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ERIC Number: ED566036
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 112
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-1287-6
Environmental Identity: A New Approach to Understanding Students' Participation in Environmental Learning Programs
Jaksha, Amanda P.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The University of Arizona
The goal of this study is to develop an understanding of how participants express their environmental identities during an environmental learning program. Past research on the outcomes of environmental learning programs has focused primarily on changes in knowledge and attitudes. However, even if knowledge or attitudes can be accurately measured, they do not necessarily directly predict outcomes of environmental learning programs but rather serve as a proxy. Environmental identity is proposed as an alternative way to understanding participants' experiences in an environmental learning program. This study borrows a theoretical framework for environmental identity from the field of environmental campaigning and applies the field of environmental learning in a new way. This framework is based on known aspects of human identity from psychological research and allows environmental identity to be explored in a new and unique manner. A thematic analysis approach allows for the description of how six middle school students express their environmental identities around the themes of values and life goals, group membership, and fears and threats related to environmental issues. Findings indicate that the environmental identities of the participants in this study appear to be continuously developing and changing to account for new experiences and ideas related to the environment. Over the course of the program, some of the participants expressed that their environmental identities had strengthened due to their participation in the environmental learning program. The theoretical framework is used to describe what a strong environmental identity would look like as well as to characterize three of the participants' environmental identities. The affordances and limitations of the framework are shared and suggestions are made for how the framework could be strengthened for use in understanding participants' environmental identities during environmental learning programs. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A