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Children, Teachers and Nature

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021987/00001

Material Information

Title: Children, Teachers and Nature An Analysis of an Environmental Education Program
Physical Description: 1 online resource (118 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: affective, attitude, children, connection, education, environmental, evaluation, nature, program, teacher
Forest Resources and Conservation -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Forest Resources and Conservation thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Environmental education is an important tool for providing knowledge, supporting positive attitudes toward nature, and building skills to protect and improve the environment. Because of limited funding sources and increasing environmental challenges, it is important to provide effective environmental education programs. Program evaluation is one strategy to engage stakeholders and increase program effectiveness. An evaluation of a fourth grade environmental education program, Lagoon Quest developed by Brevard Zoo, provides an unique opportunity to answer several questions about implementing an effective environmental education program. The first question is about the effectiveness of Lagoon Quest. Evaluation data are reported in a case study that provides details about the development of the evaluation questions and evaluation instruments. The pre/posttest comparison suggests that participating in Lagoon Quest effectively increases students' knowledge of Indian River Lagoon (mean increase = 5.03, p < 0.05). This program is effective among students from different socio-economic background. Moreover, teachers and parents indicate that the program positively influenced the students and are supportive of it. Lagoon Quest is now a required program in the fourth grade curriculum in Brevard County, which raises the second question: how do teachers react to a required fourth grade program? Teachers? prior experience in environmental education, science education, Lagoon Quest and their attitudes toward Lagoon Quest were examined. A teacher survey was conducted to explore teachers' attitudes, but the low response rate necessitated a process to explore non-respondents' attitudes. Follow-up focus groups at schools with few respondents suggest that teachers who had prior experience in teaching science were more likely to be highly supportive of Lagoon Quest and were more likely to use additional resources to support the program. Also, teachers' interest in Indian River Lagoon is positively associated with their attitude toward nature. The third question uses Lagoon Quest to explore how to measure children's attitudes toward nature and the long-term development of conservation ethics. A Connection to Nature Index was developed and validated with fourth-grade students. A correlation analysis was conducted, and Connection to Nature was linked to other variables to explore its predictive ability. Four major elements were in the Connection to Nature Index: enjoyment of nature, empathy for living creatures, sense of oneness and sense of responsibility. The results suggest that measuring connection to nature (b=0.38, p < 0.05) is a promising strategy to predict children?s interest in participating in nature-based activities. Also, connection to nature (b=0.30, p < 0.05) can predict children?s interest in performing environmental friendly practices.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Monroe, Martha C.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021987:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021987/00001

Material Information

Title: Children, Teachers and Nature An Analysis of an Environmental Education Program
Physical Description: 1 online resource (118 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: affective, attitude, children, connection, education, environmental, evaluation, nature, program, teacher
Forest Resources and Conservation -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Forest Resources and Conservation thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Environmental education is an important tool for providing knowledge, supporting positive attitudes toward nature, and building skills to protect and improve the environment. Because of limited funding sources and increasing environmental challenges, it is important to provide effective environmental education programs. Program evaluation is one strategy to engage stakeholders and increase program effectiveness. An evaluation of a fourth grade environmental education program, Lagoon Quest developed by Brevard Zoo, provides an unique opportunity to answer several questions about implementing an effective environmental education program. The first question is about the effectiveness of Lagoon Quest. Evaluation data are reported in a case study that provides details about the development of the evaluation questions and evaluation instruments. The pre/posttest comparison suggests that participating in Lagoon Quest effectively increases students' knowledge of Indian River Lagoon (mean increase = 5.03, p < 0.05). This program is effective among students from different socio-economic background. Moreover, teachers and parents indicate that the program positively influenced the students and are supportive of it. Lagoon Quest is now a required program in the fourth grade curriculum in Brevard County, which raises the second question: how do teachers react to a required fourth grade program? Teachers? prior experience in environmental education, science education, Lagoon Quest and their attitudes toward Lagoon Quest were examined. A teacher survey was conducted to explore teachers' attitudes, but the low response rate necessitated a process to explore non-respondents' attitudes. Follow-up focus groups at schools with few respondents suggest that teachers who had prior experience in teaching science were more likely to be highly supportive of Lagoon Quest and were more likely to use additional resources to support the program. Also, teachers' interest in Indian River Lagoon is positively associated with their attitude toward nature. The third question uses Lagoon Quest to explore how to measure children's attitudes toward nature and the long-term development of conservation ethics. A Connection to Nature Index was developed and validated with fourth-grade students. A correlation analysis was conducted, and Connection to Nature was linked to other variables to explore its predictive ability. Four major elements were in the Connection to Nature Index: enjoyment of nature, empathy for living creatures, sense of oneness and sense of responsibility. The results suggest that measuring connection to nature (b=0.38, p < 0.05) is a promising strategy to predict children?s interest in participating in nature-based activities. Also, connection to nature (b=0.30, p < 0.05) can predict children?s interest in performing environmental friendly practices.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Monroe, Martha C.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021987:00001


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1 CHILDREN, TEACHERS AND NATURE: AN ANALYSIS OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM By JUDITH CHEN-HSUAN CHENG A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Judith Chen-Hsuan Cheng

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3 To people who promote and improve environmental education.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This study would not have occurred without the support from all fourth grade public school teachers and students in Brevard County. I am sincerely thankful to Keith Winsten, Alison Gordon, Andrea Aubert, and many other staff of the Brevard Zoo who supported this research, arranged important meetings, and provi ded suggestions and resources throughout the project. I also thank Ed Short and other administrators in The Brevard Public Schools who helped with the implementation of the Lagoon Quest evaluation, and Anne Graham who provided technical assistance with data collection. Additionally, I appreciate the funding from the National Fish and Wildli fe Foundation and IFAS/SFRC. I appreciate my committee memb ers, Drs. Martha Monroe, Stephen Holland, David Miller, Taylor Stein and Marilyn Swishe r; without their support this st udy would not have occurred. Dr. Stephen Holland has interests in outdoor recreation who always opens the door for my questions. Dr. Taylor Stein provided useful information a nd suggestions for my study. Dr. Marilyn Swisher has encouraged me to think critically and has he lped me with her specialty, research design and methods. Dr. David Miller participated in part of my study and has given me suggestions on data analysis and future direction. I particularly thank my committee chair, Dr. Martha Monroe, who serves as my mentor and advisor, has always given me encouragem ent and suggestions. She has also helped me develop my proposal, assisted me with my writin g skills and always given me mental support. She has always opened the door for me whenever I needed help. She is also a sincere friend with whom I can share my sorrow and joy. I also thank my boy friend Cheng-Shu Li, w ho always supports me and tolerates my moody complaints. Also, I would like to thank all my lab mates and friends who always offer suggestions for research and provi de emotional support.

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5 Finally, my greatest thanks go to my family members who have always given me great encouragement throughout my lif e. My parents Yu-Hsia Lin and Chou-Jian Cheng always support my life decisions and provide me with fina ncial assistance. My mother has always taken care of everything for me and my father has al ways made me laugh when I am sad. My aunts Jen-Li Cheng and Chiu Hsia are like my t eachers who always give me suggestions and consolations when I misplace my faith in pursuing my dream. My brother Chen-Kai Cheng also always provides some useful advice and technical support for me.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........9 LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS........................................................................................................ 12 ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................13 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................15 2 MEASURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LAGOON QUEST: A CASE STUDY IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM EVALUATION ...................................... 18 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........18 Focusing the Evaluation.........................................................................................................19 Situation...........................................................................................................................20 Inputs...............................................................................................................................20 Outputs............................................................................................................................20 Outcomes.........................................................................................................................21 Assumptions.................................................................................................................... 21 Logistics and Timeline......................................................................................................... ..21 Developing an Evaluation Plan.............................................................................................. 22 Tool Development and Modification...................................................................................... 22 Evaluation Question A: How Was Lagoon Quest Im plemented and Perceived?............ 23 Evaluation Question B: Does Lagoon Ques t Influence Students Knowledge of Indian River Lagoon? ..................................................................................................24 Evaluation Question C: Did Students Enjoy Their Expe rience with the Lagoon? ..........24 Evaluation Question D: Do Teachers Pr evious E xperiences in Environmental Education Affect Their Use of the Lagoon Quest Unit?.............................................. 24 Evaluation Question E: How Can the Lagoon Quest be Im proved?............................... 25 Data Collection.......................................................................................................................25 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................26 Results.....................................................................................................................................28 Question A: How was Lagoon Quest Implemented and Perceived?............................... 28 Question B: Does Lagoon Quest Influence Students Knowledge of Indian River Lagoon?........................................................................................................................30 Question C: Do Students Enjoy Thei r Experience with the Lagoon? ............................. 31 Question D: Do Teachers Previous E xperien ces in Environmental Education Affect Their use of the Lagoon Quest Materials?........................................................ 31 Question E: How can Lagoon Quest be Improved?........................................................ 33

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7 Chaperones suggestions for the program................................................................ 33 Teachers suggestions for the program.................................................................... 35 Focus group suggestions..........................................................................................37 Discussion...............................................................................................................................38 Challenges for Lagoon Quest................................................................................................. 38 Recommendations for E valuation........................................................................................... 40 Conclusion..............................................................................................................................41 3 EXAMINING TEACHERS ATTI T UDES TOWARD A REQUIRED ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM.................................................................54 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........54 Teacher Attitudes, Experience and Support........................................................................... 55 Required Environmental Education Programs....................................................................... 56 Teacher support................................................................................................................ ......57 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....58 Research Methods and Data Collection.................................................................................. 58 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................59 Descriptions of Participants....................................................................................................60 Association between Previous Experience w ith L agoon Quest and Teachers Attitudes...... 61 Teachers Who Had Prior Experiences in Teaching Science........................................... 62 Teachers positive feelings of Lagoon Quest........................................................... 62 Teachers negative feelings of Lagoon Quest.......................................................... 62 Academic value of Lagoon Quest............................................................................ 63 Collaboration............................................................................................................64 Challenges................................................................................................................64 Teachers Who Did Not Have Prior E xperience in Teaching Science ............................. 65 Teachers feelings about Lagoon Quest................................................................... 65 Collaboration............................................................................................................66 Challenges................................................................................................................66 Teachers Interest in Indian River Lagoon and Environm ent................................................ 67 Discussion...............................................................................................................................68 Implications................................................................................................................... .........69 4 CONNECTION TO NATURE: CHILDRENS AFFECTIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD NATURE ................................................................................................................................73 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........73 Affective Attitudes toward Nature..........................................................................................74 Influences of Nature-Relevant Experience on Children......................................................... 75 Other Factors that Influence Pro-Environm ental Behaviors.................................................. 78 Measuring Affective Attitude toward Nature......................................................................... 79 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....80 Instrument Development........................................................................................................ 81 Data Collection.......................................................................................................................82 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........83 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................83

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8 Results.....................................................................................................................................84 Research Question 1: How Do Children Perceive Connection to Nature?..................... 84 Research Question 2: Do Family Values toward Nature, Previous Experiences in Nature, Nature Near The Hom e, and Know ledge of Environment Correlate with Scores on Connection to Nature?................................................................................. 85 Research Question 3: Do Family Values toward Nature, Previous Experiences in Nature, Nature Near The Hom e, Knowledge of Environment, and Connection to Nature Predict Childrens In terest in Participating in Natured-Based Activities?...... 86 Research Question 4: Does Connection to Nature Predict Childrens Interest in Environm entally Friendly Practices?........................................................................... 86 Discussion...............................................................................................................................87 Implication.................................................................................................................... ..........89 5 IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY....................................................................................... 93 Environmental Education Program Evaluation...................................................................... 93 Teachers Attitudes toward A Required Program.................................................................. 94 Childrens Affective Attitudes toward Nature........................................................................ 96 Future Evaluation And Research............................................................................................ 97 APPENDIX A STUDENT KNOWLEDGE TEST....................................................................................... 100 B STUDENT ATTITUDE SURVEY...................................................................................... 102 C TEACHER ATTITUDE SURVEY...................................................................................... 106 D LAGOON QUEST CHAPERONE SURVEY...................................................................... 111 E LAGOON QUEST STAFF RECORD................................................................................. 113 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................114 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................118

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page Table 2-1. Logic model for Lagoon Quest program...................................................................... 42 Table 2-2. An evaluation focus for Lagoon Quest......................................................................... 44 Table 2-2. Continued........................................................................................................... ..........45 Table 2-3. Evaluation plan matrix.............................................................................................. ...46 Table 2-4. Lagoon Quest activities used by teachers..................................................................... 49 Table 2-5. Teachers perceptions of the Lagoon Quest program (percent responding)................ 49 Table 2-6. Teachers perception of the Lagoon Quest study trip (percent responding) ................ 49 Table 2-7. Teacher perceptions of the La goon Quest m aterials (percent responding)..................50 Table 2-8. Lagoonie family activ ities reported by students ........................................................... 50 Table 2-9. Matched cases of pre and post test scores .................................................................... 50 Table 2-10. Unmatched cases of pre and post test scores .............................................................. 50 Table 2-11. Frequencies of correct answers in pretest and posttest ...............................................51 Table 2-12. Knowledge scores for Ti tle I and non-Title I schools ................................................ 51 Table 2-13. Improvement between pretest and posttest scores ......................................................51 Table 2-14. Student enjoyment of study trip activities (percent responding) ................................ 51 Table 2-15. Student enjoyment of cla ssroom activities (percent responding)...............................52 Table 2-16. Students enjoym ent of Lagoon Quest program ......................................................... 52 Table 2-17. Association between environmenta l education experience and pretests and posttests ..............................................................................................................................52 Table 2-18. Topics of interest to teachers..................................................................................... .53 Table 3-1. Focus group data coding............................................................................................. ..71 Table 3-2. Difference of teachers attitude s b etween those who had prior Lagoon Quest experience and those who did not*.................................................................................... 71

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10 Table 3-3. Difference of teachers attitudes b etween those who had prior environmental experience and those who did not*.................................................................................... 72 Table 3-4. Attitudes toward nature of teach ers with prior Lago on Quest experience and teachers without prior Lagoon Quest experience*............................................................. 72 Table 3-5. Association between interest in learning about the environm ent and attitude toward nature*...................................................................................................................72 Table 3-6. Correlation of attitude toward nature and interest in IRL before and after the Lagoon Quest .....................................................................................................................72 Table 4-1. Confirmatory factor analysis........................................................................................ 91 Table 4-2. Correlation between connecti on to nature and other factors ........................................ 91

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11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page Figure 2-1. Conduct a sample or a census?.................................................................................... 43 Figure 2-2. Who could be in a control group................................................................................. 43 Figure 2-3. Using comput ers to collect data .................................................................................. 47 Figure 2-4. Determining im pacts on students................................................................................ 47 Figure 2-5. Perfect posttest scores............................................................................................ .....48 Figure 2-6. Dealing with missing data.......................................................................................... .48 Figure 2-7. Increasing response and com pletion rates................................................................... 52 Figure 4-1. The factors that predict students pref erence of nature-based activities.....................92 Figure 4-2. The factors that pred ict students interests in envi ronm entally friendly practices...... 92

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12 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AGFI Adjusted Goodness-of-fit ECVI Expected cross validation index GFI Goodness-of-fit RMSR Root-mean-square residual RMSEA Root-mean-square error of approximation

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13 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 CHILDREN, TEACHERS AND NATURE: AN ANALYSIS OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM By Judith Chen-Hsuan Cheng May 2008 Chair: Martha C. Monroe Major: Forest Resources and Conservation Environmental education is an important t ool for providing knowledge, supporting positive attitudes toward nature, and building skills to pr otect and improve the environment. Because of limited funding sources and increasing environmen tal challenges, it is important to provide effective environmental educat ion programs. Program evaluati on is one strategy to engage stakeholders and increase program effectiveness. An evaluation of a fourth grade environmental education program, Lagoon Quest developed by Brev ard Zoo, provides an unique opportunity to answer several questions about implementing an effective environmenta l education program. The first question is about the effectiveness of Lagoon Quest. Evaluation data are reported in a case study that provides de tails about the development of the evaluation questions and evaluation instruments. The pre/posttest comparis on suggests that particip ating in Lagoon Quest effectively increases students knowledge of Indian River Lagoon (mean increase = 5.03, p<0.05). This program is effective among student s from different socio-economic background. Moreover, teachers and parents indicate that th e program positively influenced the students and are supportive of it. Lagoon Quest is now a required program in the fourth grade curriculum in Brevard County, which raises the second question: how do teacher s react to a required fourth grade program?

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14 Teachers prior experience in environmental education, science education, Lagoon Quest and their attitudes toward Lagoon Quest were examine d. A teacher survey was conducted to explore teachers attitudes, but the low response rate necessitated a process to explore non-respondents attitudes. Follow-up focus groups at schools with few respondents s uggest that teachers who had prior experience in teaching science were more likely to be highly supportive of Lagoon Quest and were more likely to use additional resource s to support the program. Also, teachers interest in Indian River Lagoon is positively associat ed with their attitude toward nature. The third question uses Lagoon Quest to expl ore how to measure childrens attitudes toward nature and the long-term development of conservation ethics. A Connection to Nature Index was developed and validated with fourth -grade students. A co rrelation analysis was conducted, and Connection to Nature was linked to other variables to e xplore its predictive ability. Four major elements we re in the Connection to Nature Index: enjoyment of nature, empathy for living creatures, se nse of oneness and sense of res ponsibility. The results suggest that measuring connection to nature ( =0.38, p<0.05) is a promising strategy to predict childrens interest in participa ting in nature-based activities. Also, conne ction to nature ( =0.30, p<0.05) can predict childrens interest in performing environmental friendly practices.

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15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Environmental education provides people with opportunities to obtain knowledge, attitudes, values, commitment and skills to protect and improve the environment (UNESCO, 1977). A number of environmental education programs have been implemented by different agencies and organizations to achieve the long -term goal of creating an envir onmentally literate citizenry. To effectively achieve this goal, a number of el ements and methods are usually included in environmental education programs. For example, environmental knowledge is often presented through hands-on activities and real life experiences; ethics and va lues are important factors for discussions, and models or serv ice learning projects provide opportunities for engagement and development of critical thinking skills (Jacobs on et al., 2006). Evalua tion and research are critical to help environmental educators understand their programs effects and strategies that could be used to achieve program objectives. Furthe rmore, there is a need to train environmental education providers to understa nd research implications and evaluate their own programs. Evaluation helps program providers understand if the program meets needs, what the long-term effects are, and what alternatives might improve the programs (Madaus et al., 1983). The objective of this study is to evaluate an environmental education program, to explore teachers attitudes toward this newly required program, and to explore childrens affective attitudes toward nature. The latter two research questions could be answ ered during the program evaluation. The study site was in Brevard County, Florida. Brevard County is home to the Indian River Lagoon, a 156-mile estuary that is one of the most diverse estuarine ecosystems in the world. Like other coastal systems, the lagoon is threatened by development and nonpoint water pollution. To help increase knowledge of local environmental issues and estuarine ecology in

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16 fourth through eighth grade students, Brevar d Zoo developed an environmental education program, Lagoon Quest, in early 1990s. Because of the success of this voluntary pr ogram, Brevard Public Schools included the program in their fourth-grade science curri culum beginning in 2005. Now all fourth-grade students and teachers are required to partic ipate in Lagoon Quest. The expansion and requirement of the program provided an importa nt opportunity to evaluate the program, to observe the effects of the study tr ip and to speak to teachers a nd students about their experience. An evaluation of Lagoon Quest was designed from a logic model of the program. A logic model helps evaluators identify resources and vari ables of interest thr ough a sequential process (Kellogg Foundation, 2004; Cooksy, et al., 2001). It also suggests how the evaluators could examine and validate their findings from different sources and data collection methods (Cooksy et al., 2001). The results of this evaluation wi ll help Brevard Zoo and Brevard Public Schools improve the program and update the materials. The evaluation report was developed into a training manual for environmental education professionals and made available through Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv ice (FWS), and other agencies that want to conduct professional de velopment on program evaluation. The format of the training guide follows an NAAEE Workbook, Evaluating your environmental education programs: A workbook for practitioners which should be available in 2009. Typically, voluntary environmental education pr ograms are more likely to reach people who have prior interest in and access to the environment. Required environmental education programs may reach more participants, but could also result in challenges for program providers. Little is known about the effect of requiring sc hool-based environmental education programs on teachers attitudes. The Lagoon Quest expansion created an opportunity to explore teachers

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17 attitudes and help program providers understand how much support they need to offer teachers. This study will explore the effects of teachers previous experience in Lagoon Quest program, science education and other environmental edu cation programs on their attitudes toward the program. The association between teachers attit ude toward nature and their attitude toward Lagoon Quest will be examined. Attitudes betw een teachers who had voluntary Lagoon Quest experience and teachers who did not will be comp ared. These data will allow researchers to understand the effects of requiring environmenta l education programs on teachers, which can help other agencies that would like to expand their own environmental education programs to entire communities or regions. One of the goals of Lagoon Quest is to support positive environmental attitudes and the development of a conservation ethic in children. The evaluation study provides an opportunity to develop and test an index that measures childrens affective attitude toward nature. Research suggests that connection with nature may increas e peoples pro-environmen tal behaviors (Kals et al., 1999; Mayer & Frantz, 2004). This may be because contact with nature has an affective influence on people, which further influences th eir pro-environmental behaviors. However, most of this research has focused on adults (Kal s et al., 1999; Allen & Fe rrand, 1999; Schultz, 2000; Mayer & Frantz, 2004). To explore connection to na ture in children, a new index is needed. This new tool could be used as an ev aluation instrument for future at titudinal and behavioral studies. This study will also describe the process of th e development and validation of the index. The index will be tested with other variables to explore its ability to predict childrens behavioral interests. The development of the index can be adopted by both evaluators and environmental psychologists as an evaluation instrument for tr acking childrens affective attitudes toward nature over time.

