Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science

Department

Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Krystyna Stave, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

David Hassenzahl

Second Committee Member

Kent Crippen

Graduate Faculty Representative

Kimberly Barchard

Number of Pages

98

Abstract

This study tested the effectiveness of interactive teaching methods on the learning of wetland ecology concepts by 6 th grade science students. 330 students from nineteen different 6 th grade science classes were used in this study. These classes were separated into four different treatment groups, each containing presentations with varying degrees of student interaction. This was done in attempt to test the effect of interactive teaching methods on attitude about the environment and knowledge regarding wetland ecology concepts, specifically, on outdoor education as a process of learning by doing. Student knowledge of wetland ecology concepts and attitudes toward the environment were tested before, immediately after and one month after each presentation. Test results from each treatment group were used to compare the effect of different levels of interaction on the learning of wetland ecology concepts. Results show that there was no significant difference between treatments. We believe that these findings reflect problems with the study, rather than disprove the hypothesis. These findings resulted from treatment groups being unequal in their initial knowledge regarding wetland ecology. Although the results indicated there was no significant difference between treatment groups we did find that all students retained information from Pretest to Posttest. We believe an improved experimental design outdoor education may prove to benefit those learning wetland ecology concepts.

Keywords

Environmental studies; Field education; Interactive teaching; Learning by doing; Middle school students; Outdoor education; Sixth grade students; Wetland ecology

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Science and Mathematics Education

Language

English