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ERIC Number: ED566549
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 172
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3394-6469-5
Ecosystem Services in Environmental Science Literacy
Ruppert, John Robert
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Human beings depend on a set of benefits that emerge from functioning ecosystems, termed Ecosystem Services (ES), and make decisions in everyday life that affect these ES. Recent advancements in science have led to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of ES and how they can be used to inform environmental decision-making. Following suit, US science education policy makers have highlighted the importance of learning about ES in the most recent national standards: the Next Generation Science Standards. While recognized as important, science education research aimed at empirically exploring what it is one should know about ES, in order to be scientifically literate, is only beginning to gain traction. This dissertation research provides empirical evidence toward this aim. Using a set of Delphi studies, which involve iterative survey of experts in a domain until a consensus is reached, the research described in this dissertation first identified: (a) a definition of ES for non-academic audiences, (b) a set of big ideas important to connecting ES to everyday environmental decisions, (c) important questions that citizens can ask when evaluating claims and making decisions about ES, and (d) practices that citizens can use to find scientific resources (e.g. evidence, testimony) that can help them find answers to these important questions. These Delphi Studies provided an academic expert-based postulate regarding what one needs to know about ES in order to be scientifically literate, however, research on scientific literacy cannot rely solely on the views of experts. Following a model for empirical research on scientific literacy proposed by Feinstein, I compliment these expert-based descriptions with research on authentic engagement with science to see if the knowledge postulated as important, is actually used in productive ways. The results of this research underscore the importance of the NRC Crosscutting concepts for scientific literacy writ large, provide a justification for including ES under multiple Disciplinary Core Ideas, emphasize the importance of knowledge about the nature of scientific evidence, and accentuate a need to clarify how citizens can use science practices in decision-making roles. Implications for research on scientific literacy writ large and classroom instruction on ES are discussed. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A