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18 CHAPTER 2 MEASURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LAGOON QUEST: A CASE STUDY IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM EVALUATION Introduction Located in East Central Florida, Brevar d County is home to approximately 531,250 people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006), most of whom live n ear the Atlantic Ocean in the largest cities, Palm Bay and Melbourne. A large number of tourists visit the ocean and NASAs Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Paralleling th e coast is the Indian River Lagoon, a linear, 156mile estuary, which greatly enhances Brevar d Countys agricultural, fishing, economic, and recreational opportunities (South Florida Water Management Di strict, 2006). Like other subtropical estuaries, the Indi an River Lagoon has very high bi ological productivity and is the home of many endangered and threatened species. To help protect this important treasure, Brevard Zoo developed an environmental education program, called Lagoon Quest, designed to enhance environmental stewardship. Lagoon Quest was originally developed to increase knowledge of local environmental issues and estuarine ecology for students in f ourth grade through eighth grade classes in 1990s. Because of the success of this voluntary program and the desire to help all students have the chance to learn about and be re sponsible for their local ecosy stem, Brevard Public Schools included the program in their fourth-grade sc ience curriculum in 2005. Now all fourth-grade students and teachers are required to participate in Lagoon Quest. In the summer prior to the re quired expansion of the Lagoon Quest program, zoo staff and three fourth-grade teachers developed the Teacher Guide and Student Guide (Lagoonie Logbook). The Teacher Guide provides an introducti on to the study trip and instructions for the Lagoon Quest in-class activities, while the Student Guide provides worksheets for students and their parents to complete. Twelve in-class acti vities were designed to bracket the one-day study

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19 trip to the Indian River Lagoon, which is sta ffed by Brevard Zoo. During the study trip students learn about the Indian River Lagoon, collect aquatic organisms while standing in the water, test water quality, discuss water pollution with an enviroscape model, a nd hunt for litter and evidence of animals on a beach scavenger hunt using GPS technology. Brevard Zoo asked students and faculty at the University of Floridas School of Forest Resources and Conservation to a ssist with the program evaluati on. When the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) agreed to provide funding for the evalua tion, the process was enlarged to accommodate their interests and the gr aduate students research agenda. This training case study discusses the development of the prog ram evaluation and provides the results of the evaluation for Lagoon Quest. Focusing the Evaluation Zoo staff and Brevard school district ad ministrators helped articulate the purpose of the evaluation: to understand if the program is increasing students knowledge about the Indian River Lagoon and helping to develop a conserva tion ethic for taking care of the Lagoon and its watershed. Additional interests were expl oring the impacts of expanding a voluntary environmental educational program to the entire f ourth grade, identifying changes to improve the program, and identifying indicators that could be used over time to track the development of a conservation ethic in the county. The results obtai ned from this study will be used for program improvement and new program development. The program stakeholders include the zoo staff, school district administrators, and fourth-grade teachers (including thos e who helped write the program materials). The program audience includes about 5500 fourth -grade students, about 260 fourth-grade teachers, and about 900 parent chaperones who accompany the study trips. To become familiar with the program, the evaluators created a logic model for Lagoon Quest. The logic model was presented to zoo staff to confirm that it included all of the elements

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20 of the program and to help iden tify those elements that should be included in the evaluation (Table 2-1). Situation The Indian River Lagoon is a biologically di verse estuary that is threatened by rapid population growth, development in the watershed, and increased boat traffic (St. Johns River Water Management District, 2007) The long-term health of the Lagoon is dependent upon the knowledge and actions of local ci tizens, their willingness to support regulations and policies that protect the Lagoon, and their investment of res ources. Brevard Zoo is a local environmental education facility that devel oped Lagoon Quest. Brevard County Public Schools has adopted the program for all fourth-grade classes to suppor t science education and help strengthen a conservation ethic in the county. Inputs The Lagoon Quest inputs are funding (from NFWF and Brevard Schools), written materials (Teacher Guide, Lagoonie Logbook fr om Brevard Zoo, and Indian River Lagoon Activity Book from St. Johns River Water Manageme nt District), personnel (zoo staff, teachers, chaperones), and program equipm ent (from schools and zoo). Outputs An in-service teacher workshop, in-class activities, study trips, family activities, and family festival are outputs. The teacher workshop introduced the Lagoon Quest teaching materials, instructions to conduc t the in-class activities, and st udy trip, and pretest and posttest and surveys. The family activities are part of the Lagoonie Logbook, and the family festival is a zoo-sponsored exploration and celebration of th e Indian River Lagoon for families of fourthgrade students. The program par ticipants are fourth grade public school students, teachers, and chaperones. The festival particip ants are fourth grade public school students and their families.

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21 Outcomes Lagoon Quest has three types of outcomes: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Short-term outcomes are students knowledge and teachers knowledge, experience, and skill enhancement. Medium-term outcomes are students environmental attitudes and pride in the Indian River Lagoon. The long-term outcomes are enhancement of conservation behaviors, interest in conservation caree rs, and the improvement of th e biophysical environment. Assumptions A number of assumptions about education a nd learning are built into this program: Handson, real-world learning experiences are meani ngful and memorable. Teacher-led classroom activities help introduce and reinforce study trip concepts. On e school-based experience can help motivate students to engage thei r parents in additional lagoon-rela ted activities. The activities of collecting organisms, picking up litter, and being in the lagoon help motiv ate students to care for the lagoon. Logistics and Timeline The Brevard Zoo asked students and a professor from Univers ity of Florida to lead the program evaluation process. Funding for the evaluation came from NFWF in a two-year matching grant. Evaluators became familiar with Lagoon Quest through observations and interviews in fall 2005 (the first season of the e xpanded program) and developed the logic model. In January 2006 a stakeholder meeting was held to review and improve the evaluation plan, logic model, and timeline. In spring 2006, student and teacher interviews were conducted to develop evaluation tools in the form of student, teacher, and chaperone surveys. Following the pilot-test, the revised evaluation tools were distributed to the stakeholders for review. The data collection process was implemented from fall 2006 to spring 2007 and the data analysis was in itiated in spring 2007.

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22 The Brevard School administrators preferred requ iring the evaluation acti vities as part of the program for all students and teachers. The school system pos ted the surveys and test of knowledge on its Web site and expected full partic ipation (Figure 2-1). As a result, there is no reasonable control group (Figure 2-2) for this evaluation. A completed evaluation focus is provided in Table 2-2. Developing an Evaluation Plan The evaluation plan began with brainstormi ng evaluation questions that could be asked about the program. Because of the various asp ects such as the in-service training, in-class activities, study trip, and family festival, many po tential questions were suggested and discarded. Although the program discussed conservation behavior s, evaluators initially believed that the fourth-grade program did not emphasize conservation behaviors that youth could undertake in a manner that would create a measurable change. Stakeholders, however, suggested that students intention regarding picking up litter and returning to the Lagoon would be appropriate indicators of program success, so these conservation behavi ors were included. Because it was not initiated until spring 2007, the family festival was removed from the evaluation plan. The final evaluation questions are explained below a nd are summarized in Table 2-3. Tool Development and Modification The initial student knowledge test was devel oped by the Lagoon Quest team of teachers and zoo staff in 2005. Evaluators in the University of Florida analyzed the results after the first year of the program and offered some suggestio ns for vocabulary and additional questions, based on student interviews. The other evaluation tools were initially de signed by graduate stude nts from University of Florida in fall 2005 after observing the Lagoon Quest study trip and interviewing teachers. In spring 2006, stakeholders reviewed these eval uation tools and offered suggestions. School

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23 district staff confirmed their inte rest in the answers to all five evaluation questions and suggested that evaluators develop an additional tool, the chaperone survey. The student attitude survey was significantly revised after pilot te sting and interviews with studen ts. The teacher attitude survey was tested with teachers from the planning co mmittee. The following tools were used in the Lagoon Quest evaluation: Student knowledge test (Appendix A) Student attitude survey (Appendix B) Teacher attitude survey (Appendix C) Chaperone survey (Appendix D) Staff observation form (Appendix E) Evaluation Question A: How Was Lagoon Quest Implemented and Perceived? Indicator: Responses to student attitude surveys, teacher surveys, and staff observations. Sources of information: Fourth-grade public school teache rs, fourth-grade public school students, and staff. Methods and tools: The tools used to collect this information were a student survey, a teacher survey, and staff observation forms. Before the student survey was developed, an interview guide was created to explore students interest in the natural environment and their daily outdoor activities. Fifteen group interviews were c onducted in four fourth-grade classes. After the survey was developed, two pilot tests were conduc ted in fourth-grade classes to check the vocabulary and language. Th e survey included quest ions that explored students in-class and st udy trip experiences. The teacher survey had several objectives. It ga uged teachers previous experience in using Lagoon Quest and other environmental education materials; determined teachers attitudes toward Lagoon Quest; asked teachers to report what portion of the program they completed and their perception of support from their principals, other teac hers, and parents; recorded teachers knowledge of and comfort with teaching about the lagoon. Zoo staff completed an observation form at the end of each study trip. The form was created after the evaluators observed study tr ips and included questions about the weather conditions, species diversity, and the preparati on of teachers, chaperones, and students. Sampling and design: Post program only, with all fourth-grade students and teachers who participated in Lagoon Quest and zoo staff who implemented the Lagoon Quest study trips. Fourth-grade teachers helped implement the student survey. Teachers were asked to have students complete the Web-ba sed or paper-and-pencil su rveys after completing Lagoon Quest. The teacher survey was made availabl e to teachers through th e school districts Web site, in the Teacher Guide, and through the school mail. The staff observation form

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24 was distributed to the zoo sta ff who conducted each study trip and enabled them to record the weather, the stud ent preparation, and any special events. Evaluation Question B: Does Lagoon Quest In fluence Students Knowledge of Indian River Lagoon? Indicator: Students knowledge of the Indi an River Lagoon, as measured by a test of knowledge. Sources of information: Fourth-g rade public school students. Methods and tools: An initial knowledge quiz was developed by teachers and zoo staff and based on the Lagoonie Logbook and Indian Rive r Lagoon Activity Book. It was tested in the first program season and revised to increase variability. The second version of test consisted of eighteen questions ranging from simp le to difficult. The test was developed to explore students ecological concepts of Indian River Lagoo n and the basic concepts of ecology. Sampling and design: Evaluation participants co nsisted of all fourth -grade public school students. The design was pretest/posttest. The test was distributed through the school system Web site and for those who re quested a paper version, the mail. Evaluation Question C: Did Students Enjoy Their Experience with the Lagoon? Indicators: Responses to a student attitude survey. Sources of information: Fourth -grade public school students. Methods and tools: The tool used to collect the information was a student attitude survey described in evaluation question A. Sampling and design: All fourth-grade public school teachers were asked to use the Lagoon Quest materials, including the student survey. The survey design was posttest only, because attitudes are not likely to change ve ry quickly and some questions required the program experience to answer. Teachers were asked to have students complete the Webbased or paper-and-pencil surveys afte r completing the Lagoon Quest unit. Evaluation Question D: Do Teachers Previo us Experiences in Environmental Education Affect Their Use of the Lagoon Quest Unit? Indicators: Responses to teacher survey a nd students knowledge scores from their Lagoon Quest knowledge test. Sources of information: Fourth grade public school teache rs and students. Methods and tools: The development of the teacher survey was described in evaluation question A, and the student test of knowledge was described in Evaluation Question B.

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25 Sampling and design: Post program only, with a ll fourth-grade teachers who participated in Lagoon Quest. The survey was distributed to teachers by the school district on their Web site, in the Teacher Guide, and by paper through the school mail. Evaluation Question E: How Ca n the Lagoon Quest be Improved? Indicator: Teachers and chaperones suggestions and staff observation records. Sources of information: Fourth-grade public school teachers, st udents parents who attended the study trips as chaperones, a nd zoo staff who implemented the study trip activities. Methods and tools: Surveys and observations were used to obtain the information. The survey for chaperones consisted of severa l open-ended questions to understand their attitudes toward Lagoon Quest and their idea about how th e program affected their children. Sampling and design: Teachers and chaperones who accompanied the study trips, and the staff, were the study population. The surveys we re distributed to the chaperones by the zoo staff upon the completion of each study trip. Th e chaperones sent the surveys back to the evaluators by business reply e nvelopes enclosed with the surveys. The staff completed the observation form at the end of each day. T eachers completed the teacher survey on the Web or on paper. Data Collection In keeping with the technology requirements of state education reform efforts, the school administration wished to encourage the use of technology with the Lagoon Quest evaluation. In addition, the program developers saw this as a good opportunity to develop a long-term tracking system for students environmental knowledge, at titudes, and intentions. As a result, they requested that all students and all teachers be involved in the program evaluation and that the data collection be conducted in the schools technology class, usi ng the school systems Web site (Figure 2-3). Instructions for the evaluation implementation were provided in the Teacher Guide to the Lagoon Quest program, reinforced during an in-s ervice workshop, and mentioned in teacher updates sent by the teacher coordinators of the program.

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26 In August 2006, three forms were posted on the school systems Web site: student test of knowledge (to be completed before and after th e program), student attitude and experience survey (post program), and teacher attitude and experience survey (post program). Students and teachers were asked to use their school-ass igned identification number to maintain confidentiality, allow evaluators to group students into the proper classroom, and link the classes to the teachers. Some teachers voiced concerns that they eith er could not or did not wish to use the schools Web site or computer facility (Figure 23). Those teachers were sent packets of student tests and surveys on paper. Chaperones were ha nded their survey and a return envelope by zoo staff during the study trip. Zoo staff completed their observation forms daily and submitted them at the end of October, November, and April. As the paper versions of the tests and survey s were sent to the evaluators, the responses were entered into a spreadsheet. The school syst em compiled the computer-based Web responses into parallel databases and gave the evaluato rs access to their system. By September 29, 2235 pretests of knowledge had been submitted. By November 27, this number had risen to 2772 but only 1470 posttests were completed. Reminders to complete the surveys were distributed to teachers in November 2006 and March 2007. By Apr il 18, a total of 3463 pretests, 2369 posttests, 1084 student surveys, and 99 teacher surveys were received. Data Analysis Student knowledge was measured by eighteen questions regarding Indian River Lagoon, estuary ecology, and water qualit y. Because the test was administered before and after the program, one can assume that something in th e intervening time produced any changes observed in the answers. It could have been a TV program increased parental inte rest in the Lagoon, or teacher-led activities and instruction. Alt hough any one student could have watched a TV

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27 program on the Lagoon, it was not likely that thou sands of students did. Given the large sample size, an increase in knowledge was deemed lik ely to have been a function of the program. Knowledge of the Indian River Lagoon was defi ned as understanding the concepts presented in Lagoon Quest: watershed, local biodiversit y, estuarine ecology, and water quality. Several other variables were used to interpret test results, including as Title I status (Figure 2-4) and teacher experience with environmenta l education. Teacher experience and familiarity with the lagoon could have led to a difference in instructional qualit y, amount of time spent on the material, and therefore student knowledge. Data were entered, student numbers were ma tched, and the student tests were compared against the correct answers, providing a student score for correct response s. Of the 3398 pretests and 2093 posttests received, only 1616 were useable, matched pairs. This en abled evaluators to determine the difference between using matched and unmatched data. Both the matched pairs and unmatched data were analyzed with t-test s. The students whose entire class had perfect scores in posttest were exclude d in data analysis (Figure 25). The random missing data were replaced by the mean value of each variable (Fig ure 2-6). Descriptive st atistics were conducted to describe the materials that were used in cl asses, the teachers perception of Lagoon Quest, materials, and study trips. ANOVA was used to assess the difference between student scores from Title I and non-Title I schools. Correlation an alysis was used to assess the relationships between teacher experience and student scores. De scriptive statistics were used to describe students enjoyment of Lagoon Quest. Independent t-test was used to determine if teachers previous experiences with e nvironmental education affect ed the number of Lagoon Quest activities they completed. And finally, chaperone s and teachers suggestions were categorized into different themes, and direct quotes were provided.

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28 Results Question A: How was Lagoon Qu est Implemented and Perceived? One hundred and thirty-one teachers responded to teacher survey. Among these teachers, nearly all completed the first two activities and about 80% co mpleted activities 3, 4, and 6. About 75% of teachers complete d activities 5 and 9 while about 65% of teachers completed activities 7 and 12. However, less than 65% of the teachers completed activities 8, 10 and 11 (Table 2-4). Zoo staff reported in the observation forms that more than 80% of the classes seemed prepared for their study trip, suggesting that mo st teachers conducted the pre-trip activities and followed the directions in the Teacher Guide. About 50% of the teachers indicated that La goon Quest was very helpful for increasing students awareness of Indian River Lagoon, wh ile about 45% of teachers said that Lagoon Quest was very helpful for increasing environm ental responsibility. A bout 38% of teachers indicated that Lagoon Quest was very helpful for promoting conservation ethic. Regarding educational standards, responde nts indicated that Lagoon Quest was only somewhat helpful for addressing state standards in language arts, social studies, and math, while 40% of the respondents stated that Lagoon Quest was helpful for addressing science standards (Table 2-5). About 70% of the teachers i ndicated that the zoo instruct ors were very knowledgeable, and only 9% of the respondents strongly agreed that the zoo instructors could improve their facilitation skills. About 65% of th e teachers stated that it was easy to get parent chaperones, and 80% of them indicated that students were comfor table while in the water. Most teachers agreed that the study trip experiences were connected with classroom activities. Indeed, the teachers also specified that the study trip s encouraged them to learn more about the environment. More

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29 than 90% of the teachers agreed or strongly agreed that the study trip was an essential element of the Lagoon Quest program (Table 2-6). About 50% of the teachers indi cated that the Lagoon Quest T eacher Guide, Indian River Lagoon Activity Book, and Lagoonie Logbook had very high educational value. They also indicated that students were better able to use the Indian River Lagoon Activity Book than Lagoonie Logbook (Table 2-7). There were six family activities in th e Lagoonie Logbook. About 42% of the students indicated that they did some family activities. Table 2-8 indicated the family activities that students completed. Among 1392 students who complete d the student attitude survey, about 10% reported that they completed family activity one, which is to build a plankton that the children can collect plankton in the lagoon. About 19% of them completed family activity six, which is collecting litter from a place along the Indian River Lagoon. Four teen percent of the students completed activity three, which is to identify endangered animals living in the lagoon. However, less than 10% of the students completed activity two (to predict how vegetation and slope of the land affect storm water runoff), four (to observe and find discarded fishing line along the lagoon) and five (compare the salinity in three diffe rent sites along the Indian River Lagoon). The Brevard Zoo received 61 certifi cates of completion from famili es that enabled 112 adults and 117 children to take advantage of the oppor tunity for free admission to the zoo. Results suggest that a large ma jority, but not all, of the responding teachers implemented Lagoon Quest as intended. The post-tr ip activities on water quality were not used as often as the other activities. The teachers are generally quite pleased with the program and its impact on student awareness and attitudes, even admitting that they learned more about the Lagoon from the program. As designed, the program is recognized as supplementing the science standards. For

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30 the most part, the family activities were not implemented. It is not possible to know if the teachers did not encourage students to take th em home, if parents were too busy, or both. Question B: Does Lagoon Quest Influence St udents Knowledge of Indian River Lagoon? There was a significant increase in knowledge about the Indian River Lagoon because posttest scores were significantly higher than pretest scores in the matched pairs (i.e., the p value is less than .01, assuming a 99% confidence level) (Table 2-9). The results of unmatched data (Table 2-10) are nearly identical. An analysis can be conducted on each of the eighteen questions in the knowledge test to indicate where initial misconceptions were ch anged and where learning had not yet occurred (Table 2-11). In this case, the greatest increa se in learning is with questions 11, 13, 15, and 16, which covered topics of lagoon ecology, habitats endangered species, and water quality. Over 75% of the students already knew the correct answ ers to questions 2, 4, 5, and 9, which included information about conservation ethics and the roles of plants and animals. Less than 50% of the students were able to answer questions 14, 15, 16, and 17 correctly af ter the program. These questions covered more challenging aspects of th e topics of wetlands, endangered species, and water quality. Thirty-one schools in Brevard County qualif y for Title I status, represented by 677 matched pretests and posttests from respondent s. The remaining 939 students with matched pretests and posttests attend non-Title I schools. There was a signifi cant difference in the pretest scores between Title I and non-Title I schools, with the Title I schools scor ing significantly lower than the non-Title I schools. Af ter the program, there was still a significant difference between the posttest scores at the 95% confidence level (T able 2-12). However, the improvement in Title I schools is significantly greater than the impr ovement in non-Title I schools, because Title I

