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ERIC Number: ED563917
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 176
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-8506-7
Environmental Literacy of Sixth Grade Students in Arkansas: Implications for Environmental Education Reform
Wood, Lisa S.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Arkansas
Environmental education must be better integrated into K-12 curriculum to advance environmental literacy. Producing a citizenry that can understand and address the complex environmental issues facing the world today and in the future is essential to sustainable life on this planet. Using the Middle School Environmental Literacy Survey, 6th grade students across Arkansas were surveyed to obtain a baseline measure of environmental literacy based on the four domains of environmental literacy included in the survey; ecological knowledge, environmental affect, cognitive skills, and behavior. Individual domain scores were combined into a composite environmental literacy score. Results were then compared to the national baseline established by the National Environmental Literacy Assessment Project. The research population consisted of a stratified random sample of 6th grade students across Arkansas. An ex post facto research design was used to analyze the sample. The results of the research indicated that the Arkansas 6th grade students scored in the moderate range for the domains of ecological knowledge, environmental affect, and behavior. However, scores for cognitive skills were in the low range. The mean composite environmental literacy score indicated the 6th grade students had a moderate level of environmental literacy overall. Students in Arkansas scored significantly lower (t (4110) = 15.41, p = <0.01) than the students in the national survey on overall environmental literacy. Statistically significant differences were identified based on physiographic region of the state, geographic region of the state, and students' self-reported level of contact with the outdoors. Despite their noting it is important to expose students to environmental education, teachers who completed the program information surveys indicated none of the schools had an environmental education component in the delivered curriculum. Surveys from individual teachers indicated they received little to no training in environmental education during pre-service teacher preparation programs and little to no on-going professional development related to environmental education. To ensure overall environmental literacy in Arkansas, this research indicated that we must improve students' cognitive skills and ensure teachers have the content knowledge and pedagogical strategies to effectively integrate environmental education across the curriculum. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas