore. For the students to take the APES exam, they have to have my
permission, so some teachers, to have a high number of students pass the APES
exam, only let the students who they know will pass take it. I feel that if you
suffered with me all year long, you deserve the right to take the test and at the same
time I want them to see what a college exam is like. It is a good learning
experience for them to take the exam.

During observations, it was not evident that Mr. S. considered students' interests or

students' preferred learning styles when planning his lessons. When asked if he considers

students' interests and preferred learning styles when planning his learning activities, he

responded, "If an activity or something works with a group of students, I use it again. I

want it to be fun for the students, but at the same time I want them to learn."

Lesson Content

Mr. S. was very explicit about telling students what content and skills they needed

to be able to perform to do well on the APES exam. For example, he told the students

that it is important to know how to write a good essay because there are essays on the AP

exam. During observations, Mr. S. spent an entire class period explaining how to

develop a hypothesis and reviewing the format students should follow when writing an









essay. He outlined what should go in the introduction paragraph, such as, the central

theme of the essay and the definition of key terms. He also explained to the students that

they would get points on the AP exam for defining the terms they use.

Mr. S. used the example of writing an essay on a food chain. He explained that in

the introduction the students should discuss and define a food chain; in the first paragraph

they should discuss the particular organisms involved in the food chain and draw and

label a diagram of the food chain. Then he said they should talk about the flow of energy

in the food chain and draw the proper arrows to show the direction of the energy flow.

He explained that in the following paragraphs they should discuss their conclusions.

Mr. S. stressed to the students the importance of being specific about the laws and

terms they used in their essays and why and how they relate to the question and their

explanation. He also gave the students old APES essay questions to answer and discuss

in class. Mr. S. also hinted about topics such as the three types of evolution and plate

tectonics that would make good exam essay questions.

Mr. S. was very explicit in his interview statements and in his teaching that he

bases his instruction on what is on the APES exam. He was very systematic in covering

all of the material in each chapter by lecturing on the chapter outlines that he provided to

his students. He also laid out exactly how the students should write their essays and what

topics had the highest probability of being on the APES exam.

Observations indicated that Mr. S. purposely planned to provide a wide variety of

real world examples for his students. He was very knowledgeable about many

environmental topics and gave frequent real world examples pertaining to the content of

the day. For example, Mr. S. used a lake and a cup of coffee to explain the heat capacity









of water, and when talking about potential and kinetic energy, he used the example of a

piece of chalk sitting on a desk and then falling off. He used the example of burning gas

in an engine to teach the law of thermodynamics and the example of having aluminum

everywhere or having a can made of aluminum to explain entropy to a student.

During one class observation, when talking about the cycle of phosphorous, he

mentioned that "Florida has a lot of phosphorous because it was once under water." He

shared a story about when he was a child in West Virginia. "I saw trains carrying coal

and how the rivers would turn black because of the coal burning." When discussing

nitrogen fixation, a student asked, "What is a nodule?" He drew a picture on the board

and described it as looking like a Christmas tree bulb. When reviewing the nitrogen

cycle, he explained that "In step one you make dinner, in step two you serve it, and in the

last step you are just taking everything apart." He gave the example of the peppered

moth in England as an example of co-evolution, and Cheerios floating on milk as an

example of plate tectonics. All of these incidences illustrate his emphasis on real world

examples when selecting lesson content.

Instructional Methodology and Teaching Strategies

The major types of instructional techniques used during the 10 observations and the

percentage of class time allocated to each technique are presented in Table 5-2. Case

study results regarding all eight of these instructional techniques are summarized in the

following paragraphs.

Lecture

Lecture was the most frequently used mode of instruction in this APES class.

When asked to describe his style of teaching in an interview, Mr. S. stated,