Two environmental education classes at Missouri Botanical Garden, “The Water Cycle: Making a Terrarium” and “The Tropical Rainforest,” were evaluated to determine their effects upon attitude and knowledge change of elementary school children. A pre-test post-test design was used to compare experimental and control groups. Data indicated that The Water Cycle: Making a Terrarium class had a positive influence on attitudes toward learning about plants and the environment; The Tropical Rainforest class had no effect. Neither of the classes significantly affected the children's attitudes toward interacting with the environment. Both classes increased the knowledge base of participating children. There were no differences between male and female attitudes or knowledge in either class. Nonformal learning experiences of this type may be a more effective means of stimulating horticultural interest among younger children than traditional classroom settings. [Affiliation. The research was conducted at Southern Illinois Univ. in the Plant and Soil Science Dept.]
Anthony W. Kahtz
Two environmental education classes at Missouri Botanical Garden, “The Water Cycle: Making” a Terrarium” and “The Tropical Rainforest”, were evaluated to determine their effects upon attitude and knowledge change of elementary school children. A pretest-post-test design was used to compare experimental and control groups. Data indicated that The Water Cycle: Making a Terrarium class had a positive influence on attitudes toward learning about plants and the environment the Tropical Rainforest class had no effect. Neither of the classes significantly affected the children's attitudes toward interacting with the environment. Both classes increased the knowledge base of participating children. There were no differences between male and female attitudes or knowledge in either class. Nonformal learning experiences of this type may be a more effective means of stimulating horticultural interest among young children than traditional classroom settings.
Jennifer C. Bradley, J.M. Zajicek, C.D. Townsend, and G.E. Briers
The objectives of this research project were to: 1) Develop an environmental science curriculum that was heavily activity-based, 2) evaluate the curriculum for usefulness as a teaching tool, and 3) test student knowledge and attitude changes towards the environment resulting from exposure to this 10-day curriculum unit. The curriculum developed entitled Environmental Technology—”Natural State of the Environment” was designed to provide an introduction to biological processes and basic principles of ecology, and to set the foundation for additional environmental studies. The curriculum was sent to 31 high schools in Texas and tested on 1500 students. Students participating in this study were administered a pretest prior to participation in the environmental science curriculum and an identical post-test after its completion. The questionnaire included an attitude inventory and knowledge section in addition to a biographical information section. Results examine the relationship between environmental knowledge and environmental attitudes, determine the attitude and knowledge changes from before until after the instructional unit, and focus on the importance and need for environmental education programs.
Renee Keydoszius and Mary Haque
During the fall semester of 2003, a Clemson University introductory landscape design class collaborated with South Carolina Botanical Gardens staff and coordinators of Sprouting Wings, an after school gardening program for at risk children, to design an exploratory Children's Garden within the Botanical Gardens. Project methodology included site selection, research, site analysis, conceptual diagrams, preliminary designs, and full color renderings of final designs. Students periodically presented their progress on the project to the clients in order to receive feedback and advice. One of the thirteen themed gardens designed is the Wonders of Water Garden. Project goals were to create a center for environmental education addressing current issues in water quality such as pollution from industries and runoff, erosion, stream degradation, and sedimentation resulting from land clearing and development. Visitors will be able to observe and learn about various environmental factors affecting native plant and animal life. The garden will help to teach environmental stewardship and understanding of general aquatic ecology. An observation deck, serpentine bridge through a bog garden, and a bridge crossing a waterfall stream will allow close observation of native aquatic plant and animal life. The Wonders of Water Garden design includes the bog garden and carnivorous garden that border two pools connected by a stream of small waterfalls which may be used to create awareness of current water quality issues and serve as a model to teach visitors the importance of water and aquatic plants in the environment.
O.M. Aguilar, T.M. Waliczek, and J.M. Zajicek
of environmental programs in government sectors, nonprofit organizations, and public schools to improve the environmental actions of citizens ( Howell and Warmbrod, 1974 ; Knapp, 1972 ; Ravitch, 2000 ). Thus, “environmental education” became part of
Sonja M. Skelly and Jayne M. Zajicek
Project GREEN (Garden Resources for Environmental Education Now) is a garden program designed to help teachers integrate environmental education into their classroom using a hands-on tool, the garden. The objectives of this research project were to 1) develop an interdisciplinary garden activity guide to help teachers integrate environmental education into their curricula and 2) evaluate whether children developed positive environmental attitudes by participating in the activities. Students participating in the Project GREEN garden program had more positive environmental attitude scores than those students who did not participate. Second-grade students in the experimental and control groups had more positive environmental attitudes than fourth-grade students. In addition, this research found a significant correlation between the number of outdoor related activities students had experienced and their environmental attitudes.
Sonja M. Skelly and Jennifer C. Bradley
While gardening is the number one hobby in the United States, elementary schools are just beginning to explore the use of school gardens as a means to enhance classroom learning. School gardens can reinforce classroom instruction by offering opportunities for experiential learning. The benefits of experiential learning allow for a better understanding of concepts as the hands-on approach provides meaningful and tangible experiences. While many teachers have anecdotally attested to the benefits of school gardens, there is little empirical evidence documenting their impact. In Fall 1997, the University of Florida hosted a competition for the best elementary school garden in Florida. Results from a research questionnaire completed by participating teachers indicated that teachers used school gardens infrequently, with the majority using the garden as an instructional tool no more than 10% of the time. Many teachers did, however, indicate that school gardens were used for environmental education (97.1%) and experiential learning (72.9%), and 84.3 % of teachers said that related activities enhanced student learning. Findings also indicate that the teachers surveyed had relatively new gardens and teachers lacked, or were unaware of educational resources to assist with garden learning. This paper describes and interprets the results of the teacher questionnaire.
Aino-Maija Evers, Leena Lindén, and Erja Rappe
Approaches using human issues in horticulture (HIH) offer new possibilities to develop nearby nature in cities, especially during a period of rapid urbanization in Finland. New initiatives have been developed in school gardening, environmental education, gardening in training programs for disabled people, therapeutic environments in hospitals and institutions, and in the University of Helsinki horticultural education and research programs. At the University of Helsinki, two contact teaching courses and national seminars were organized in 1996 and 1998. Initial studies in the HIH approach have three main themes: 1) gardening as a tool for better quality of life in homes for the elderly, 2) ecology, native plants and extensive maintenance in parks, and 3) the use of horticulture in environment and science education at the lower level of the comprehensive school.
Christine E.H. Coker, Gary Bachman, Chris Boyd, Pamela B. Blanchard, Ed Bush, and Mengmeng Gu
Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2000 Principles and standards of school mathematics 24 Sept. 2009 < http://standardstrial.nctm.org >. Pettus, A. Schwab, K. 1978 A survey of Virginia public school principals on the state of environmental education J
Virginia I. Lohr and Lenore H. Bummer
Implementing water-conserving landscapes is one action that many individuals can take to help ease the nation's water crisis, but few people seem to be exercising this option. Some horticulturists attribute this to a negative attitude toward such landscapes. Our research was designed to assess these attitudes and to see if they could be improved with information. Questionnaires were administered to people in treatment or control groups. Those in the treatment group viewed a short videotape about water issues and water-conserving landscapes. Initial attitudes in both groups were neutral or positive, not negative as predicted. Viewing the videotape was associated with significantly improved attitudes. People in the treatment group described water-conserving landscapes as less hot, more colorful, and more attractive three weeks after viewing the videotape than they had initially.