This mixed methods study evaluated the validity, and reliability of an instrument designed to assess a middle school student’s proficiency in systems thinking as described in the 2010 Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan. In Stage 1, a forum of middle school students, formal, and non-formal educators used the Delphi technique to reach consensus regarding which skills were important to include in a scoring guide for systems thinking. In Stage 2, the scoring guide was field tested by formal and non-formal educators using a sample of students’ work. The two groups’ scores were compared using Cohen’s kappa to make inferences regarding inter-rater reliability. Concurrently, an autoethnographic narrative was written to explore issues of equity related to the assessment of environmental literacy.
The commonalities between formal and non-formal educators revealed a high level of validity for the construct of proficiency with systems thinking, and a moderate level of reliability between the scores assigned by two groups of educators. In the words of the middle school students, formal, and non-formal educators, who volunteered to create the scoring guide, the ability to make responsible decisions with natural systems, community, and the future in mind involves: creating solutions for systems that are not in balance, presenting the complex inner workings of a system in a simple and succinct way, collaborating, exploring multiple solutions, and sharing ideas in a way that people will understand you.
|Commitee:||Dresner, Marion, Henry, Samuel, Sneider, Cary, Williams, Dilafruz|
|School:||Portland State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational tests & measurements, Environmental education, Middle School education|
|Keywords:||Assessment, Autoethnography, Environmental education, Environmental literacy, Environmental science education, Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan, Science education|
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