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31 students averaged lower pretest sc ores than non-Title I students, so they had more potential to improve (Table 2-13). Question C: Do Students Enjoy Their Experience with the Lagoon? The students rated how much they liked the st udy trip activities and classroom activities from one (did not like at all) to five (liked ve ry much). Some data were missing, perhaps due to errors in using the computer system. To avoi d the bias caused by missing data, the missing data were replaced by the mean value for each item. Regarding the Lagoon Quest study trip, a majority of students indicated that they very much liked catching fish in the Lagoon and spe nding time in the water. Between 3% and 14% of students did not like any of the activities. Seeing birds and pl ants, finding things around Lagoon, and testing water quality in the La goon were less popular (Table 2.14). With regard to Lagoon Quest classroom activitie s, the majority of students liked learning about animals and the Indian River Lagoon, while le arning about salinity and turbidity were not popular (Table 2-15). Not all teachers, however, us ed the classroom activity that covered water quality. Approximately 36% of t eachers used all twelve lessons. To investigate students ove rall enjoyment of Lagoon Quest experiences, two composite variables were created. The first variable e xplored the overall enjoyment of Lagoon Quest study trip while the second variable measured th e overall enjoyment of Lagoon Quest classroom experience. Both variables indicated that students liked their Lagoon Quest experiences (Table 216). Question D: Do Teachers Previous Experien ces in Environmental Education Affect Their use of the Lagoon Quest Materials? Because Lagoon Quest is now required of all four th-grade teachers, we wanted to explore teachers attitudes toward Lagoon Quest. We wondered if their previous experience with Lagoon

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32 Quest or other environmental education programs could predict their willingness to engage in the program. We received 131 teacher surveys by th e end of May; however, only 96 were completed because of a computer glitch. With the term ending, school administrators asked that we not bother these teachers with a request to complete the survey. Among the 96 teachers, 62 did not have previous experience in environmenta l education while 34 had prior environmental education experience. Independent t-tests were used to dete rmine if teachers previous experience with environmental education affected the number of Lagoon Quest activities they completed. The results suggested that there wa s no significant difference in the number of Lagoon Quest activities used be tween teachers with and without environmental education experience. Among the 131 teachers, we received st udent data for only 35 of the classrooms. Of these 35 teachers, only 20 of them provided thei r environmental educati on experience (Figure 27). Of these 20 teachers, only six teachers ha d experience in environmental education. Among the 20 teachers, there was no significant difference in students knowle dge based on teachers previous experience with environmental edu cation (Table 2-17). Similarly, there was no difference between teachers who had participated in Lagoon Quest before and those who had not. The nonsignificant results might be due to the sma ll sample size, but it might also suggest that the program was designed and the curriculum was written we ll enough for less experienced teachers to use the Lagoon Quest program as well as those with more experience. It could also mean that other variables are more indicative of success than previous experience (Figure 2-8). Because of the small number of teachers include d in this analysis, additional data were collected through focus groups at several schools where we did not receive many surveys from teachers. We visited five schools and spoke to 13 teachers, 11 of whom had participated in Lagoon Quest. Included were teachers with a great deal of experience from the days of voluntary

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33 participation and teachers who were brand new to the program. Interest in using Lagoon Quest ranged from very strong to rather weak. Teachers described the way they used the material and some of the barriers associated with completing the post-trip activities. With regard to Question D, we believe that prior volunt ary Lagoon Quest experience is not an indicator of interest and commitment to using Lagoon Quest because some teachers were told to sign up for the study trip by their principals. However, it appeared that teachers who had prior experience in teaching science and had stronger commitment to Lagoon Quest may be more likely to spend more time using Lagoon Quest activities, to use additi onal teaching materials that supplement Lagoon Quest, and to reinforce conservation ethics. Question E: How can Lagoon Quest be Improved? Chaperones suggestions for the program After the Lagoon Quest study trips were comple ted in 2007, 171 surveys from parents who attended the study trips as chaperones were revi ewed. These surveys provided useful suggestions to Brevard Public Schools and Brevard Zoo for further program improvement. Suggestions included modification of program components an d improvement of the environment around the trip areas. The suggestions were categorized into several perspec tives, and some direct quotes are provided in the following paragraphs. The two young people who spoke and helped we re very knowledgeable, educated, very well spoken. Full of energy and you could tell they loved what they were doing! They also liked kids. Thank you for the fun day. Sincerely! It really pleased me and the fourth grader s really loved it and worked cooperatively together. Regarding program components, the chaperone s recommended including more explanation on the threats to the health of the Lagoon and the strategies to conserve the Lagoon and its wildlife. Moreover, the chaperones suggested that more reflection could be included after each

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34 activity, especially after students got out of water. More informa tion on how and why to help the lagoon might move the discussion toward conservation actions. Some kind of summary discussion would ha ve helped tie the day together. The introduction was great, the water experience was great, the polluti on demonstration was well worth it, but can we see ev idence of this pollution right here in the lagoon? Do the tests prove it? What can your school do, what can you do at home ? Why is the diversity so important? We were left with these questions and I am sure the kids thought they had a great day of fun, but now what ? (Six similar comments.) Let kids see they can make a positive diffe rence in ecology with care and forethought. (Two similar comments.) Chaperones also suggested reducing the use of handheld devices such as GPS because they were not age appropriate and it was difficult for chaperones to assist their children. Other chaperones suggested that more resources such as nets could be provided, and that more instructions could improve the experience. Do not use handheld device on treasure hunt. Ch ildren could not work them and neither could the adults. (Two similar comments.) Seining was very difficult for some of the children. Maybe a little more instruction by Lagoon Quest instructors. The children were sh own in school but it is not the same when you enter the water. Follow up on scavenger hunt. I'm not sure, but a lack of time apparently kept us from discussing our findings. It might be better to have each group focus on one part of scavenger hunt then allow each group to share their finds and comment about them. Many chaperones also raised a concern about weather conditions. They mentioned that picking a warmer day will be helpful for children, teachers, and chaperones. The field trip was excellent information wa s great. The temperature of the water was terrible; it was too cold to stand in. It was the worst time to go. I could not stand the burning in my legs. The other a dults would not go in the water. This trip should be planned in warmer weather. Go during wa rmer weather not in the winter. Schedule during warmer months as sea life in the shallows was too limited. (Six similar comments.)

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35 Regarding the facilities in the trip area, the chaper ones raised some concerns about the nets, the need for more trashcans, and bathrooms, and the possibility of changing the trip site. I think that the group should have had more gr een nets for the kids. One net wasn't enough. I would suggest at least three per group. The ki ds caught more interesting things with the green net than the large net. Great field trip. (Two similar comments.) Have better bathroom facilities and more trashcans around. (Two similar comments.) The chaperones also proposed having more sta ff for trips with larger numbers of students. The chaperones indicated that they were not fam iliar with the procedures, so more helpers would be an advantage for ch ildren to learn better. Needed more knowledgeable assistants to he lp the kids in the river. Although the chaperones tried to help the kids, we were unable to catch anything. (Four other similar comments.) Teachers suggestions for the program One hundred and thirty-one teacher surveys we re received by the end of May and only 96 were completed. Because we were unable to id entify the nonrespondents, we cannot generalize to the entire teacher population. We can onl y summarize the comments that were submitted. More than 10 teachers made extra comments a bout their appreciation for the program while some teachers indicated that their students were enjoying the program. Following are some examples. My students thoroughly enjoyed th e program and our visit to the IRL. The IRL staff was well organized, knowledgeable and helpful. I really love the curriculum and the trip and appreciate that the background work is so well prepared and thorough. There might even have been too much between both books we used. I was very pleased with the educationa l knowledge and experience the Lagoon Quest program provided for me and my students. A few comments indicated that some respondent s were not thrilled with the program. They felt the requirement took too much time from their teaching.

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36 This is a great optional program, but when it becomes another requirement it's not as much fun for the teachers as it could be. We have so many things we are required to do, and this becomes just one more thing. I completed my responsibilities and trie d to make it fun for the students, but I know many teachers in the county who didn't. My curriculum is already mapped out for the year, and this had to be worked into my classroom theme. I have enjoyed this program for many years. I do not like being schedul ed to go on the trip. There are often other things ha ppening which I should prefer not to change for the trip. I am also concerned for the ecology of the ar eas to which the thousand of students tramp through for weeks on end. Many teachers provided suggestions for progr am improvement, specif ically on the subject of the schedule, teaching materials, facilities at the trip sites, and evaluation tools. Regarding the teaching schedule, several t eachers suggested that the study trips be scheduled after FCAT so the focus can be on teaching Lagoon Quest after students have concluded the other requirements. The ideal time to take Florida's fourth-grade students is in the spring after FCAT testing. (Five similar comments.) Some teachers did not receive sufficient La goon Quest materials or they received the materials too late to prepare for the program. Some teachers wanted to be able to link these materials to the school science requirement so th at they could correlate the program to their teaching schedule. Teachers also stated that th ere was a need to make the teacher guide and Lagoonie book coordinated. Please make sure that the water management district sends enough student books to every school. (Three similar comments.) We needed to get the materials earlier in the year. I felt rushed to get it done. I would like to see this correlate a bit more with the count y required science test so that I dont have to go back and reteach from the Lagoonie to get ready for the test. The teacher manual needs further explanation of some activities. It also needs to reflect what is in the Lagoonie Logbook. Teachers also commented on the facilities at the trip sites. Some areas did not have sufficient restrooms and trashcans to accommodate large groups of students. They suggested looking for a more appropriate place that could accommodate large groups.

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37 Find a location that has enough bathrooms to accommodate 60 sixty children and twenty plus adults. Kelly Park patrons were angry a nd verbally abusive because they had to wait outside the bathroom while sixt y kids changed one at a time in two stalls. (Three similar comments.) Some teachers suggested reduc ing test and surveys for Lagoon Quest program evaluation. Additionally, they would like to have a paper version of the evaluation instead of a computer version. Reduce teachers paperwork regarding lagoon quest activities (online surveys). Make sure teachers and students receive appropriate material s needed for this field trip in a timely manner. The online test was awful. Please stick to the hard copy. Computer access/dependability can be a problem. Besides program improvement, the teachers also provided the subjects that they want to learn more about in a teacher in-service training day. These topi cs are listed in Table 2-18. Focus group suggestions The focus group discussions also revealed s uggestions for program improvement. Because these focus group participants were selected from schools that did not submit many teacher surveys, it is likely that their voices were not included in the previous summary of themes from the survey. Although we initially believed these teachers might be less enthusiastic about Lagoon Quest, some focus group comments were extremely positive. Teachers said their students count the Lagoon Quest study trip as one of the best th ings of the entire semester. Teachers found the Indian River Lagoon Activity Book easy for student s to use and informative and suggested the Lagoonie Logbook be written in the same style. They also suggested making the Lagoonie activities more relevant to the study trip to enhance student inte rest. Not all teachers completed the program, however, some were stymied by the need to obtain a variety of equipment or materials to conduct the scienc e experiments and would appreciate receiving kits for the activities. Others were severely limited by the l ack of time to teach science and requested more

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38 activities that integrate the Indian River La goon into reading and writing exercises. Some requested that the zoo staff demonstrate all the experiments during the in-service training so the teachers will be more confident to co nduct these experiments in class. Discussion The results of the Lagoon Quest knowledge test suggested that stud ents significantly improved their knowledge of estuarine ecology after they participated in Lagoon Quest. According to the student surveys, students en joyed Lagoon Quest. Some activities successfully attracted students attention, for example, the water activities and learning about animals. Activities such as salinity and turbidity we re less popular, which might be because those concepts were new to the students and might ha ve been difficult for them to understand. Some chaperones mentioned that their ch ildren expressed interest in returning to the Indian River Lagoon. We believe that this program provides many bene fits for students, especially for those who do not have previous experience wi th the Lagoon. It is unrealistic to say that one single program creates change in all students, but it may bring some environmen tal awareness for many students. For those students who want to participate in ad ditional activities, more information is needed. Opportunities for additional activ ities and resources would be usef ul for students, teachers, and families who wish to learn about and experience the Indian River Lagoon. According to teacher and chaperone surveys, there are a few challenges for future implementation of Lagoon Quest. Challenges for Lagoon Quest Teachers prefer warm weather and post-FCA T for the study trip and unit, and these concerns were raised from teachers who completed their trips in spring. However, on the current schedule, there are not enough weeks in the scho ol year to accommodate everyone after FCAT.

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39 If it is possible to hire more Lagoon Quest staff, th e four trip sites could be filled and take place at the same time. All the trips could be finished earlier to avoid cold weat her, and the staff would have time to make up the trips that are canceled due to bad weather. Teachers and chaperones suggested having site s that can accommodate large groups of students and avoid encounters with other visito rs. Also, chaperones suggested having more staff to instruct children and more equipment (dip nets ) for students to use during the experience. Are other sites available? Could a si te accommodate two groups instead of one? If other sites are not available, it would be helpful to recognize these concerns and expl ain the limitations to teachers and chaperones. Additionally, an analysis of st udent knowledge by trip location suggested that the locations with less biodiversity are ju st as effective as other locations. After the study trips, some chaperones asked questions such as, So what now? How can people help the lagoon? What can kids do at home? The curriculum focused on estuary ecology and science, but one of the programs long-term intentions was to support students conservation behavior. To increase conservation behavior, science educat ion could be connected with conservation education. Some of this can be done with discussion questions at the end of the day. The zoo could also design a fact sheet to provide tips for students, teachers, and chaperones to help the lagoon and the envir onment around them. The staff could consider modifying the scavenger hunt to allow more time for discussion of students findings and reinforcement of conservation practices. An a dditional follow-up activity in the Lagoonie Guide might also be useful. We recognize that more than half of the t eachers did not complete surveys, and that many responding teachers did not complete the entire unit. Encouraging gr eater participation will take a concerted effort from the schools and the z oo. Teacher in-service tim e, required all-grade

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40 meetings, and follow-up support may be needed. Additional research to better understand the needs of nonrespondents would be helpful. It appears that few families completed the family activities in Lagoonie Logbook and took advantage of their free admission to the Zoo. The primary purpose of the fa mily activities was to encourage parents to lear n about Indian River Lagoon with their children. However, some parents did not know about these activities be cause the students did not bring the Lagoonie Logbook home. Perhaps multiple reminders could be sent to the fourth-grade teachers to encourage fourth-grade parents partic ipation in Lagoonie family activities. This evaluation suggests the Lagoon Quest is an effective and well-received program. It provides a foundation for future study of an import ant local ecosystem. By offering this program every year, teachers will increase their knowledge and improve their abilities to lead the in-class activities. This chapter provides ideas for the in -service training and other strategies that zoo staff might use to support fourth-grade teachers. Recommendations for Evaluation In reflection, we would do some things diffe rently and therefore recommend that future evaluation efforts consider the following suggestions: Data from the Web-based surveys were much easier to analyze, but for young students answering questions accurately with a comput er may be a barrier. Until computers are more accessible in all schools and youngsters an d their teachers are more computer savvy, it may be best to use paper versions of a survey. There are several ways to imagine future evaluation efforts, depending on what is important. We did a census instead of sample because the school system wanted to treat students and teachers equally. However, we we re not able to obtain 100 percent response. If evaluating the program is paramount, it w ould be possible to randomly sample the study population and work more diligen tly to collect all of the forms from a fewer number of participants. If program ownershi p by all participants is most important, shorter forms with fewer questions and more reminders to complete them may prove successful. We requested students and teachers identi fication numbers for matching and research purposes. Although we emphasized confidentia lity, some participants were more

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41 comfortable providing their sugge stions without their identi fication numbers. If program evaluation is the primary purpose, emphasizi ng anonymity and the usefulness of responses are recommended, but collecting identificati on numbers will be essential to track respondents over time. The focus groups were added because of the poor response rate, but they provided such valuable insights that we recommend that futu re evaluators consider ways to collect indepth data from a small sample of teachers and youth. Providing the answers to the knowledge quiz enab les teachers to score the quiz. It also enables teachers to teach to th e test and undermines its validi ty. A different posttest, if it reliably measures the same concepts, may be considered. Correct answers could be provided after tests were submitted Conclusion Lagoon Quest is a beneficial addition to th e Brevard County curriculum. Some teachers, chaperones, and students who partic ipated in the evaluation were very pleased with the program and committed to making it even better in future years. Because the program involves all fourth graders, the long-term commitments from the Brevard Public Schools and the Brevard Zoo to this program promises to bring significant opportunities for shaping the development of conservation attitudes, ethics, and career interests among the en tire population of students. There are many possibilities for launching supplementary units and activities that reinforce the concepts that Lagoon Quest introduces and for monitoring and assessi ng changes over time to both the residents and the lagoon. Th e potential for long-term track ing of the entire school-aged population suggests a significant opport unity for research and evaluation. The program requires a si gnificant amount of instruc tion, equipment, and time. Responding teachers have demonstrated that th ey can teach the concepts, though there is variation in program success. Pr oviding teachers who are less comfortable with the program with supportive material, relevant trainin g, and assistance will be challenging. Fortunately, the thrill that fourth graders feel when catching or ganisms in the Indian River Lagoon should help bolster and sustain teacher interest a nd participation in Lagoon Quest.

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42 Table 2-1. Logic model for Lagoon Quest program Inputs Outputs Outcomes What we invest Activities Participation Short-Term (learning) Medium Term (action) Long-term (Impact) Funding -school board -NFWF Materials -SJRWMD student/family guide -teacher guide Personnel -teachers -zoo staff -chaperones Equipment -school -field In-service teacher workshop Activities -pre-trip -study trip -posttrip activities -family activities -family festival -Fourth grade students -Fourth grade teachers -parents -chaperones -families Student Knowledge: -Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Ecology -geography -watershed issues -water quality Teachers and chaperones impression of program and environmental attitudes becomes more positive Teaching skills -comfort and confidence to teach about IRL -address state standards through IRL -address real world issues -addres s critical thinking skills Students attitudes: more positive toward environment -increased connection to nature -feelings of pride regarding IRL -Behavioral intentions and conservation behaviors (personal and family) -Conservation careers explored -Improved environmental health of IRL

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43 Figure 2-1. Conduct a sample or a census? Figure 2-2. Who could be in a control group Evaluations typically compare the results of people who have participated in a program to people who have not to measure the value of the program. Since the Lagoon Quest program involved all fourth grade teachers and students, a control group woul d have to be from another county. That raised questions of whether the control group would really be simila r to the treatment group on the characteristics that matteraccess to the Lagoon, socio-economic status, awareness of the estuary, interest in aquatic ecology. Because the program is site specific, i.e., the Indian River Lagoon, we decided a control group was not feasible. Evaluations depend on obt aining good data from participants. In general, eval uators can do a better job of obtaining, managing, and work ing with data from a smaller group of people. If the population can be sampled, and if the sample will be representative of the whole, this is often the pr eferred strategy. In the Lagoon Quest program, however, school administrators wanted everyone included in the eval uation to build ownership and treat everyone equally. Because the administration made the evaluation a required part of the curriculum, they were confident that every teacher would participate.

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44 Table 2-2. An evaluation focus for Lagoon Quest A. Purpose for Evaluation Who is the intended user of the evaluation results? Brevard Zoo and Brevard Public Schools Training courses in environm ental education evaluation National Fish and Wildlife Foundation What is the intended use fo r the evaluation results? To better understand if program outcomes are being achieved. To identify potential areas fo r further program improvement. To provide an example for other agencies that want to expand their programs. Evaluation purpose statement: To measure the programs effect s on students knowledge abou t the Indian River Lagoon. To explore the impacts and consequences of expanding a voluntary environmental educational program to the entire fourth grade in Brevard County. To suggest changes to improve the program. To identify indicators that could be used over time to track the development of a conservation ethic in Brevard County. Are you able to reach consensus among major st akeholders on the purpose of the evaluation? Yes, we met with all the stakeholders and re viewed the logic model and evaluation tools. Is the intended use and user of the eval uation clear, specific, and well-defined? Yes, please see the answers on the left. Is what is at stake in this evaluation a ppropriate for an in-house evaluation? No, Brevard Zoo hired evaluators from University of Florida to evaluate the program. Can the evaluation purpose be addressed in a way that respects the rights and dignity of those involved? Yes, confidentiality was maintained and the participants had right to withdraw their consent. Will evaluation results be used? Yes, please see the answers on the left. Will decisions be made be based on the data that are collected? Yes, Brevard Zoo and Brevard Public Schools will use the evaluation results for further program improvement. B. Description of program to be evaluated Is it possible for the program objectives to be achieved with the inte nded audience? Yes. Is the program as carried out similar to the way it was intended? Yes. Is the program grounded in sound assumptions? Yes, experiential education, science education, environmental education. Is the program likely to achieve the stated goals/objectives based on the programs inputs, outputs, and/or assumptions? The program objective intends to achieve s hort-term and medium-term outcomes. The long-term outcomes will be explored in the future evaluation opportunities. Does the program have the potential for sufficien t impact, thus warranting the time and expense of evaluation? Yes, since the program is required of all students. We would like to understand the longterm impacts from a future longitudinal study.

