Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An investigation of the effect of an outdoor orientation program on participants' biophilic expressions
by Meltzer, Nathan W., M.A., Prescott College, 2014, 139; 1557883
Abstract (Summary)

This exploratory study investigated the effect of a twenty-one day outdoor orientation program (OOP) on participants' relationships with the natural world, as understood via the lens of biophilia. The primary research question was "Does the Prescott College New Student Orientation have an effect on participants' biophilic profiles, as measured by the Kellert-Shorb Biophilic Values Indicator (KSBVI)?" Biophilic profiles were calculated pre and post with the KSBVI, a 99-question survey that shows survey-takers' expressions of each of the nine biophilic responses at a specific moment in time. The KSBVI was administered to instructors and participants prior to the trip and to participants on the last day in the field; instructors also completed a questionnaire about the curriculum implemented. Correlation analyses showed highly stable biophilic expressions over time, and paired-sample t-tests showed changed on 8 of the 9 KSBVI subscales. Alpha tests indicated that the KSBVI had acceptable reliability as a whole, however the aesthetic and symbolic subscales showed poor reliability. The KSBVI was determined to be a promising tool for understanding how OOP and WEP participants relate to the natural world through the lens of biophilia, however further research is warranted to better understand the KSBVI's strengths and limitations. This research determined that participation on this OOP may have influenced change in these participants' relationships with the natural world, with strong evidence for the impact of the curriculum on type and amount of change in biophilic expression.

Keywords: biophilia, adventure education (AE), outdoor orientation program (OOP), Kellert-Shorb Biophilic Values Indicator (KSBVI), Wilderness Experience Program (WEP)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bobilya, Andrew J.
Commitee: Bell, Brent, Faircloth, W. Brad, Mitten, Denise
School: Prescott College
Department: Adventure Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental education, Educational evaluation, Higher education
Keywords: Adventure education, Biophilia, Experiential education, Kellert-shorb biophilic values indicator (ksbvi), Outdoor orientation program (oop), Wilderness experience program (wep)
Publication Number: 1557883
ISBN: 978-1-303-96326-1
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