ERIC Number: ED413132
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Evaluating the Impact of Environmental Interpretation: A Review of Three Research Studies.
Three research studies examined the impact of environmental interpretation programs on the environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of student participants. Conducted by Indiana University's Department of Recreation and Park Administration, the studies evaluated variables related to entry level (awareness), ownership, and empowerment goals in a behavior change model of environmental interpretation. In the first study, approximately 600 students in grades 3-4 participated in the Hilltop Interpretation Project during half-day field trips to the Hilltop Garden and Nature Center (Bloomington, Indiana). In the second study, approximately 1,600 urban students in grades 4-5 participated in two interpretive field trips to Indiana Dunes National Seashore, one focused on ecology awareness and the other on awareness of environmental issues. In the third study, a partnership of educational institutions in south-central Indiana sponsored a year-long five-phase environmental education program for middle school teachers and students intended to promote involvement in the management of the heavily utilized Charles Deam Wilderness. Results of pre- and posttests indicate that entry-level variables had more short-term impact on students than ownership and empowerment variables. All interpretive experiences based on ecological information increased student knowledge, but only the ecological field trip at Indiana Dunes affected student attitudes and behavioral intentions. Interpretive experiences with ownership and empowerment variables had no effect on student attitudes and behavior. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A