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45 Table 2-2. Continued C. Logistical Considerations Available staff for the evaluation: Evaluators from Univ ersity of Florida Zoo staff Information needed by: Brevard Zoo Brevard Public Schools National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Resources available for the evaluation: Funding and staff from Brevard Zoo and NFWF Evaluators from Univ ersity of Florida Political context/external factors: Because full participation is expected, ther e is no reasonable control group for this evaluation. Extreme weather conditions could delay th e program or create negative attitudes. Mandatory participation might create negative attitudes. Is the desired evaluation purpose feasible gi ven available staff, time, and resources? Yes, two years were available and needed. Given logistical constraints, can an evaluation be carried out that would yield useful and relevant information? Yes, and the evaluation report will be produced for AZA, NAAEE, and FWS training courses.

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46 Table 2-3. Evaluation plan matrix Evaluation Questions Indicators Sources of Information Methods and Tools Sampling and Design A. How was Lagoon Quest implemented and perceived? -Response to teacher surveys -Response to student surveys -Staff observations -Fourth grade public school teachers -Fourth grade public school students -Staff -Teacher surveys -Student surveys -Staff observations -Post only -All fourth grade public school teachers and students in Brevard County, Florida, who participated in Lagoon Quest program B. Does the Lagoon Quest program influence students knowledge of Indian River Lagoon? -Responses to knowledge test Fourth grade public school students Student test of knowledge -Pretest/posttest -All four grade public school students in Brevard County, Florida, who participated in Lagoon Quest program C. Did students enjoy their experience with the Lagoon? Student attitudes -Fourth grade public school students -Parents who chaperoned the study trip Student surveys Chaperone survey -Post only -All fourth grade public school students in Brevard County, Florida, who participated in Lagoon Quest program -Parents who chaperoned the study trip D. Do teachers previous experiences in environmental education affect their use of the Lagoon Quest unit? -Teachers previous experience in environmental education -Students knowledge test scores -Fourth grade public school teachers -Fourth grade public school students -Teacher surveys -Student test of knowledge -Post only -All fourth grade public school teachers and students in Brevard County, Florida, who participated in Lagoon Quest program E. How can Lagoon Quest Program be improved? -Suggestions from teacher and chaperone surveys -Comments to staff -Observations by staff -Chaperones -Staff -Fourth grade public school teachers -Chaperone survey -Teacher survey -Staff records -Post only -Parents who went on the Lagoon Quest study trips -The zoo staff observation forms filled out during the study trips

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47 Figure 2-3. Using computers to collect data Figure 2-4. Determining impacts on students Although using computers to collect data makes a lot of sense, we discovered several challenges. Unfo rtunately, all schools do not have a computer lab and although all clas srooms have a computer, it is not always easy for teachers to enable every student to enter his or her own data. Therefore, we made paper copies of all surveys available to those who requested them. The act of requesting a paper survey may have increased a teachers commitment to using it. In addition, teachers may not have been aware that mistakes made while entering information on the Web form could be corrected prior to submitting it, and students may have made errors while entering their responses. After reviewing the results, evaluators felt that the paper version was more accurate an d accessible, but required much more of their time to enter data. Originally, we planned to co rrelate students Lagoon Quest knowledge test with their FCAT sc ores, the state achievement test. However, fourth grade students take the FCAT in reading and writing but not science. Not having science achievement data to work with, we used Title I school classificati on. These are schools with at least 40 percent of the students from fami lies whose income is below the poverty level. Because of correlatio ns between income, health care, home environment and achievement (Duncan and Brooks-Gunn, 1997; Borman and DAgostino 1996), we could determine how the Lagoon Quest program works for disadvantaged students by comparing Title I and non-Title I student scores.

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48 Figure 2-5. Perfect posttest scores Figure 2-6. Dealing with missing data Six classrooms submitted perfect posttests for every student in the class. Because schools with strong records in science achievement were not scoring as well, evaluato rs wondered what occurred with a few classrooms in a few schools. Th e teachers might have effectively taught the content that the knowle dge test covered. On the other hand, the teachers might have revi ewed the correct answers with students before the surveys were submitted. From talking to teachers, evaluators learned that some teachers asked students to complete the posttest on paper, and then enter their own responses on the computer. Some teachers might use the opportunity of the quiz to continue teaching as they review the correct responses. It may have been the case that so me teachers asked students to input the corrected version of their posttes t rather than th e initial version. Not knowing exactly how these high scores were obtained, we excluded these classes from the data analysis. Missing data is a problem when conducting data analysis because some statistical tests are sensitiv e to the number of cases in each variable. Evaluators need to have their own standards to address missing data. We coded missing values when the data were entered and then dealt them in two ways. Su rveys in which an entire section was missed were considered incomp lete, and the entire survey was deleted. For the surveys that contained random single missed questions, the mean for those variables were used to replace the missing values.

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49 Table 2-4. Lagoon Quest activities used by teachers Activity Used before trip (%) Used after trip (%) Total Used (%) 1 Brainstorming the Lagoon! 87 3 90 2 The IRL Activity Book 88 9 97 3 Can I get there from here? 76 2 78 4 Whats for supper? 75 6 81 5 Taking a closer look (I) 63 11 74 6 How healthy is the lagoon (I) 59 21 80 7 Who am I? 47 20 67 8 Wetland in a pan 42 20 62 9 Indian River Lagoon reflection 12 60 72 10 Changing waters 18 36 54 11 Taking a closer look (II) 17 40 57 12 How healthy is the lagoon (II) 21 44 65 Table 2-5. Teachers perceptions of th e Lagoon Quest program (percent responding) How helpful was this program for. Very Little A little Somewhat Much Very Much Increasing your students awareness of Indian River Lagoon 0 1.6 7.1 34.1 57.1 Enhancing your students sense of environmental responsibility 0.8 0.8 14.3 38.9 45.2 Promoting your students conservation ethic 0.8 1.6 24.8 35.2 37.6 Addressing Language Art Sunshine State Standards 8 7.2 43.2 24.8 16.8 Addressing Social Stud ies Sunshine State Standards 5.6 9.6 37.6 24.8 22.4 Addressing Science Sunshine State Standards 0.8 1.6 19.2 38.4 40 Addressing Math Sunshine State Standards 13.7 17.7 41.1 18.5 8.9 Table 2-6. Teachers perception of the Lagoon Quest study trip (percent responding) Statements SD D N A SA* Zoo instructors had sufficient knowledge of program content 0 0.8 4 24 71.2 Zoo instructors could improve th eir facilitation skills 16.1 33.9 25.8 15.3 8.9 It was easy to get parent chaperones for the Lagoon Quest field trip 8 11.2 16.8 38.4 25.6 Students were comfortable in the water 0.8 5.6 13.6 58.4 21.6 The field trip experiences were not connected with the classroom activities 42.7 41.9 9.7 3.2 2.4 The field trip experience encouraged me to learn more about environment 0 3.2 29.8 47.6 19.4 Overall, field trip was an essential element of the Lagoon Quest program 0.8 0.8 6.4 20.8 71.2 SD= Strongly Disagree, D= Disagree, N= Neutral, A= Agree, SA= Strongly Agree

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50 Table 2-7. Teacher perceptions of the La goon Quest materials (percent responding) Statements Very Low Low Ok High Very High Your perceived educat ional value of the Lagoon Quest Teacher Guide 1.7 2.6 14.7 29.3 51.7 Your perceived educat ional value of the Indian River Lagoon Activity Book 1 1 14.4 35.1 48.5 Your perceived educational value of Lagoonie Logbook 3 3 19.8 27.7 46.5 The students ability to use the Lagoonie Logbook 5 4 26 32 33 The students ability to use the Indian River Lagoon Activity Book 0 3.2 18.1 34 44.7 Table 2-8. Lagoonie family activ ities reported by students Family Activity Completed (%) 1. Build a plankton net 10.1 2. What happened to all that rain? 8.7 3. Who am I 13.6 4. Monofilament activity 6.2 5. Salt matters! 9.4 6. Clean it up! 18.7 Table 2-9. Matched cases of pre and post test scores Pretest Mean (N) SD Posttest Mean (N) SD t p 15.73 (1616) 3.32 21.06 (1616) 4.23 47.89 <0.01 Table 2-10. Unmatched cases of pre and post test scores Pretest Mean (N) SD Posttest Mean (N) SD 15.70 (3398) 3.39 21.03 (2094) 4.28

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51 Table 2-11. Frequencies of correct answers in pret est and posttest Table 2-12. Knowledge scores for Title I and non-T itle I schools Title I Schools Non-Title I Schools Mean (N) SD Mean (N) SD F Sig. Pretest 15.05 (677) 3.22 16.22 (939) 3.31 50.39 <0.01 Posttest 20.80 (677) 4.35 21.24 (939) 4.14 4.31 0.04 Table 2-13. Improvement between pretest and posttest scores Title I Mean Difference (N) SD NonTitle I Mean Difference (N)SD F Sig. 5.75 (677) 4.76 5.02 (939) 4.23 12.85 <0.01 Table 2-14. Student enjoyment of study trip activities (percent responding) Study Trip Activity Not at all A little Somewhat Much Very Much Mean* Spending time in the water 3.2 2.9 5.4 21.3 67.2 4.51 Catching fish in the lagoon 3.7 4.2 5.6 23.1 63.4 4.42 Finding things around the lagoon 10.9 9.6 27.1 19.5 32.8 3.62 Testing water quality 14.0 19.0 32.3 19.7 15.0 3.03 Seeing birds at the lagoon 12.9 25.4 28.7 13.5 19.4 3.01 Seeing plants in the lagoon 12.8 35.4 20 16.4 15.4 2.96 *Scale of one to five in which one is n ot at all and five is very much Pretest Posttest Increase Question Frequencies Percentage Question Frequencies Pe rcentage Percentage 1 1106 68.4 11476 91.3 22.9 2 1225 75.8 21403 86.8 11 3 815 50.4 31163 72.0 22.4 4 1487 92 41564 96.8 4.8 5 1345 83.2 51531 94.7 11.5 6 658 40.7 61041 64.4 23.7 7 976 60.4 71351 83.6 23.2 8 1118 69.2 81494 92.5 23.3 9 1494 92.5 91553 96.1 3.6 10 958 59.3 101157 71.6 12.3 11 485 30.0 11979 60.6 30.6 12 653 40.4 121021 63.2 22.8 13 417 25.8 13888 55.0 29.2 14 157 9.7 14550 34.0 24.3 15 63 3.9 15472 29.2 25.3 16 79 4.9 16691 42.8 37.9 17 385 23.8 17759 47.0 23.2 18 860 53.2 181204 74.5 21.3

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52 Table 2-15. Student enjoyment of cla ssroom activities (percent responding) Classroom Topics Not at all A little Some what Much Very Much Mean* Indian River Lagoon 1.8 2.9 5.4 16.6 73.4 4.6 Animals 1.6 4.5 8.4 26.9 58.6 4.38 The watershed 14.8 15.3 26.3 18.0 25.7 3.27 Ph 13.0 18.1 27.7 18.2 23.0 3.22 Plants 10.9 24.3 26.4 19.1 19.3 3.12 Turbidity 16.8 28.3 22.7 14.7 17.5 2.96 Salinity 15.3 30.7 22.3 16.4 15.4 2.93 *Scale of one to five in which one is not at all and five is very much Table 2-16. Students enjoym ent of Lagoon Quest program Enjoyment Scores* Study Trip Experience 3.59 Classroom Experience 3.50 *1= Did not like at all, 2= Like a little, 3= somewhat like, 4=like much, 5=like very much Figure 2-7. Increasing res ponse and completion rates Table 2-17. Association between environmental e ducation experience and pretests and posttests Experienced Teachers Less Experienced Teachers Test Mean (N) SD Mean (N) SD F Sig. Pretest 15.63(6) 1.27 15.90(14) 1.15 0.32 0.58 Posttest 21.31(6) 3.58 21.20(14) 2.90 0.45 0.51 A successful evaluation requires not onl y high response rate, but also a high completion rate. Twenty-four percent of the teacher respondents to the Lagoon Quest survey did not complete the entir e survey due to the following: 1) a computer glitch failed to bring up additional pages, 2) the perception that some questions were not relevant 3) mistaken skips. In addition to issues of confidentiality and anonymity, the Institutional Review Board that approves research with human subjects expects that participants will be able to skip a question if they choose. Most responde nts, however, will answer an entire survey if they believe their responses will be helpful. Providing clear and frequent information about how to complete questions and why each section will be useful can reduce the number of incomplete surveys. Paper-based instruments have been shown to have fewer skipped question than computerized instruments (Paolo et al., 2000). Paper-based surveys are also easier to read and can easily to be noti ced if people keep the surveys instead of throwing them away.

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53 Figure 2-8. Contacting non-respondents Table 2-18. Topics of interest to teachers Topics Activities How to fit in all of the pre-field trip activities before the actual field trip? How to incorporate more inquiry methods into the experiments? Teaching Method How to incorporate activities in the classroom to impact all students? I would like to know the agenda for the day at the lagoon, so I can let my students know what to expect How can this be related to FCAT Program I would like to do some of the fa mily activities such as making a plankton net and demonstr ating storm water runoff Safety Water and program safety Water experiments What does water quality indicate? Water Water quality and its effects Identify species Animals and plant life around the lagoon Ecology Integrated Florida history a nd geography of IRL and animals identification into the field trip Recycling Development along the IRL Environmental Issues Temperature and weather in general, a nd as it relates to the health and activity in the lagoon If the response rate is not high (mor e than 70%) an evaluator should wonder if the respondents are truly representative of the population. The best way to find out is by contacting those who did not respond. Because of confidentiality concerns with the sc hool system, however, surveys were coded with identification numbers, but the evaluators were not allowed to match those numbers to people to contact them. Other strategies to address the low response rate would be to compare the respondents demographic data to census data and to compare ear ly respondents to late respondents. Neither strategy was feasible with the Lagoon Quest evaluation because fourth grade teachers and students may not be representative of the county population and response time was a functi on of the study trip schedule, not necessarily respondent interest. To ac hieve higher response rates, sending multiple reminder letters may help incr ease the response rate as long as recipients are tolerant of them.

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54 CHAPTER 3 EXAMINING TEACHERS ATTITUDES TO WARD A REQUIRED ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM Introduction Environmental education programs aim to in crease environmental awareness, knowledge, skills, and action competence of participan ts (Jensen & Schnack, 1997; UNESCO, 1977). Regardless of their effectiveness, however, if these programs only re ach audiences with a previous interest or comfort in nature, they will not achieve their goal of creating an environmentally literate citizenry. Environmental education program developers often work hard to attract new audiences to thei r activities, creating festivals, linking environment with popular topics, and linking the environment to other requ irements, such as reading and writing skills. Requiring an environmental education program of everyone in a particular community or school is one way to reach adults and youth who have not had the interest or opportunity to voluntarily participate. While requiring stude nts to attend an environmental education program may have the advantage of reaching all members of the audien ce, it could also evoke resistance and negative attitudes among teachers and students (Lee, 2000 ). A recent program expansion in Brevard County, Florida offers an research opportuni ty to explore the effect of requiring an environmental education program on teach ers attitudes toward the program. In 2005, Brevard Public Schools re quired that the fourth-gra de curriculum include an environmental education program, Lagoon Quest. This program was developed in the early 1990s by the Brevard Zoo as an optional program fo r interested teachers. Participating teachers provided good feedback about this high quality pr ogram and the Brevard Public Schools wanted to raise childrens interest in science at an ea rly age. As a result, school administrators made Lagoon Quest available to all ch ildren by making it a required element in the curriculum.

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55 Indian River Lagoon is a 156 mile estuary that located along with Brevard County, Florida. It contributes to Brevard Count ys agriculture, fishing, economic, and recreational opportunities. Because of human impacts that threaten th is unique ecosystem, Brevard Zoo develop an environmental education program, Lagoon Quest. The purpose of Lagoon Quest is to increase students knowledge of estuarine ecology and e nvironmental issues around Indian River Lagoon. The program includes two major elements, twelve classroom activities and a one-day study trip to Indian River Lagoon. The program staff worked with several teachers to create a teacher guide for the program and offered an in-service workshop to introduce the program to fourth grade public school teachers. An evaluation of Lagoon Qu est during its second year of implementation as a required program provided an opportunity to explore the attitudes of participating teachers toward the program and the environment. In ad dition, this study compar es the attitudes of teachers who voluntary used Lagoon Quest, w ho had prior experience in science or environmental education, and who have only recently been invol ved in Lagoon Quest. Teacher Attitudes, Experience and Support Teachers attitudes toward teaching and educational practices are relevant to their effectiveness in the classroom (Shaw & Reynolds 1973). Teachers who have positive attitudes toward teaching and who are conf ident about their teaching ability are highly effective in the classrooms and are more receptive to implemen ting new instructional practices than their colleagues who are less confident and have poor attitudes toward teaching (Guskey, 1988). Also, the cost (i.e., time spent preparing new lessons ) of implementing instructional innovations has been shown to be positively correlated with the difficulty of using it (Ghaith & Yaghi, 1997). The success of a new curriculum component is ofte n dependent on how teachers perceive it, how easy it is to use, and how co mfortable they are with the t opic (Ghaith & Yaghi, 1997; Guskey,

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56 1988). Individual attitudes and skills are also a factor in teacher acceptance (Darling-Hammond, 1999). Teacher characteristics and their teaching e xperience can influence student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 1999; Hanushek, 1971). A high qua lity teacher can have a major influence on students attitudes towa rd learning as well as their school achievement. Some studies indicate that teaching experience correlate s with teacher effectiveness, wh ile other studies indicate that well-prepared, inexperienced teachers can also be highly effective (Darling-Hammond, 1999). Hanushek (1971) suggested that teachers previo us teaching experience and their degree were not the most important factors in predicting stud ents academic achievements, but their voluntary educational experience was related to perf ormance (Hanushek, 1971). This suggests that effectiveness with new programs may not be equa l across all teachers, an d effective teachers are those who are well prepared or who have relevant experience. Shaw and Reynolds (1973) suggested that teachers feelings of support from their colleagues are strongly relevant to their teach ing success. Teachers in schools with more interaction among students, colleagues, and supe riors (i.e., more collaboration), are more effective than teachers who are in schools with le ss collaboration (Lee, 2000). This suggests that teachers attitudes can be influenced by the people they work with and the social norm for interaction. Required Environmental Education Programs Regarding environmental education, prior studi es suggest that some teachers do not teach about the environment due to insufficient traini ng in environmental education and their belief that environmental education is not related to their discipline (Lane & Wilke, 1994). Those who received instruction in envir onmental education teaching methods are more likely to have competencies to teach about the environment co mpared to their counterparts (Lane & Wilke,

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57 1994). Better access to resources, per ceived benefits of environmental education, and training in environmental education are key factors that a ffect the degrees to which teachers include and support environmental education concepts in their teaching (Smith, 1998; Lee, 2000). This suggests that environmental education training or courses should be easily available for inservice teachers (L ane & Wilke, 1994). Plevyak et al. (2001) compared elemen tary school teachers attitudes toward environmental education in Wisconsin and Ohi o. They suggested that Wisconsin teachers had more exposure in environmental education trai ning course, workshops, and pre-service training than Ohio teachers. The Wisconsin teachers impl emented more environmental education and had higher scores on attitude than Ohio teachers. This suggests that exposure and training in environmental education can be influential to t eachers implementation of and attitudes toward environmental education. Teacher support Requiring a new and unfamiliar program could generate resistance or backlash (Brehm, 1966; Lee, 2000). Brehm (1966) suggested that peopl e have a sense of specific behavioral and cognitive freedom. If they believe their freedom is threatened, the individuals might react by sabotaging the program rather than accepting it. People with low self-esteem (Joubert, 1990) or who are defensive (Dowd & Wallbrown, 1993) are more likely to respond this way. They tend not to affiliate with others and do not like to support others (Dowd & Wallbrown, 1993). If a required program is perceived as threatening a teachers freedom, he or she may resent or oppose the program. Regarding the reaction generated by implemen ting an environmental education program, Lee (2000) suggested that the teach ers resistance toward conducting environmental education in school might relate to availabi lity of resources and material s, school support and teachers

