Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How the use of a school garden learning environment with at-risk high school environmental science students impacts their connection to nature
by Stevens, Serena, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 93; 10195716
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this research was to see if the use of a school garden to teach Environmental Science students about ecology could increase their connection to nature, and to reduce their fears of undesirable organisms. Students completed an online pre and post survey that measured by a mixed-method. The pre and post quantitative data was analyzed using a 5-point Likert scale to determine if there was a significant difference in scores. Qualitative data was analyzed by identifying frequencies of students that mentioned various aspects of connection to nature, fears of various organisms, and reduction of fears for these same organisms.

Most research in connection to the use of school gardens in an educational setting focus on elementary age students, and research related to connection to nature rarely focus on fears. Quantitative results showed a statistically significant change in empathy for organisms only. All other categories showed no statistical significant change. Qualitative data revealed more insight, by showing that several students associate nature experiences with enjoyment and gaining an understanding of the purpose to certain organisms reduced some student’s fears. The experiences also revealed that students gained a better academic understanding of ecological concepts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kisiel, James
Commitee: Gomez-Zwiep, Susan, Whitcraft, Christine
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Science Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Science education
Keywords: At-risk high school students, School garden
Publication Number: 10195716
ISBN: 9781369339277
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