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58 workload. In summary, teachers attitudes toward teaching is a factor that influences their interest in new curriculum or teaching methods, while their personal char acteristics and previous teaching experiences may influence student achievement. The possibility of backlash suggests that teachers may express negative reactions when required to implement new programs. If such an individual were an influential teacher, he or she might generate a negative attitude about the program for colleagues. Research Questions This study uses multiple research methods to answer several questions that explore the effect of a required program. 1. Do teachers who had previous teaching experi ences with Lagoon Quest, other environmental education programs, or science generate more positive attitudes toward Lagoon Quest than those teachers who participated because it is required? 2. What are the associations among teachers intere st in environment, their interest in Indian River Lagoon, and their at titude toward nature? Research Methods and Data Collection A survey was designed to evaluate teacher attitudes toward and recommendations for improving Lagoon Quest. The first draft was modifi ed by staff from Brevard Zoo and reviewed by teachers from Brevard Public Schools. When the second year of the Lagoon Quest program was introduced, the evaluation was described an d the teachers were asked to complete the required Lagoon Quest unit prior to responding to th e survey. In addition to measuring fourth grade teachers attitudes toward Lagoon Quest, the survey also asked about their previous experience with Lagoon Quest and environmental edu cation, number of activiti es they completed, their suggestions for program improvement, and their attitudes toward nature (Appendix C). The teachers attitude toward nature was meas ure by a Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS) developed by Mayer and Frantz (2004) to assess affective feelings toward nature. The survey

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59 was implemented between September 2006, and May 2007, with an option of on-line or paper version. Focus groups were conducted to better unders tand teachers attitudes toward Lagoon Quest and their suggestions for program improveme nt. In August 2007, a list of seven schools was generated from which we received either zero or one teacher survey. These schools assistant principals were asked to arrange teacher fo cus group meetings. In September and October 2007, five assistant principals in elementary school s in Brevard County agreed to participate and arranged focus group meetings. The researchers visited these schools and met with small group of teachers (two to three) and ad ministrators (zero or one). Teachers responded to questions such as: What was your experience with Lagoon Quest? What made it easy or difficult to conduct the program? What suggestions do you have to improve the Lagoon Quest program? What recommendations do you have for teachers who ar e new to fourth grade and the Lagoon Quest program? The conversation during the focus group meetings was recorded with participants agreement and IRB approval. Data Analysis The survey data were analyzed with quantitat ive statistical tools with a significance level of p < 0.05. To investigate how environmental educa tion experience and prior experience with Lagoon Quest influence teachers attitudes towa rd Lagoon Quest, an independent t-test was conducted. Independent t-test allows the researchers to compar e two different types of study population. Another independent ttest was conducted to compare teachers attitudes toward nature between teachers who had prior experien ce in Lagoon Quest and teachers who did not. An ANOVA test was used to compare the level of in terest in learning about the environment and teachers attitude toward natu re. A correlation analysis was used to explore the relationship between teachers attitudes toward nature and thei r level of interest in the Indian River Lagoon

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60 before and after participating in Lagoon Quest. A paired-sample t-test, which allows the researcher to compare individual teachers scores of interest in Indian River Lagoon before and after they experienced Lagoon Quest, was implemented. The focus group conversations were transcri bed and analyzed with domain analysis. A domain includes categories and sub-categories th at share at least one feature of meaning (Spradley, 1979). The knowledge that individuals use to describe their worlds can be categorized in to domains, and these domains can be develope d from a small group with specialized interests and needs (Hatch, 2002). The narratives were co ded using Strauss and Corbins (1998) three coding steps: open coding, axial coding, and se lective coding. Open coding was used to investigate words and sentences that associated with teachers impressions of Lagoon Quest and their suggestions to improve Lagoon Quest. The axial coding is used to group these key words into different categories; selec tive coding is used to indicate the main domains of focus group conversations. The focus group data coding are presented in Table 3-1. Descriptions of Participants In 2006 and 2007, there were 260 fourth grade teachers in Brevard Public Schools. Only 130 teachers returned the survey, a 50% response rate. Among the 130 returned surveys, 39 did not provide sufficient informati on for data analysis due to a computer error. Therefore, 91 complete surveys were used for data analysis. Because of anonymity a nd confidentiality, it was not possible to identify non-respondents. To expl ore potential non-respondent bias, focus groups were conducted in schools with few teacher respon ses. The participants of five focus groups were thirteen fourth-grade teachers and two assi stant principals; only one participant was male. Among the fifteen people, eleven were from three Title I schools. Title I schools are schools with at least 40 percent of the students from families whose income is below the poverty level. Three teachers were new to the program while the other teachers had e xperience with Lagoon Quest at

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61 least once before. Of those ten, three participated only once prev iously when the program was required and seven voluntary part icipated prior to 2004. None of these teache rs had experience with other environmental educa tion programs, but four teachers had been teaching science for several years. Association between Previous Experience with Lagoon Quest and Teachers Attitudes The teachers attitudes toward Lagoon Quest were explored through teacher surveys as well as focus group meetings. An independent ttest was used to compare the attitudes of teachers who had prior voluntary Lagoon Quest e xperience and those who did not. The result suggests that teachers previous experience with Lagoon Quest does not create a significant difference in three attitudes: teachers att itudes toward Lagoon Quest materials, teachers enthusiasm toward Lagoon Quest, and their intere sts in using Lagoon Quest in the future (Table 3-2). Similarly, there is no signi ficant difference between teachers who used other environmental education programs and those who have not (Table 3-3). Although the findings suggest that the teachers who voluntarily participated in Lagoon Quest or who voluntarily engaged in other enviro nmental education programs are not more likely to consider Lagoon Quest favorably than the ne wly required teachers, both experienced and inexperienced teachers had fairly positive attit udes toward Lagoon Quest (the means were 4.0 or greater). Clearly, requiring participation in La goon Quest did not genera te negative attitudes among teachers. The strong positive impression of the program is a bit surprising because only 32.8% of the respondents reported that they used all 12 Lagoon Quest activities. Evidently not completing the program does not diminish these teachers support of it. The focus groups were useful in explaining this apparent contradiction.

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62 During the focus group meetings, the modera tors observed that teachers expressed different attitudes toward Lagoon Quest based on th eir experience in teaching science. Therefore, the domains and direct quotes from these two groups of teachers are presented separately. Teachers Who Had Prior Experiences in Teaching Science The participants who taught science were willing to share their Lagoon Quest experience and offer suggestions for program improvement during the focus group meetings. These teachers expressed their attitudes through their descript ions of positive and negative feelings about Lagoon Quest, their perception of the academic va lue of Lagoon Quest, their explanation of the ways they collaborate with their colleagues, a nd their description of th eir challenges in using Lagoon Quest. Teachers positive feelings of Lagoon Quest The teachers who had more science experien ce expressed a positive impression of Lagoon Quest because of their students excitement and in terest. One teacher said: In the end of the year, they have to pick their favorite activity in the semester and most of them pick Lagoon Quest. They also reported that they conducted pre-trip activities in preparati on for the study trip, and their students remembered and talked about th e study trip through out the semester. A teacher stated: This is the study trip that the kids always talk about and remember. They talk about it all the time. Students still come back to me and [say ] that was the best trip we have ever had. They remembered it and they were excited about it. Teachers negative feelings of Lagoon Quest Even though she was supportive of the program, one teacher expressed concern about the impact of the children on the Lagoon. She worried that more than 5000 students visiting lagoon within only two or three months would damage the ecosystem. She stated, I have wondered [that although] we are teaching about the preserva tion of the estuary, we are tramping in 50 to 70

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63 kids everyday. I wonder what we are doing by sending a lot of people tramping [in the lagoon]. I actually wonder if we are doing harm. My kids as ked that: Dont we hurt [aquatic organisms if we] step on them? Academic value of Lagoon Quest These teachers enthusiastically supporte d the program and mentioned that they supplemented their teaching with additional resources that covered watersheds and ecosystems. Two teachers agreed that: We have been doi ng that Great Water Odyssey. [The program] follows this water drop through the watershed and the environment [such as] wetlands and estuaries. Some teachers incorporated Lagoon Quest into their schools other required programs or used additional teaching methods to reinforce stud ent learning. For example, a teacher indicated: We do a unit of inquiry. [It] is part of our sc hool program. We are looking at an ecosystem and how the parts are interdependent. [We take students on field trips] and ask questions. We go back at the end of the sixth week to re-answer these questions. Some teachers also appreciated the way th e classroom activities emphasized science process skills. For example, a teacher said: I rea lly like the use of the scientific method in the Lagoon Quest classroom activities. The hypothesi s and the procedure development [make the program] more like science. The act ivities are more like labs. Other teachers appreciated the c overage of the science standard s, and were grateful for the strong linkage between the program and their local ecosystem. One teacher said: One good thing about [Lagoon Quest] is that it does c over the standards and benchmarks for a whole section of our science book, th e habitat and the changing ecosystem. That is a good thing because its local, so thats more meaningful to [the students].

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64 Teachers with science experience made an effort to connect students Lagoon Quest experience with other components of the curriculum, encouraging students critical thinking and problem solving skills. Teachers indicated that understanding the environmental issues and learning skills to solve environmental problems in their own community are relevant to students. For example, a teacher said: We want to connect to their experiences. Because most of the kids have been around the lagoon for years, we want to tie in what they already know or have observed. Some teachers also focused on teaching cons ervation ethics so that the children were aware of the problems and engaged in thinking about solutions. One teacher said: I really went into [conservation issues] a lot. We talked about the manatees and that there are only 3000 in the whole world and 2/3 of them are in the Indian River Lagoon, and how we ca n stop [their decline]. [Students] come out with some solutions. Collaboration Many teachers suggested that working w ith their colleagues not only help them understand the concepts better, but also help th em save time in preparing Lagoon Quest lessons. If each teacher were responsible for only two or three activities, he or she can become familiar with it and gain special expertise. For example, one teacher said: We had one teacher emphasize one [activity], [so we] do not ha ve to collect [all] the material s for every single activity. We rotated [our] students. Challenges While talking about the challenges of implementing Lagoon Quest, some teachers expressed difficulty incorporating the program into their limited schedule. However, they tried to focus on this unit before and after the study trip. One teacher said: [Afte r the study trip] we did a couple of follow up activities, and then we kind of wrapped it up [because we did not have

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65 more time]. We havent even touched our sc ience book because we have been doing [Lagoon Quest]. These teachers also pointed out the challeng e in using the Lagoon Quest materials. They mentioned that some materials were not easy en ough for students to follow. For example, one teacher stated: They are not as kid friendly as th ey could be. They are so wordy that require a higher reading level. [The program providers] need to make it to fourth grade appropriate reading level. These science teachers were clearly using the Lagoon Quest materials as they had been intended, extending them with addi tional materials, and seeking ways to make the concepts relevant to students. Even though they had chal lenges completing all the activities, they were comfortable with the content and enthusiastic about the program. Teachers Who Did Not Have Prior Experience in Teaching Science Teachers who did not have science experience were not as talkative or forthcoming about their experience and were more likely to expr ess negative opinions about teaching Lagoon Quest. They expressed their attitudes through comments about their feelings for Lagoon Quest; the need for collaboration among experienced teachers; ine xperienced teachers and zoo staff; and their challenges with Lagoon Quest. Teachers feelings about Lagoon Quest Even though some of these teachers did not feel comfortable teaching the program or participating in the study tri p, they still thought the program was good for their students. For example, one teacher indicated: I got really b itten up by mosquitoes very badly. It was awful. But, it was interesting for the kids. A lot of them actually havent been there before.

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66 Collaboration Some teachers explained that they did not have enough time, knowledge or materials to adequately conduct Lagoon Quest activ ities. If the staff from the zoo can work with them, they will be willing to assist [the zoo staff]. One said: Maybe they could have somebody come out from the zoo and do a presentation before we go to the trip. Let [students] know what exactly they are doing [on the study trip]. If we have peop le from the zoo coming to do it, they will have the materials, and they will have it ready to be distributed, and we will be able to help. It is important to work with people who had experience. A new teacher was luckily to have the support of a colleague who had previous experience with science and Lagoon Quest in her school. This teacher shared materials and insights from her experience. She said: That was a big help because my students [knew] what might o ccur down there. They knew exactly what to do when they get to the water area because they ha d to practice in classroom. It was a big help having someone who had done it before or I would not have a clue what to do. Challenges As with teachers with more science b ackground, the teachers who had less science experience also indicated that the lack of time fo r science in their daily schedule made it difficult to cover the Lagoon Quest activitie s adequately. However, maybe because they did not have the competence to teach science, they were less like ly to find extra time or explore better methods to use the Lagoon Quest activities. A teacher described: They are great activities, but we dont have time on our schedule. [If] you start with one activity and finish it tomorrow, [students] forgot what you did the day before. To do one activ ity all at one time is what you really need to do. If the activities can be completed in 20 minutes, that will be great! The teachers who did not teach science were cl early uncomfortable with the content. They did not know where to obtain the ma terials, and they could not modi fy the exercises to fit their

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67 allocated science time. Although they were not frustrated or unhappy, they merely did not use the program as it was intended. B ecause the study trip is organi zed by zoo staff, they were willing to prepare students for the study trip, attend the study trip, and then return to their other curriculum. Teachers Interest in Indian River Lagoon and Environment To understand if teachers had positive attitudes toward Lagoon Quest because they were predisposed to appreciate anyt hing about nature, an independ ent t-test was conducted. The results suggest that attitudes toward nature were not significantly differe nt between teachers with prior Lagoon Quest experience and teachers with out Lagoon Quest experience (Table 3-4). Once again, prior experience with the vo luntary Lagoon Quest program is not a factor in the degree to which teachers feel connected to nature, despit e the original assumption that only interested teachers would participate in the voluntary program. To explore the association between teachers attitude toward nature and their intere st in learning more about environment and Indian River Lagoon, an ANOVA test was conducted. The re sults suggest that te achers attitudes are not random and universally equivalent: the gr eater their interest in learning about the environment, the stronger thei r attitude toward nature scores were (Table 3-5). To explore whether teachers interests in Indian River Lagoon co-vary with their attitude toward nature, the teachers were asked to record their level of interest in Indian River Lagoon before and after they conducted Lagoon Quest. The results revealed that t eachers attitude toward nature is positively correlated with their overa ll interest in Indian River Lagoon (IRL) both before and after they conducted the Lagoon Ques t program. The relationship is stronger after teachers experience Lagoon Quest (Table 3-6). Add itionally, the result of a paired-sample t-test suggests that teachers show si gnificant increase in interest in Indian River Lagoon (mean

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68 difference =0.48) after participati on in the Lagoon Quest (Table 37). This implies participating in Lagoon Quest may increase teachers interest in Indian River Lagoon. Discussion This study explores whether teachers previo us teaching experiences with Lagoon Quest, science, or other environmental education progr ams generate more posit ive attitudes toward Lagoon Quest than teachers who did not have these experiences. Also, teachers attitudes toward the recently required program were examined. The findings suggested that prior Lagoon Quest and environmental education experience does not ha ve any bearing on teacher s attitude toward Lagoon Quest. Because this finding is based on only 50% of the teachers responding, focus group meetings were conducted to understand the non-respondents attitude toward Lagoon Quest. None of the participants in the focus groups had environmental ed ucation experience, but four teachers were primarily responsible for te aching science. Their responses were different from the teachers who had not been teaching sc ience, and this distinction may account for the variation in attitudes toward Lagoon Quest. This study generates three major findings. Fi rst, teachers who have taught science are probably more likely to use the Lagoon Quest activities, are more interest ed in finding relevant programs or teaching materials to support Lagoon Quest, and are more likely to teach about conservation issues than teachers who have not taught science. The reason may be that these teachers are more familiar with the subject matter in Lagoon Quest and ha ve greater confidence to teach it than those who do not teach science. Also, teachers who have taught science were more likely to provide sugges tions and comments to enhance, extend and improve Lagoon Quest than their inexperienced colleagues, which might also due to their passion and their familiarity with the subject. Our finding is consistent with previous studies that when elementary school teachers have diverse backgrounds, lack expe rience or familiarly teaching science and

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69 environmental education, they face additional challenges and may need increased support to conduct Lagoon Quest (Moselley et al., 2002). Second, although there are differences in te achers reactions to the program, these reactions are neither a function of previous Lagoon Quest experience nor environmental education experience because peopl e might have participated in the program for a variety of reasons. One teacher had prior experience with Lagoon Quest because her principal encouraged her to sign up. Therefore, prior experience does no t mean teachers had an interest in or comfort with the environment. Another explanation is that even though experienced teachers had slightly more positive attitudes than unfamiliar teachers, the fairly high attitude scores of the less familiar teachers reduce the possibility of a significant finding. Third, the results also suggest that teachers have a greater in terest in Indian River Lagoon after conducting Lagoon Quest than they did befo re. One interpretation is that conducting a Lagoon Quest program strengthens their attitude towa rd nature. Another interpretation is that the opportunity teachers have to direct ly experience nature enhances their attitude toward nature, which is consistent with Millar and Millar s (1996) suggestion that direct experience (participating in Lagoon Quest) is helpful in supporting affective attitudes (connectedness to nature). Implications A standard state science test has recently b een implemented in Florida as part of FCAT, and this has changed the role and expectation for elementary teachers. In Brevard County, Florida, school administrators added Lagoon Qu est to the fourth grad e curriculum to help students develop an interest in science and also help the teachers become more comfortable with teaching science as well. The inclusion of envi ronmental education in elementary school is useful in providing environmental knowledge an d awareness to students (Moselley et al., 2002).

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70 However, the environmental education providers should consider that the effectiveness of environmental education many depend on teacher s knowledge and attitude toward the process of environmental education (M oselley et al., 2002). When designing a new environmental education program for elementa ry teachers, a training course should be offered to build inexperienced teachers efficacy with these environmental subjects. Requiring a school-based environmental educa tion program of elementary teachers will reach many teachers with less scientific and e nvironmental education teaching experience and ability. If the teachers do not feel comfortable or if they feel they do not have time and resources, a negative reaction may occur. Teachers have a positive reaction to the pr ogram because they believe it is good for students, even though they may not use the program in its entirety. Experien ce and comfort in science may be a better predic tor of competence with Lagoon Quest than experience with Lagoon Quest or environmental education. This Lagoon Quest study suggests that requiring an environmental education program may not generate negative reactions if the responsible agency can provide more training opportunities for in-service teachers for their professional development; offer easily-used supplemental materials for teachers to use with reading or writing lessons; and give sufficient equipment for teachers to implement simple and short lab exercises. Providing this support will not only help experien ced teachers save preparation time but also help least-able teachers build their efficacy to teach scienc e and environmental education.

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71 Table 3-1. Focus group data coding Open Codes Axial Codes Selective Codes Enjoyment Excitement Favorite Positive experience Increasing awareness Understand local environment Students performance Teachers positive feeling of Lagoon Quest Tramping in the Lagoon Impact Too many mosquitoes Negative experience Teachers negative feeling of Lagoon Quest Asking questions Reflection Critical thinking skills Making connection of human impacts Connections of experiences and lessons Hands-on experience Benchmarks and standards Scientific methods such as hypothesis Units of Inquiry Fit schools science requirement Great Water Odyssey Trip to Merit Island Wildlife Refuge Supplemented by other materials Academic Value of Lagoon Quest Helps me with teaching Supportive colleague Not enough staff in trips Extra work Outside support Familiar with one activity Sharing schedules Collaboration Not much science time School schedule conflict Time Not kids friendly Number of activities Concepts are too difficult Every activity is too long Not enough supply No access to information Materials Challenges Table 3-2. Difference of teachers attitude s between those who had prior Lagoon Quest experience and those who did not* Teachers without LQ experience (N) SD Teachers with LQ experience (N) SD F Sig. Materials 4.12 (61) 0.74 4.26 (30) 0.74 0.52 0.47 Enthusiasm 4.13 (61) 0.97 4.30 (30) 0.88 0.0020.97 Future interest 4.05 (61) 0.87 4.17 (30) 0.87 0.56 0.46 *1= Very low, 2= Low, 3= Ok, 4=High, 5=Very high

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72 Table 3-3. Difference of teachers attitudes between those who had prior environmental experience and those who did not* Teachers without EE experience (N) SD Teachers with EE experience (N) SD F Sig. Materials* 4.08 (59) 0.81 4.32 (32) 0.57 2.61 0.11 Enthusiasm 4.10 (59) 0.94 4.34 (32) 0.94 0.28 0.60 Future interest 4.00 (59) 0.91 4.25 (32) 0.76 0.0040.95 *1= Very low, 2= Low, 3= Ok, 4=High, 5=Very high Table 3-4. Attitudes toward nature of teachers with prior Lagoon Quest experience and teachers without prior Lagoon Quest experience* Teachers without LQ experience (N) SD Teachers with LQ experience (N) SD F Sig. 3.64 (61) 4.24 3.62 (30) 4.58 0.35 0.52 *1= Very low, 2= Low, 3= Ok, 4=High, 5=Very high Table 3-5. Association between interest in lear ning about the environment and attitude toward nature* Interest in learning about the environment in general VL(N) L(N) O(N) H(N) VH(N) Sig Attitude toward nature ------(0) 3.36(3)3.37(18)3.59(41)3.90(29) <0.01 *1= Very low, 2= Low, 3= Ok, 4=High, 5=Very high Table 3-6. Correlation of attitude toward nature and interest in IRL be fore and after the Lagoon Quest Attitude toward nature Sig Overall interest in the IRL before the Lagoon Quest (r) 0.24 p<0.05 Overall interest in the IRL after the Lagoon Quest (r) 0.42 p<0.01 Table 3-7. Increase of interest in IR L before and after the Lagoon Quest Overall interest in the IRL Scores Sig Before the Lagoon Quest* 3.71 After the Lagoon Quest* 4.19 p<0.01 *1= Very low, 2= Low, 3= Ok, 4=High, 5=Very high

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73 CHAPTER 4 CONNECTION TO NATURE: CHILDRENS A FFECTIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD NATURE Introduction Human behavior is implicated in a number of environmental problems. In addition to solutions that can be offered by experts and pol icy makers, citizens efforts of conservation actions are needed. Understandi ng the variables that influence pro-environmental behaviors may help program developers promote pro-environm ental actions. Numerous models and studies suggest that attitude is a vita l element in behavior (Ajzen, 198 5; Stern & Deitz, 1994). Millar and Tesser (1986) suggest that there are two types of attitudes, cognitive and affective, and that some types of behaviors are cognitively driven while others are affectively driven. Early studies of environmental behaviors focused on cognitively dr iven behaviors and suggested that increasing environmental knowledge and skills resulted in pro-environmental behaviors (Hungerford & Volk, 1990). In recent years, studies have focu sed on the affective aspects of environmental attitudes and behaviors with most studies emphasi zing adult behaviors (Ge ller, 1995; Kals et al., 1999; Allen & Ferrand, 1999; Mayer & Fran tz, 2004). Understanding young people's environmental attitudes is important because in time they will face environmental problems and will need to have the skills a nd disposition to work on resolutions for these problems (Bradley et al., 1999). Measuring childrens affective attitudes, however would require a different tool than those previously developed for adults. It must be reliable and valid, yet simple enough for youngsters to read and understand. Such an index could help us explore the dimensions of childrens affective attitudes and link it with their environmental behavior. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop a connecti on to nature index and examin e how this affective element influences childrens pro-environmental practices.

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74 Brevard Public Schools, Florida, has invested in an environmental education program for fourth graders and was interest ed in conducting an evaluation to explore how the program is perceived and how it affects students. Brevard Zo o is the lead partner in this environmental education program, Lagoon Quest, and was interested in developing a tool that could indicate or predict long-term environmental interest and th e development of a conservation ethics with children. We were fortunate to have both of th ese partners to conduct this study. This article reviews the literature about affective attitudes towa rd nature; explores the attitudinal factors that may be relevant to pro-environmental behaviors; explains the developm ent and validation of a Connection to Nature Index for children; and explores the pred ictive power of this index. Affective Attitudes toward Nature The role of attitudes in environmental be haviors remains elusive. Several studies subdivided attitudes into discre et elements and suggested that affective factors, such as emotional affinity, empathy, and sympathy, ar e essential elements in predicting proenvironmental behaviors (Kal s et al., 1999; Mayer & Frantz 2004; Geller, 1995; Allen and Ferrand, 1999). For example, Kals et al. (1999) investigated the influence of emotional motivations on nature-protective behavior. The re sults suggested that fo r both active members of environmental organizations and the general public, emotional affinity toward nature, indignation, and interest of partic ipating in nature predicted 47% of the variance in behaviors. Similarly, Mayer and Frantz (2004) suggested that their Connecte dness to Nature Scale (CNS), which measures adults affective and experiential connection to nature, can be used to predict environmental behaviors. In addition to the effects of attitudes on envi ronmental behaviors, Geller (1995) suggested that individuals had to actively care about others in a large co mmunity to produce the altruistic behaviors necessary for environmental protect ion. He proposed that altruistic motivation

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75 mediated five factors (i.e. se lf-esteem, belonging, personal contro l, self-efficacy, and optimism) and environmentally responsible behavior (Gelle r, 1995). In an expansion of this work, Allen and Ferrand (1999) examined one affective influe nce, sympathy, on pro-environmental behaviors. They suggested that sympathy was a measure for the psychological and mo tivational aspects of actively caring. Allen and Ferrand (1999) assessed these factors among 121 undergraduates in a state liberal arts college in New York. The most significant finding of their research was that sympathy mediated the relationship between envi ronmentally friendly behaviors and all other factors such as self-esteem and personal control. Their results suggested that sympathy might be the alternative measure of actively caring and is a vital component of pro-environmental behaviors. Another relevant affective f actor is empathy. Schultz (2000, pp 402) used perspective taking to examine peoples empathic response to nature and concl uded that taking the perspective of being harmed generated feelings of empathy, the other-oriented feelings of concern about the perceived welfare of another. This suggested that seeing or feeling other creatures being harmed raised peop les willingness to protect them. These studies indicated that a variety of affective elemen ts appear to be linked to environmental behaviors. Yet, ma ny other variables, such as na ture-based experiences, values and behavioral controls, are al so thought to be important components in stimulating proenvironmental behaviors. Influences of Nature-Rele vant Experience on Children Many children in urban environments do not have access to nature. Many parents prohibit their children from exploring wild natural areas because of pressures on young children to achieve academic success, safety concerns, lack of time, and lack of familiarity (Louv, 2006). This reduced contact with nature may influence childrens development. Empirical research has

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76 demonstrated that childrens experiences with nature have a positive influence on childrens cognitive functioning, psychological well-being, affective attitudes, and environmental interests (Wells, 2000; Millar & Millar 1996; Wells & Ev ans, 2003; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Kals, 1999; Wells & Lekies, 2006). Kaplan and Kaplan (1989) suggest that e xperience with nature might promote affinity toward nature and, consequentl y, identification with it. Similarly, Kals et al. (1999) suggest that frequent e xperiences with nature and fam ily accompaniment during nature experiences influence childrens emotional affini ty toward nature. Wells (2000) explored the effect of nearby nature on 17 low-income ur ban childrens cognitive functioning, when they lived in low-income housing with limited nearby nature and again after they moved to improved housing. Cognitive functioning was defined as chil drens ability to focus their attention. Childrens directed attention capacity impr oved after moving to a greener neighborhood. Additionally, children whose e nvironment improved the most had the most significant improvement of cognitive function. These resu lts suggest that nearby nature is good for childrens cognitive development. The benefit of nearby nature has other psyc hological impacts. Wells and Evans (2003) investigated how nearby nature moderated the effects of life stress on childrens well-being. Nearby nature was measured with a naturalness scale that incl uded the view outside of window, the number of living plants, and vegetation in yards surrounding childrens houses. The childrens mothers reported less psychological distress among children who had more nature near their homes. Child ren who had high nearby nature conditi ons also scored higher on selfperception and psychological well-being measures. The results suggest th at natural elements, such as views and vegetation nearby residential settings, might protect children from the impacts

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77 of life stress, perhaps because th e natural environment enabled children to engage in activities that alleviate life stre ss (Wells & Evans 2003). Experience in the natural environment may incr ease the likelihood that people will engage in responsible environmental behavi ors, especially if the nature e xperiences begin at an early age (Nord et al.,1998; Theodori et al., 1998; Wells & Lekies, 2006). Wells and Lekies (2006) used a retrospective study to in vestigate the association between peoples childhood nature experience and their current attitudes and behaviors toward the environment. Two thousand American adults between the ages of 18 and 90 were surveyed. The results suggest that participating in both wild nature activities (hiking, camping, and hunting) and domestic nature activities (tending flowers and gardening) as children profoundly influenced their environmental attitudes and behaviors in adulthood (Wells & Lekies, 2006). Indeed, environm ental attitude served as a mediator between nature experience and environmental behavior s (Wells & Lekies, 2006). People who had more nature experiences during their childhood are more likely to have pro-environmental attitudes, which may further influence their pro-environmen tal behaviors. In addition, experiencing wild nature activities in childhood was a stronger predictor of pr o-environmental attitudes and behaviors than experiencing of domestic nature activities. Wells and Lekies (2006) also suggested that children who par ticipated in these nature experi ences before the age of 11 were more likely to have pro-environmental attitudes an d behaviors in adulthood. They concluded that exposure of youngsters to the natural world is more likely to result in the development of lasting positive attitudes when they grow up. Wells and Lekies (2006) findings strengt hen the hypothesis that significant life experiences help create environmental prof essionals (Tanner, 1980; Chawla, 1998). Tanner (1980) asked 45 participants to provide an au tobiographical statement that specified the

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78 influential factors that led them to their conservation career. A majo rity of participants indicated that childhood natural experiences were very influential to their environmentalism. Similarly, Petersons (1982) interviews with 22 environmental educators suggested that outdoors, family, and love of nature were importa nt contributors to their career choices. Ot her studies have found that spending a large number of hours outdoors, positive experience in natural environments, influential family members or other role m odels and good memories in natural areas during childhood or adolescence influence peoples interest in the envir onment in addition to working for its protection (Chawla & Cushing, 2007; Ch awla, 1998). Also, Davis et al. (2006) also suggested that spending time outdoor may help children develop positive values about nature. Taken together, this literature suggests that experience in na ture during youth may stimulate peoples interest in pro-environm ental attitudes and practices. Other Factors that Influence Pro-Environmental Behaviors Besides affective attitudes and experiences in na ture, there are other essential elements that influence pro-environmental behaviors, such as perceived behavioral control, subjective norms and value orientation. Ajzens (1985) Theory of Planned Behavior suggests that a persons intention to perform a behavior is the direct determinant of th e action. A persons intention is a function of three basic personal factors: Attitu de toward the behavior, which determines a persons positive or negative evaluation of performing the behavior; subjective norm, which is a persons perception of social pressures put on hi m/her to perform or not perform the behavior; and perceived behavioral control, which is a person s perception of his or her ability to perform a particular behavior. It is suggested that intent ion and perceived behavior al control together can best predict a behavioral achievement. Sterns (2000) Value-Belief-Norm model in tegrated value theory, beliefs about the environment (New Environmental Paradigm), a nd norm-activation theory through a causal chain

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79 that helps to explain behaviors. A persons valu e orientation comes from many sources such as his or her family, education, and cultural backgr ound. The value orientatio n influences peoples ecological worldview, and their worldview furthe r influences the way they act. In summary, a persons affective attitudes together with their perceived behavioral control, subjective norm, belief, and value orientation could influence a pers ons intention to acts in addition to their real action. Measuring Affective A ttitude toward Nature Within the broad arena of affective attitudes, several researchers have focused on connection with nature. However, each researcher has a slightly different definition of affective attitude toward nature. Research ers have used terms such as emotional affinity toward nature (Kals et al., 1999), environmenta l identity (Clayton, 2003), connect edness to nature (Mayer & Frantz, 2004), and inclusion with nature (Schultz, 2004) to measur e peoples affective attitude toward nature. Kals et al. (1999) defined emotional affinity as a positive feeling of inclinations toward nature such as the love of nature. The constructs that they us ed to measure emotional affinity and interest in participating in nature emphasized feelings towa rd nature, interest in learning about nature, and indignation about insufficient protection of nature. Mayer and Frantz (2004) follow Aldo Leopolds vision of a land ethic that human beings are part of the natural environment, by de veloping a single-factor measure called the connectedness to nature scale. The scale emphasi zes the relationships between humans and their nonhuman counterparts, their connection to the natural world and their sense of community. Mayer and Frantz (2004, pp 504) defined connectedne ss to nature as an i ndividuals affective, experiential connection to nature. Schmuck and Schultz (2002) suggest that the inclusion with nature focuses on understanding how an individual identifies his or her place in nature, the value that he or she

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80 places on nature, and how he or she can impact na ture. They suggest that connectedness to nature, caring for nature, and commitment to protect na ture are core components of inclusion with nature. If a person experiences in clusion with nature, he or she should care about nature and be committed to protecting nature. On the other hand, if an individual experiences exclusion from nature, that person will protect himself or herself over nature. Clayton (2003, pp. 45) developed an environmenta l identity scale to assess how the natural environment plays a role in a persons self-definition. They proposed that an environmental identity is one part of the way in which people form their self-concept: a sense of connection to some part of the nonhuman natural environment, based on history, emotional attachments, and/or similarity, that affects the ways in which we perc eive and act toward the wo rld; a belief that the environment is important to us and an important part of who we are The scale is composed of 24 items that aim to measure concepts such as spending time in nature enjoyment of naturerelevant activities, learning about nature responsibility, and sense of oneness. The studies use different instruments to m easure connection to nature among adults and children, but several common elemen ts in these instruments can be identified, including empathy or caring for nature or creatures, perception of human-nonhuman relationships, enjoyment of nature, interest in nature, experience with natu re, the individuals c onnection with the world, sense of community, fear of nature, and commit ment to protect nature. While some of the elements are similar, researchers define them sli ghtly differently. There is no existing instrument that includes all of these factor s that can appropriately measur e childrens perception of their connection to nature. Research Questions The primary purpose of this study is to deve lop a childrens connec tion to nature index using the elements that previous studies have identified. The validity of the index will be

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81 enhanced if scores on the index reflect factors (e.g. previous experience in nature, family value toward nature, nature near home and knowledge of the environment) that the literature suggests help develop affective attitudes to ward nature. To test these asso ciations, four specific questions are listed below. Research Question 1: How do childre n perceive connection to nature? Research Question 2: Do family values toward nature, previous experiences in nature, nature near the home, and knowledge of envi ronment correlate with scores on connection to nature? Research Question 3: Do family values toward nature, previous experiences in nature, nature near the home, knowledge of envir onment, and connection to nature predict childrens interest of participati ng in natured-based activities? Research Question 4: Does connection to nature predict childrens interest in environmentally friendly practices? Instrument Development Five fourth-grade classes in Brevard County were visited in Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 as a first step in developing the tool to measure childrens connection to nature Student interviews were conducted to better understand fourth graders experiences w ith and their attitude toward the natural environment, thei r non-school experiences in nature, and their interest in environmentally friendly practices. In order to alleviate students stress, small group interviews were conducted in the back of their classrooms. F our to five students were interviewed at a time, and about 80 students were included in 15 interviews. Questions such as, When was the last time you went to a natural place? Where did you go? What did you do there? How did you feel?, and What are you interested in learning about the environment? we re asked during the interviews. Some words were tested during the interv iew to check appropriate vocabulary for fourth graders. The information derived from th e interviews was used to develop the connection to nature index and other questions in the surve y. Some items in the conn ection to nature index

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82 are slightly modified from Ma yer and Frantz (2004), Schultz (2000), and Clayton (2003). They reflect the following constructs: enjoyment of nature, empathy for creatures, individuals connection with the world, sense of community, and commitment to protect nature. A total of 22 items were pilot-tested in two fourth-grade cl asses in Brevard County. A 5-point response format (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree) was used. The items were selected to measure childrens attitudes toward the natural environment. The reliability score from the pilot test was a Cronbachs alpha of 0.76. Two items with similar meaning and four items with negative interitem correlation were deleted. After the six it ems were dropped, the reliability of the index increased considerably (Cronbachs alpha of 0.87). A survey was constructed to include this conn ection to nature index and a number of other variables that impact affective attitudes and pro-environmental practic es. Fifteen items were developed to measure environmental friendly pract ices; one item was used to measure perceived behavioral control; four items measured childrens interest of participating in nature-based activities in the future (i.e. fish ing); six items measured childrens previous experience in nature; one item was used to measure childrens perception of nature near their home. Instead of asking about childrens values toward nature, children s perception of their familys values toward nature was measured because nine-year old child ren are not likely to have developed their own values toward nature, and their current values toward nature would be strongly influenced by their families. Knowledge was meas ured with a test that was developed to evaluate learning from a school environmental education program and m odified after student interviews. The final version of the knowledge test consis ted of 18 multiple-choice questions. Data Collection Data collection began in fall 2006 and con tinued through spring 2007 as a part of the Brevard Public Schools Lagoon Quest program. About 5500 fourth grade students were our

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83 study population. Because all students were includ ed and no personal information was collected from the students, the school district assumed responsibility for confidentiality. Parent permission was not required because the survey was a required part of the school program. Because attitudes change slowly, it was not reas onable to expect significant differences between a pre and post measure of connection to nature so this information was collected with a student attitude survey after the teachers complete d the entire Lagoon Quest unit. The survey was conducted in the schools computer labs, using th e school systems Web s ite. For schools that did not have computer access, the teachers distri buted paper-based survey to their students. Limitations The study has several contextual and design limita tions that may affect the results. Some of the data were collected through a computer web s ite and teachers were able to request paper versions if they had difficulty completing th e on-line version. This complication may have reduced the response rate; using computers may have reduced accuracy. Moreover, the attitude survey was a cross-sectional design. The data were collected afte r the Lagoon Quest was implemented, because some elements in the survey required program experiences to be answered. Therefore, the results allow us to test the pred icative ability of connection to nature index, but prohibit us from examining the actual program effects. Also, students from different schools completed the program at different times, so any external events that occurred during data collection might influence the results. Data Analysis Data analysis started in May 2007 with the St atistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.0. Missing data were replaced by the series m ean for each variable, and the relationships were tested at the significant level of p < 0.05. E xploratory factor analysis was conducted to extract different factors in the c onnection to nature index. In order to explore

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84 childrens perception of connecti on to nature, a confirmatory factor analysis was conducted using LISREL version 8.7. A correlation analysis was conducted to analyze the associations be tween connection to nature and three variables that could influence childrens attit udes toward nature: experience, nature near home, and family values toward na ture. A path analysis was conducted with LISREL 8.7 in order to determine if connec tion to nature predicts childrens interest of participating in nature-based activities. Finally, a model to pred ict children environmenta lly friendly behavior was tested and re-constr ucted using LISREL 8.7. Results Research Question 1: How Do Child ren Perceive Connection to Nature? A total of 1432 students responded to the survey, 26% of the fourth graders. The nonrespondents are randomly spread across geograp hical locations within Brevard County and across the rank of the schools. A number of reminde rs were sent to improve the response rate, but it was not possible to contact non-respondent s due to confidentialit y. The distribution of responses, however, suggests a response bias is unlikely. Although the index was designed to measure enjoyment of nature, empathy for creat ures, individuals connection with the world, sense of community, and commitment to protect na ture, the exploratory f actor analysis suggests a different set of factors. Expl oratory factor analysis indicates three major factors in the connection to nature index: personal enj oyment of nature (six items), human-nature interdependence (six items), and concern for living creatures (four items). Personal enjoyment of nature explained 35% of the vari ance in scores on the index wh ile human-nature interdependence and concern for living creatures each explained seve n to eight percent of the variance. All three factors together account for 50% of the variance. In order to valid ate the factors, confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to test two possi ble models for the connection to nature index. To

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85 test the three-factor model, the items were loaded based on the values derived from the exploratory factor analysis (Chi-square = 228.01, df = 97, RMSEA = 0.04, ECVI = 0.35, GFI = 0.93, AGFI = 0.90). A four-factor model was also test ed using the 16 items categorized into four factors, enjoyment of nature, empathy, oneness and responsib ility (Chi-square = 233.53, df = 97, RMSEA = 0.04, ECVI = 0.35, GFI = 0.93, AGFI = 0.90). The dimensions that were derived from the four factor model make more sense to describe the construct: connection to nature. One item has multiple paths to two factors, which suggest that this item could not be explained by a single factor. The factor loadings are listed in Table 4-1. Research Question 2: Do Family Values towa rd Nature, Previous Experiences in Nature, Nature Near The Home, and Knowledge of Environment Correlate with Scores on Connection to Nature? To ensure that the connection to nature index is a valid measure, we explored whether the scores on the index co-var y with variables that are suggested influences on the development of affective attitudes toward nature, knowledge of environment, perception of family values, previous experience, and nature near home (Ajzen, 1985; Stern, 2000; Wells & Lekies, 2006). Composite variables were created to represent the average scores of 16 items in the connection to nature index. The average of three items measuring students perception of their familys value toward nature, the average of five items measuring students previous experiences in nature, and the total scor es on 18 questions measuring students knowledge about the environment were calculated. There was a significant positive correlation between scores on the connection to nature index and each of four variab les, students perceived family values toward nature (r=0.43, p<0.01), students previous experience in nature (r=0.21, p<0.01), the students knowledge of environment (r=0.13, p<0.01), and the students near home natural environment (r=0.08, p<0.05) (Table 4-2). This suggests that the connection to nature index is indeed measuring an affective attitude toward nature.

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86 Research Question 3: Do Family Values towa rd Nature, Previous Experiences in Nature, Nature Near The Home, Knowledge of Environment, and Connection to Nature Predict Childrens Interest in Participatin g in Natured-Based Activities? To understand the predictive path between inte rest in participati ng in nature-based activities and other i ndependent variables (i.e. family values toward nature, previous experience in nature, nature near home, knowledge of environment, and connection to nature), a path analysis was conducted. The resu lts support the proposed model in Figure 4-1 (Chi-square = 0.86, df = 1, p=0.64), GFI = 1, AGFI =1, RMSR = 0). Th e strongest factor in predicting students interest of participating in nature-bas ed activities was conn ection to nature ( =0.38, p<0.05). Students previous experience in nature ( =0.18, p<0.05) and their perceived family values toward nature ( =0.12, p<0.05) both had direct influence on their interest of participating in nature-based activities. Nature near home and knowledge of envir onment had indirect influences on students interest of particip ating in nature-based activities. Though their contributions to connection to nature, 27% of the variance in students interest of participating in nature-based activities was explained in the model. Research Question 4: Does Connection to Nature Predict Child rens Interest in Environmentally Friendly Practices? To explore the factors that can predict envi ronmentally friendly pr actices, an additional path analysis was conducted to test the associa tions among predictor and outcome variables. The final model suggests that stude nts connection to nature ( =0.30, p<0.05), their perceived family values toward nature ( =0.30, p<0.05), their perceive d behavioral control ( =0.28, p<0.05), and their previous experi ence in nature ( =0.11, p<0.05) all have direct in fluence on their interest in environmentally friendly practices. Additionall y, students knowledge of the environment ( =0.12, p<0.05) and their near home nature ( =0.11, p<0.05) indirectly influence their interest in environmentally friendly practic es. Fifty-four percent of the va riance in students interest in

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87 environmentally friendly practices is explained in the model. (Chi-square = 4.49, df = 2, p=0.11, GFI = 1, AGFI = 0.98, RMSR= 0.038) (Figure 4-2). Discussion The confirmatory factor analysis indicates that childrens percep tion of connection to nature consists of enjoyment of nature, empa thy for creatures, sense of oneness and sense of responsibility. The original develo pment of the connection to nature index included the elements suggested by previous studies, but some elements such as fear of nature, were excluded after the pilot test because children were unable to respond consistently to those items. This may be because certain words are so powerful they generate responses that are inc onsistent with attitudes (snakes, bats, spiders). Some items can be explained by multiple factors, perhaps because these factors are highly correlated or because vocabulary appropriate fo r children cannot differentiate nuances distinctly. This index may be best suited to a narrow age range because vocabulary will change with age. A natural environment near childrens hom es has been thought to influence their psychological well-being (Wells, 2000), but prior re search did not investigate the influence of a natural environment near childre ns homes on affective attitudes toward nature. The results of this study demonstrate a signifi cant correlation between childrens connection to nature and nature near their homes. One possi ble explanation for the relationship is that childrens parents decide where to live, which may reflect their attit udes toward nature; which in turn affects their childrens attitudes toward nature. Another explanation is that children who can easily access and play in nature develop more r obust connections with nature. Moreover, connection to nature is correlated to other variables that foster positive affective attitudes, such as family va lues, previous experiences in nature, and knowledge of the

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88 environment. These correlations are supported by previous studies abou t affective attitudes toward the environment or nature (Kals et al., 1999). This study suggests six findings regarding childrens connection to nature (affective attitude toward nature), their interest of particip ating in natured-based acti vities and their interest in environmentally friendly practices. First, c onnection to nature was th e strongest independent variable that influenced childrens interest in pa rticipating in nature-based activities, accounting for about 22% of the variance. Thus, children w ho enjoy nature, have empathy to other living creatures, have sense of oneness and feel a respon sibility for nature are more likely to develop interest in spending more time in nature, which may in turn enhance childrens physical and psychological health (Wells & Leikies, 2006). Th is also validates previous studies that experience in nature positively influences environmental attitudes (Wells & Lekies, 2006; Chawla, 1998). Second, family value toward nature is a strong predictor of childrens connection to nature and their interest in environmenta lly friendly practices. This suggests that young childrens attitudes and behaviors are highly influenced by their family members, who transmit values about nature to them (Kals et al., 1999). Third, the results suggest that connection to nature is a strong predictor of childrens interests in environmentally friendly practices, accounting for 35% of the variance. This finding is consistent with Mayer and Frantzs (2004) wo rk suggesting that connectedness to nature is a significant predictor of ecological behaviors. Fo urth, previous experience in nature increases childrens connection to na ture, which suggests that spending more time in nature helps children develop a stronger connection to na ture. Fifth, perceived behavioral control was also a predictor of childrens interest of environmental friendly pr actices, which is consistent with Ajzens (1985) theory that a person who believes that he or she is competent to help the environment is more

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89 likely to perform pro-environmental actions. This implies that providing environmental education opportunities that incr ease childrens knowle dge and skills for solving environmental problems may help promote pro-environmen tal actions (Hungerford & Volk, 1990). Sixth, an interesting finding of this research is that perc eived control was also a strong predictor of connection to nature. This suggests that children may develop their connection to nature when they feel they are able to help the environment. Providing hands-on environmental education to children may be a unique opportunity to enhance childrens affective attitudes toward nature and their interest in protecting nature. Implication This study developed and tested a Connecti on to Nature Index for children, which is composed of four major elements : enjoyment of nature, empathy for creatures, sense of oneness, and sense of responsibility. The findings sugge sted that nature near home, knowledge of environment, and previous experience in nature were positively associated with childrens connection to nature. These findings suggested that learning, understandi ng, experiencing nature, and living close to nature could positively influence the development of childrens affective attitude toward nature. In circumstances when we cannot change childrens near home natural environment, we could provide more opportunitie s such as environmental education or outdoor education programs for children and their families to learn, understand, experience nature in addition to increasing their interest in participating in nature as well as their development of proenvironmental actions. This also suggests that the city planners, developers and schools could include easy access natural areas into their plan s not only to promote healthy communities for children and their families but also provide opportunity for them to develop a connection to nature.

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90 The connection to nature index is a promisi ng tool to predict childrens interest in participating in nature-based activities and perf orming environmentally friendly practices in the future. For environmental educators who are in terested in measuring childrens affective attitudes toward nature or predic ting their interest in pro-envir onmental actions, this index can be a useful instrument. The researchers could expl ore how children develop a connection to nature, how it changes over time, how it influences child rens interest in environmentally friendly actions, and how children develop long term conser vation ethics, a longitudi nal study is needed.

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91 Table 4-1. Confirmatory factor analysis Enjoyment of Nature Factor loadings I like to hear different sounds in nature 0.79 I like to see wild flowers in nature 0.73 When I feel sad, I like to go outside and enjoy nature 0.73 Being in the natural environm ent makes me feel peaceful 0.81 I like to garden 0.63 Collecting rocks and shells is fun 0.63 Being outdoors makes me happy* 0.36 Empathy for Creatures I feel sad when wild animals are hurt 0.75 I like to see wild animals living in a clean environment 0.72 I enjoy touching animals and plants 0.63 Taking care of animals is important to me 0.78 Sense of Oneness Humans are part of the natural world 0.65 People cannot live without plants and animals 0.59 Being outdoors makes me happy* 0.34 Sense of Responsibility My actions will make the natural world different 0.70 Picking up trash on the ground can help the environment 0.67 People do not have the right to ch ange the natural environment 0.51 *Items had multiple paths Table 4-2. Correlation between connec tion to nature and other factors Variables Family value toward nature Previous experience in nature Knowledge of environment Nature near home Connection to nature 0.43** 0.21** 0.13** 0.08* **significance level at p<0.01, *significance level at p<0.05

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92 significance level at p<0.05 Figure 4-1. The factors that predict students preference of nature-based activities Significant level at p<0.05 Figure 4-2. The factors that pred ict students interests in environmentally friendly practices Family values toward nature Nature near home Previous experience in nature Knowledge of Environment Connection to nature Interest in participating in nature-based activities 0.38* 0.12* 0.12* 0.18* 0.40* 0.14* 0.18* Connection to Nature (Attitude) Interest in Environmentally Friendly Practices Previous Experience in Nature Perceived Control Nature Near Home Family values toward nature Knowledge of Environment 0.30* 0.11* 0.25* 0.11* 0.11* 0.12* 0.36* 0.28* 0.30*

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93 CHAPTER 5 IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY This study is both an evaluation and a resear ch that focuses on three perspectives: evaluating an environmental education program, investigating teachers attitudes toward a required program, and exploring ch ildrens affective attitudes toward nature. The major findings are summarized, the limitations are discussed, and the future evaluation a nd research directions are provided in the following paragraphs. Environmental Education Program Evaluation Because of the limited generalizability of mo st evaluations, researchers are often not interested in conducting evalua tion and journals do not publish evaluation reports, however, there are advantages to conduct evaluation. First, the results of Lagoon Quest evaluation suggest that many students, teachers and parents suppor t the program. By introduc ing local ecosystems, and engaging hands-on activities, students increase their knowledge toward their local ecosystem. Brevard Public Schools will keep supporting this program since the results suggests students have a significant in crease in knowledge afte r they participated in Lagoon Quest. Second, Lagoon Quest evaluation helps provide suggestions to zoo staff and school administrators to improve the program. Brevard Public Schools and the Brevard Zoo have already promised to include more opportunities in Lagoon Quest fo r supporting the development of conservation attitudes, ethics, and career interests among the students. A number of stakeholders reviewed the knowle dge test to ensure the content was accurate and to ensure that we are measuring the righ t thing. Although the result s of student knowledge test indicate a si gnificant increase in knowledge before and after Lagoon Quest, the low value of reliability analysis indicate the test might not be reliable. The reason might be that Lagoon Quest knowledge test focuses on testing knowledge of different topics and differe nt level of difficulty.

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94 To develop a reliable test for children is not easy. To increase reliability, the number of test questions can be increased and the number of alternatives per question can be reduced to enhance the test reliab ility (Grier, 1975). In Lagoon Quest evaluation, a census was conduc ted because the school administrators wanted to treat every student equally. However, a lack of control group reduces the probability of validating the effectiveness of Lagoon Quest. To ensure the value of Lagoon Quest, selecting other counties that have similar resources and social-demographic condit ion to be the control groups will be helpful to identify the actual effects of Lagoon Quest. One objective of environmental education is to prepare people to make wise choices that lead to enhancing or protecting the natural enviro nment. Some programs have been in place for a long time, but their impacts are not clear becaus e they have not been evaluated. Conducting an environmental education program without unders tanding its impacts may cause ineffective or even negative results. Therefore, program ev aluation must be considered to be a critical component of environmental education to provide suggestions for program providers to develop new environmental education programs and improve the existing programs. Teachers Attitudes toward A Required Program Some teachers adapting new instructional pr actices or curriculums as supplemented materials for many reasons, such as increase the effectiveness of teaching. However, some teachers use new curriculum because of they are required to do so. Despite the fact that the students may be benefited from a newly requi red program, teachers may develop reactions toward the mandatory program. Exploring teachers attitudes toward a required program can help program providers understand the ways to support these teachers. The results of Lagoon Quest evaluation suggest that many teachers indicated that the program is beneficial to their students, but not all the teachers implemented the program properly.

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95 To understand whether different experience influence teachers attitudes toward the program, teachers with voluntary Lagoon Ques t experience and environmental education experience were compared with their counterparts. However these experiences were not relevant to teachers attitudes toward Lagoon Quest that probably because teachers signed up these voluntary programs for various reasons. The in-depth focus group meetings suggest th at teachers who have taught science were more likely to use and explore supplemented materials to teach Lagoon Quest due to their familiarity and enthusiasm to the Lagoon Quest subjects. Although teachers in the focus group meetings explain some positive feelings toward Lagoon Quest, some teachers did raise their negative reactions by describing their limited schedule and competency to teach the program. Consistently with prior study of teachers reactions toward a mandatory environmental education program suggested that resources, school supports and time are relevant to teachers resistant towa rd the program (Lee, 2000). Lagoon Quest program compose of classroom activities and study trip activities. Some teachers may support the program only because of the study trips while other teachers may support the entire program. To clearly identify teachers attit udes toward the program, future evaluation or research may consider asking sepa rate questions regarding teachers attitudes toward these two elements. Therefore, the progr am providers may have better ideas to support the teachers and develop and improve the program. The main purpose of understanding teachers a ttitudes is to provide supports. This study explores teachers reactions toward the program The findings raise program providers concerns about modifying Lagoon Quest a nd providing teachers with more supports. In addition, more training opportunities can be offered to teachers who are not familiar with the programs, and who are interested in learning more about Lagoon Quest.

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96 Childrens Affective Atti tudes toward Nature Affective attitudes are thought to be a strong predictor of pro-environmental behaviors (Kals et al., 1999; Schultz, 2000; Ma yer & Frantz, 2004). However, most of attentions have been focused on adults. To understand childrens aff ective attitudes and how they can predict proenvironmental behaviors, a new index is deve loped. This study suggests that childrens connection to nature compose of 4 major elements, enjoyment of nature, empathy for creatures, sense of oneness and sense of responsibility. The findings also suggest that connection to nature can predict childrens interest in participating in nature-based activities and environmentally friendly practices in the future. Since connection to nature index is a promising tool to pr edict childrens proenvironmental behaviors, the exploration of four elements in connection to nature index can help environmental education program developers and providers evaluate their program elements in addition to creating and revising th eir programs to be more effec tive. Moreover, since connection to nature index is designed to measure a general attitude toward nature instead of a specific attitude toward Lagoon Quest, future studies can use connection to na ture index as their evaluation tool to measure childrens affective attitudes toward nature. The model that predict childrens interest in pa rticipating in nature-based activities in the future only explains 27% of variance, which suggests that many other variables can account for the other 73%. These variables are described be low. First, family influence, parents might prohibit their children to go to certain places because of safety concern (Louv, 2005). Second, technology, there are many attractions in modern wo rld such as video games, TV shows, sports, and many other structured activities, so ch ildren do not spend much time in the natural environment. Third, lack of opportunities, childr en who live in the urban area become unfamiliar

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97 with nature-based activities because they do not have access to them. Future research can explore the influence of these variables on childrens willingness to particip ate in nature-bas ed activities. Young children are still developing their attitudes. This study suggests family has a strong influence on childrens interest in nature-based activities and pro-environmental behaviors. It is suggested that future program providers can target this variable and develop more outdoor or environmental education programs that involve bo th children and their parents. This may not only increase childrens developmen t of affective attitudes but also enhance parent-children relationships. Future Evaluation And Research Regarding research, the Lagoon Quest evalua tion provides resear chers an important opportunity to explore and test new evaluation tools. For exampl e, research in environmental education often intends to seek and understand the development of envi ronmental attitudes and behaviors. The Lagoon Quest evaluation enabled th e researchers to devel op and validate a tool that measures childrens affective attitude toward nature, this tool, the connection to nature index will be beneficial to researchers who are inte rested in long-term attitudinal and behavioral development and transformation. By involving researchers in program evaluation, a more rigorous design may be possible. Th eir skills should help validate the results and exclude many external factors. To integrate evaluation and re search, it is important to c hoose a useful framework that allows both practitioners and researchers to understand their re sources and interests. Kellogg Foundation introduced logic model into program planning and evaluation. A logic model is a picture of how planners think their program is going to work. The purpose of a logic model was to provide a clear understanding of the relationships among resources that used to operate the program, the activities to be empl oyed, the products of these activit ies, the goals to be achieved,

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98 and finally the long-term impacts of a particul ar program (Kellogg Foun dation, 2004). Following the process of identifying inputs, outputs and outcomes, the stakeholders, evaluators and researchers can explore indicators and variables that they want to measure and strategies to measure these variables. Therefore, using a lo gic model as an integrate framework for both evaluation and research allows stakeholders, evaluators and resear chers have a blue print for the entire study. Doing evaluation not only helps program provi ders understand program impacts but also can raise their interest in understanding conservation psychology. The ultimate goal of Lagoon Quest is to stimulate children s interest in playing, recreat ing, and protecting Indian River Lagoon in addition to developing conservation ethi cs and pursuing an environmental relevant career. The influence of an education program to a ffect attitudes and behavi ors is in the realm of psychology. A variety of models a nd theories can help structure the logic model, evaluation and research questions. To explore program effect s in the long run, a longitudinal study would be useful. The design of such a study would require a dedicated research effort. Currently, most evaluation in environmental education has been focused on the short-term impacts of the program. To sustain high-quality environmental education programs, some longterm evaluation is needed. With researchers involvement in designing long-term evaluation, it will help program providers and evaluators identify important variables and track them over time. The long-term program effects can be identifi ed in a longitudinal evaluation, so the poor programs can be improved and the high-quality programs can be sustained. In summary, conducting evaluation in envir onmental education helps program providers and supporters understand the value of the program in addition to making future investment to support, improve and create new programs. Inco rporating research in evaluations enables

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99 program providers to explore di fferent questions that may have significance across the field, and will likely lead to a more rigorous and useful evaluation. If futu re researchers can build their research into environmental education progr am evaluation, they should realize numerous benefits to program providers educators and researchers.

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100 APPENDIX A STUDENT KNOWLEDGE TEST 1. Sea grasses need the suns energy to produce food. A. True B. False 2. ______ are the organisms that eat plants or animals A. Consumers B. Producers 3. Which is a primary PRODUCER ? A. Shrimp C. Fish B. Sea grass D. Manatee 4. Which of the following should NOT be done in the Indian River Lagoon? A. Boating C. Bird watching B. Fishing D. Dumping trash 5. The biggest problem with fishing line that left in the Indian River Lagoon is that it _________ A. Looks bad C. Changes water quality B. Hurts animals D. Catches fish 6. The Indian River Lagoon is 156 miles long and is located in__________ A. North Florida C. East Central Florida B. Northwestern Florida D. South Florida 7. Which of the following is an example of a food chain? A. sea grass dolphin fish shrimp B. shrimp dolphin fish sea grass C. dolphin shrimp sea grass fish D. sea grass shrimp fish dolphin 8. The Indian River lagoon is a lagoon and an estuary C. True D. False 9. Which of the following are way(s) you can help protect the Indian River Lagoon? A. Pick up trash in the Lagoon C. Fertilize your lawn B. Take long showers D. All of the above 10. Protecting forests, estuaries, and other natural resources and using them wisely is called A. Development B. Conservation 11. A lagoon is a shallow body of wat er protected from the ocean by a/an A. Inlet C. Estuary

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101 B. Barrier island D. River 12. Freshwater enters the Indi an River Lagoon by way of A. Rivers C. Rain B. Canals D. All of the above 13. There are over 30 rare and endangered plants and animals in the Indian River Lagoon. The main reason for this is ____________ A. Loss of habitat C. Pollution B. Over fishing D. Boating 14. Circle all the ways mangroves contribute to the health of the Indian River Lagoon. A. Increase salinity of the ocean B. Prevent water from reaching Indian River Lagoon C. Filter the water coming off the land D. Hold soil in place E. Provide shelter for baby fish F. Decrease in water clarity 15. Circle all the endangered species that li ves in or around the Indian River Lagoon. A. Freshwater clam B. Wood stork C. Loggerhead turtle D. Great blue heron E. Manatee F. Dolphin 16. What is the most acidic pH value? A. 0 C. 10 B. 7 D. 14 17. An increase in water cloudiness is the same as a decrease in _______ A. Water salinity C. pH value B. Water clarity D. Water temperature 18. Habitat is the area where an organism is supplied with______. A. Food & Shelter C. Shelter & Space & Food B. Water & Food & Space D. Space & Water & Shelter & Food

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102 APPENDIX B STUDENT ATTITUDE SURVEY Dear Students: We would like to know more about your re cent experience in Lagoon Quest classroom activities and study tr ip as well as your feelings about th e natural environmen t. This survey should only take about 15 minutes. Thank you for your help. Lagoon Quest ID # ____________________________________ (4 digit school #, followed by 3 digit teacher #, followed by 7 digit student #. Total of 14 digits with no spaces.) 1. Have you explored the Indian River Lagoon before your Lagoon Quest study trip? No, please continue to the question # 2 Yes, (a) How many times in the year before your school study trip?______ (b) Whom did you go with? Family Friends Class Other__________ (c) What did you do there? Fishing Boating Hiking Swimming Bird watching Other _______________ 2. Did you go to the Lagoon Quest study trip with your class this fall? No, please skip to question # 5 Yes, please go to question # 3 3. Please check what you remember doing on th e Lagoon Quest study trip with your class: Test the water temperature Eat lunch Test the pH value Play in the water Identify the fish See birds Identify the plants Find things on the beach (Scavenger hunt) Look at animal skulls Test for water turbidity (water clarity) 4. When you went to the Lagoon Quest study trip, how much did you like to do the following things? Not at all A little Somewhat Much Very Much How much do you like 1 2 3 4 5 Seeing birds at the Lagoon Catching fish in the Lagoon Finding things around the Lagoon (Scavenger hunt) Seeing plants in the Lagoon Spending time in the water Testing water quality in the Lagoon

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103 5. When you did the Lagoon Quest classroom ac tivities, how much did you like learning about the following things? Not at all A little Somewhat Much Very Much How much do you like learning about 1 2 3 4 5 Plants Animals Salinity Turbidity PH The watershed Indian River Lagoon 6. If you could plan another school study trip, how much would you want to do the following activities? Not at all A little Somewhat Much Very Much How much would you want to 1 2 3 4 5 F i s h Visit Brevard Zoo H i k e Watch birds Visit Kennedy Space Center Learn about Nature Learn about Space 7. Please check the following statements from SD= Strongly Disagree, D=Disagree, N=Neutral, A=Agree, SA = Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree ------------------------------------Statements SD D N A SA I feel sad when wild animals are hurt I like to see wild animals living in a clean environment Taking care of animals is important to me I like to see wild flowers in nature Being outdoors makes me happy I like to garden I enjoy touching animals and plants Collecting rocks and shells is fun I like to hear different sounds in nature Being in the natural environment makes me feel peaceful When I feel sad, I like to go outside and enjoy nature Humans are part of the natural world People cannot live without plants and animals My actions will make the natural world different People do not have the right to change the natural environment Picking up trash on the ground can help the environment

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104 8. Please rate the following statements from 1= Not Important to 5= Very Important Not Important Very Important ------------------------------------How important are the following things to your family? 1 2 3 4 5 Saving energy Using less water Recycling Learning about the environment Spending time in natural areas (such as parks, forest, or lakes) Spending time helping the environment 9. Please rate the following statements from 1= Not at All to 5= Very Much Statement Not at all A little SomewhatMuch Very Much How much can people help the environment? How much can kids like me help the environment? How much can I help the environment when I get older? 10. How interested are you in the following activi ties? Please check the following statements Not at all A little Somewhat Much Very Much How interested are you in 1 2 3 4 5 Picking up trash on the ground Collecting broken fishing line Asking my family to help take care of the Lagoon Walking instead of riding in a car Biking instead of riding in a car Recycling bottles and cans Recycling paper Going to the zoo to learn more about animals Not wasting food Saving energy Learning about environmental issues Taking care of plants Taking care of animals Using less water when taking a bath/shower Asking my family to use less fertilizer Finding out if my family uses too much pesticide Taking care of Indian River Lagoon Learning how to take care of the Lagoon Volunteering to clean up Indian River Lagoon Asking my friends to help take care of the Lagoon

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105 Finding a job that helps the environment when I am older Being able to name local animals and plants Calling for help if I see an animal that is hurt 11. How often do you do the following activities when you have free ti me? Please check the following statements from 1= Never to 5 = Always Never Rarely Sometimes Frequently Always How often do you. 1 2 3 4 5 Play in the woods Play soccer Play volleyball Play basketball Play football Skateboard Go swimming G o t o a p a r k Go to a beach Go to a lake Go camping 12. Which phrase best describes the envi ronment near your home? Check one. Nothing green A few trees Just grass Mostly trees A few shrubs and flowers with grass it is a jungle 13. Which of the following places are in Brevard County? (Check all that apply) Kennedy Space Center Indian River Lagoon Brevard Zoo Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Everglades National Park Disney World Atlantic Ocean 14. Please check THREE most important things th at you can do to protect the Indian River Lagoon Picking up trash on the ground Not wasting food Recycling paper Saving energy Picking up fishing line Not using pesticide Using less fertilizer 15. Have you done any of the Lagoonie family activities? No Yes, #1 Build a plankton net #2 What happened to all that rain? #3 Who am I #4 Monofilament activity #5 Salt matters! #6 Clean it up!

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106 APPENDIX C TEACHER ATTITUDE SURVEY Dear Fourth Grade Teachers: University of Florida, Brevard Schools and Br evard Zoo are working together to evaluate the Lagoon Quest Program. We would like to know your previous and current experience in teaching Lagoon Quest Program, your suggestions to improve the Lagoon Quest Program, and your interest in natural environment. This survey will help us understand the strengths and weakness of the Lagoon Quest Program in addition to providing better materials and experience for your future students. This survey should only take you 20 minutes. We greatly appreciate your participation. Please comple te this survey within two w eeks of completing the post-trip Lagoon Quest activities. Thank you for your help! School ID #___________ Teacher ID # ___________ 1. Did you attend the training session presented by the Lagoon Quest staff at District InService Day in August 2006? No Yes If yes, what were the va luable aspects of training? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 2. Did you attend the training session presente d by the Lagoon Quest staff at District InService Day in August 2005? No Yes If yes, what were the va luable aspects of training? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 3. What would you want to learn more about from the training session? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

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107 4. Please check the following Lagoon Quest activities that you completed in class Before field trip After field trip LQ 1: Brainstorming the Lagoon! LQ 2: Indian River Lagoon Activity Book LQ 3: Can I Get There from Here? LQ 4: Whats for Supper? LQ 5: Taking a Closer Look (Part I) LQ 6: How Healthy is the Lagoon? (Part I) LQ 7: Who Am I? LQ 8: Wetland in a Pan LQ 9: Indian River Lagoon Reflection LQ 10: Changing Waters LQ 11: Taking a Closer Look (Part II) LQ 12: How Healthy is the Lagoon? (Part II) 5. How did you teach Lagoon Quest lessons in class? Prepared all the topics on my own Shared the teaching with other 4th grade teachers Other methods _____________________________________ 6. The following section is related to your per ception of the Lagoon Quest Program, please respond to the statements on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1=Very Little to 5= Very Much Very Little A little Somewhat Much Very Much How helpful was this program for. 1 2 3 4 5 Increasing your students awareness of Indian River Lagoon Enhancing your students sense of environmental responsibility Promoting your students conservation ethic Addressing Language Art Sunshine State Standards Addressing Social Studies Sunshine State Standards Addressing Science Sunshine State Standards Addressing Math Sunshine State Standards

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108 7. The following section is related to the Lagoon Qu est study trip, please rate the statements from SD=Strongly Disagree to, D=Disagree, N= Neutral, A=Agree, SA=Strongly Agree Statements SD D N A SA Zoo instructors had sufficient knowledge of program content Zoo instructors could improve their facilitation skills It was easy to get parent chaperones for the Lagoon Quest field trip Students were comfortable in the water The field trip experiences were not connected with the classroom activities The field trip experience encouraged me to learn more about environment Overall, field trip was an essential element of the Lagoon Quest program 8. Please rate the following statements about the Lagoon Quest materials on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1= Very Low, 5= Very High Very Low Low Ok Good Very Good Statements 1 2 3 4 5 Your perceived educational value of the Lagoon Quest Teacher Guide Your perceived educational value of the Indian River Lagoon Activity Book from St. Johns River Water Management District Your perceived educationa l value of Lagoonie Lab Book The students ability to use the Lagoonie Lab book The students ability to use the Indian River Lagoon Activity Book from St. Johns River Water Management District 9. The following section is related to your atti tude toward the Lagoon Quest Program, please rate the statements on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1= Very Low to 5= Very High Very Low Low Ok High Very High Statements 1 2 3 4 5 The level of enthusiasm of 4th grade teachers in your school toward the Lagoon Quest program The level of enthusiasm that I feel towards the Lagoon Quest program The level of support that I feel from my principal regarding Lagoon Quest The level of support from parents towards the Lagoon Quest program My overall interest in the IRL prior to the Lagoon Quest program My overall interest in the IRL after the Lagoon Quest program My interest in learning more about the environment My interest in using Lagoon Quest lessons in the future

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109 10. The following section is related to your attitude toward nature, please rate the statements from SD=Strongly Disagree, D=Disagree, N=Neutral, A=Agree, SA=Strongly Agree Statements SD D N A SA I often feel a sense of oneness with the natural world around me. I think of the natural world as a community to which I belong. I recognize and appreciate the intelligence of other living organisms. I often feel disconnected from nature. When I think of my life, I imagine myself to be part of a larger cyclical process of living. I often feel a kinship with animals and plants. I feel as though I belong to the Earth as equally as it belongs to me. I have a deep understanding of how my actions affect the natural world. I often feel part of the web of life. I feel that all inhabitants of Earth, human, and non human, share a common life force. Like a tree can be part of a forest, I feel embedded within the broader natural world. When I think of my place on Earth, I consider myself to be a top member of a hierarchy that exists in nature. I often feel like I am only a small part of the natural world around me, and that I am no more important than the grass on the ground or the birds in the trees. My personal welfare is independent of the welfare of the natural world. 11. How adequate do you feel about your knowledge of the Indian River Lagoon for the Lagoon Quest Program? Very incomplete Very complete 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12. How adequate do you feel about your kno wledge of the watershed for the Lagoon Quest Program? Very incomplete Very complete 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13. On what Lagoon Quest topics would you like to get more information? _______________________________________________________________________ 14. How many years have you taught in a Brevard County elementary school?_____________ 15. How many years of teaching experience have you had in total? ________________

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110 16. Did you participate in the voluntary Indian River Lagoon Program through the Brevard Zoo between 1996 and 2004? No Yes 17. Are you a member of an environmental organization? No Yes If yes, please state the name of the organization_____ _______________________ 18. Have you taught from any other environmental education program? No Yes If yes, what did you teach from? Project WET Project WILD Project Learning Tree Other________________________ 19. Have you ever taken your class to Brevard Zoo? No Yes 20. Have you taken your class to a Nature Center? No Yes If yes, please state where you we nt ___________________ ____________________ 21. Please share any additional comment you have concerning the Lagoon Quest Program _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

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111 APPENDIX D LAGOON QUEST CHAPERONE SURVEY Thank you for helping chaperone the Lagoon Qu est Study Trip. We are working with the University of Florida and Brevard County School s to evaluate this program and understand how it impacts residents of Brevar d County. We hope you will be willi ng to participate in this evaluation process by completing this survey an d sending it to Gainesville in the envelope provided. It is anonymous and you do not have to answer all the questions, even though we hope you will. There are no risks or benefits to you fo r completing this survey, other than knowing you are helping to improve the qua lity of education for youth in Brevard County. If you have any questions about the su rvey, please contact Dr Martha Monroe at mcmonroe@ufl.edu or Judith Cheng at judy6721@ufl.edu 1. Please ra te the following statements with SD=Strongly Disagree, D= Disagree, N= Neutral, A= Agree, or SA=Strongly Agree Statements SD D N A SA I often feel a sense of oneness with the natural world around me. I think of the natural world as a community to which I belong. I recognize and appreciate the intelligence of other living organisms. I often feel disconnected from nature. When I think of my life, I imagine myself to be part of a larger cyclical process of living. I often feel a kinship with animals and plants. I feel as though I belong to the Earth as equally as it belongs to me. I have a deep understanding of how my actions affect the natural world. I often feel part of the web of life. I feel that all inhabitants of Earth, human, and non human, share a common life force. Like a tree can be part of a forest, I feel embedded within the broader natural world. When I think of my place on Earth, I consider myself to be a top member of a hierarchy that exists in nature. I often feel like I am only a small part of the natural world around me, and that I am no more important than the grass on the ground or the birds in the trees. My personal welfare is independent of the welfare of the natural world. 2. Have you taken your children to the Indian River Lagoon before this school study trip? No Yes, About how many times in the last 2 years? _________________ 3. Have you been in the water of Indian River Lagoon before this Lag oon Quest study trip? No Yes, If yes, about how many ti mes in the last 2 years? _________________

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112 4. What do you think about the health of Indian River Lagoon? Very Poor Poor OK Good Very Good 5. How safe do you feel it is for your ch ild to walk into the Indian River Lagoon? Very Unsafe Unsafe OK Safe Very Safe 6. How was your experience as a chaperone? Very Stressful A little bit stressful Neutral Enjoyable Very Enjoyable 7. Did your field trip to the Lagoon change your impression of the Indian River Lagoon? How? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 8. How does the Lagoon Quest Program benefit your children? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 9. Do you have suggestions to improve the Lagoon Quest Program? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Thank you very much for your participation. Please return this survey in the envelope provided to the University of Flor ida soon after your study trip!

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113 APPENDIX E LAGOON QUEST STAFF RECORD Recorder ______________ Date____________ Site_____________ Weather Sunny Rainy Cloudy Wind None Slight Moderate Gusty Air temperature __________ Water temperature __________ Name of the school _______________________________________ Name of Teachers _______________________________________ Student # _____________ Chaperone # _____________ # Creatures caught # Creatures seen _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ How was the overall species diversity? Poor Average Excellent Were the teachers prepared for the study trip? YES NO Comments ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Were the students prepared for the study trip? YES NO Comments ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ The bus was ON TIME EARLY 5-15 minutes late >15 minutes late Comments about program or students ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

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114 LIST OF REFERENCES Allen, J & Ferrand, J. (1999). Enviro nmental locus of control, sympathy, and pro-environmental behavior. Environment and Behavior 31(3), 338-353. Ajzen, I. (1985). From intention to actions: A th eory of planned behavior In Kuhl, J. and J. Beckman (Eds) Action-Control: From Cognition to Behavior Heidelberg: Springer, pp 11-39. Borman, G. & DAgostino, J. (1996) Title I and student achievemen t: A meta analysis of federal evaluation results. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 18(4), 309-326. Bradley, J. & Waliczek, T. & Zajicek, J. (1999) Relationship between environmental knowledge and environmental attitude of high school students. Journal of Environmental Education 30(3), 17-22. Brehm, J. (1966). A Theory of Psychology Reactance. Academic press. New York. Chawla, L. (1998). Significant life experiences re visited: A review of research on sources of environmental sensitivity. The Journal of Environmental Education 29(3), 11-21. Chawla, L. & Cushing, D. (2007). Educati on for strategic environmental behavior. Environmental Education Research 13(4), 437-452. Clayton, S. (2003). Environmental identity: A co nceptual and an operational definition. In S. Clayton. & S. Opotow (Eds), Identity and the natural environment (pp.45-65). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Cooksy, L & Gill, P & Kelly, A. (2001). The program logic model as an integrative framework for multimethod evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning. 24, 119-128. Darling-Hammond, L. (1999). Teacher quality and student achievem ent: A review of state policy evidence. Center for The Study of Teaching a nd Policy. University of Washington. Davis, B. & Rea, T. & Waite, S. (2006). The speci al nature of outdoors: Its contribution to the education of children at aged 3-11. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education 10(2), 3-12. Dowd, E. & Wallbrown, F. (1993). Motivati onal components of client reactance. Journal of Counseling and Development 71, 533-538. Duncan, G & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1997). The effects of poverty on children. The Future of Children 7(2), 55-71. Eagle, P. & Muffit, S. (1990). An analysis of childrens attitudes toward animals. The Journal of Environmental Educaiton 21(3), 41-44. Geller, E. (1995). Actively caring for the envi ronment: An integration of behaviorism and humanism. Environment and Behavior 27(4), 184-195.

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115 Ghaith, G. & Yaghi, H. (1997) Relationships am ong experience, teacher efficacy and attitudes toward the implementation of instructional innovation. Teaching and Teacher Education 13(4), 451-458. Grier, B. The number of alternativ es for optimum test reliability. Journal of Educational Measurement 12(2), 109-113 Gurevitz, R. (2000). Affective approaches to environmental education: Going beyond the imagined worlds of childhood Ethics, Place and Environment 3(3), 253-268. Guskey, T. (1988) Teaching efficacy, self-concept and attitudes toward the implementation of instructional innovation. Teaching and Teacher Education. 4(1), 63-69. Gustafson, P. (2001). Meanings of place: Everyday experience and theoretical conceptualizations. Journal of Environmental Psychology 21, 5-16. Hanushek, E. (1971). Teacher characteristics and gains in student achieve ment: Estimating using micro data. The American Economic Review Vol. 61, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Eighty-Third Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association. pp. 280-288. Hatch, J.A. (2002). Doing qualitative research in education settings. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Hungerford, H. & Volk, T. (1990). Changing lear ner behavior through environmental education. Journal of Environmental Education 21(3), 8-21. Jacobson, S. & Mcduff, M. & Monroe, M. (2006) Conservation Education and Outreach Techniques. Oxford University Press, New York. Jensen, B. & Schnack, K. (1997). The action comp etence approach in environmental education. Environmental Education Research 3(2), 163-178. Joubert, C. E. (1990). Relati onship among self-esteem, psychological reactance, and other personality variables. Psychological Reports, 66, 1147. Kals, E., Schumacher, D., & Montada, L. (1999) Emotional affinity toward nature as a motivational basis to protect nature. Environment and Behavior 31, 178202. Kaplan, R. & Kaplan, S. (1989). The Experience of Nature Ann Arbor, MI: Ulrich's Bookstore. Lane, J. & Wilke, R. (1994). Environmental education in Wisconsin: A teacher survey. Journal of Environmental Education 25(4), 9-17. Lee, J. (2000). Teacher receptivity to curriculum change in the implementation stage: the case of environmental education in Hong Kong. Journal of Curriculum Studies 32(1), 95-115. Lee, V. (2000). Using hierarchical linear modeli ng to study social contex ts: The case of school effect. Educational Psychologist. 35(2), 125-141.

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116 Louv, R. (2006). Last child in the woods New York, NY: Algonquin B ooks of Chapel Hill. Madaus, G. F., Scriven, M. & Stufflebeam, D. L. (1983). Evaluation models: viewpoints on educational and human se rvices evaluation Boston, MA: Kluwer-Nijoff. Mayer, F. & Frantz, C. (2004). The connectedness to nature scale: A measure of individuals feeling in community with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology 24, 503-515. Millar, M. & Tesser, A. (1986). Effects of aff ective and cognitive focus on the attitude-behavior relation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51(2), 270-276. Millar, M. & Millar, K. (1996). Th e effects of direct and indir ect experience on affective and cognitive responses and attitude-behav ior relation. Journal of Experiential Social Psychology. 32, 561-579. Moseley, C. & Reinke, K. & Bookout, V. (2002). Th e effect of teaching outdoor environmental education on preservice teachers attitudes to ward self-efficacy and outcome expectancy. The Journal of Environmental Education 34(1), 9-15. Nord, M. & Luloff, A. & Bridger, J. (1998). The association of forest recreation with environmentalism. Environment and Behavior 30 (2), 235-246. 28(2):10-21. Paolo, A. & Gibson, C. & Partridge, T. & Kallail K. (2000). Response rate comparisons of Email and mail-distribute d student evaluations. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 12(2), 81-84. Peterson, N. (1982). Developmental variables affecting environmental sensitivity in professional environmental educators. Unpublished master 's thesis, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Plevyak, L.H. & Bendixen-Noe, M. & Henderson, J. & Roth, R.E. & Wilke, R. (2001). Level of teacher preparation and implementation of EE: Mandated and non-mandated EE teacher preparation states. Journal of Environmental Education 2001 32(2), 28-36. Schmuck, P. & Schultz, W.P. (2002). Psychology of sustainable development Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic publisher. Shaw, M.S. & Reynolds, G. (1973). Team teachi ng: A source of support of teacher attitudes toward teaching. Education 93(3), 295-300. Shepard, C. & Speelman, L. (1985/1986). Affec ting environmental attitudes through outdoor education. The Journal of Environmental Education 17(2), 20-23. Shultz, W. (2000). New environmental theories : Empathizing with nature: The effects of perspective taking on concern for environmental issues. Journal of Social Issues. 56(3), 391.

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117 Smith, S. (1998). Environmental ed ucaiton in the University of Illonis cooperative extension service: An educator survey. Journal of Environmental Education 29(2), 21-31. South Florida Water Management Dist rict. Retrieved, July 04, 2006, from http://www.sfwmd.gov St. Johns Water Managem ent Dist rict. Retrieved August 16, 2007, from http://www.sjrwmd.com/programs/index.html Spradley, J.P. (1979). The ethnographic interview New Yor k: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Stern, P. & Deitz, T. (1994). The value basis of environmental concern. Jour nal of Social Issues. 50(3), 65-84. Stern, P. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues 56(3), 407-424. Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of Qua litative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Tanner, T. (1980). Significant life experiences: A research area in environmental education. Journal of Environmental Education 11(4), 20-24. Taylor, A. & Kuo, F. & Sullivan, W. (2001). Views of nature and self-discipline: evidence from inner-city children. Journal of Environmental Psychology 21, 1-15. Theodori, G. & Luloff, A. & Willits, F. ( 1998). The association of outdoor recreation and environmental concern: reexamining the Dunlap-Heffernan thesis. Rural Sociology 63 (1), 94-108. UNCED. (1992) Agenda 21,The United Nations Pr ogramme of Action from Rio UN Department of Public Information. New York. UNESCO. (1977). First Intergovernmental C onference on Environmental Education. Final Report. Tbilisi, USSR. Paris: UNESCO. U.S. Census Bureau. Retr ieved. July 04, 2006 from http://www.census.gov Wells, N. (2000). At hom e with nature: Effect s of Greenness on childrens cognitive functioning. Environment and Behavior 32(6), 775-795. Wells, N & Evans, G. (2003). Nearby nature: A buffer of life stress among rural children. Environment and Behavior 35(3), 311-330. Wells, N & Lekies, K. (2006). Nature and the life course: Pathways from childhood nature experiences to adult environmentalism. Children, Youth and Environments 16(1), 1-24. W. K. Kellogg Foundation. (2004). Logic model development guide Battle Creek, Michigan.

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118 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Judith Cheng is original from Taiwan. She graduated from the Department of Nature Resources, Chinese Culture University in Taiwa n. She received her masters degree from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida. Her masters research was on outdoor recreationists envi ronmental attitudes and behavior s. Her doctoral research was an evaluation of environmental education program and conservation behaviors among children, conducted in Brevard County, Florida. After finishi ng her doctoral degree, she plans to teach and do research in Taiwan.