Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ecological Literacy, Urban Green Space, and Mobile Technology: Exploring the Impacts of an Arboretum Curriculum Designed for Undergraduate Biology Courses
by Phoebus, Patrick E., Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University, 2017, 183; 10641765
Abstract (Summary)

Increasing individual ecological literacy levels may help citizens make informed choices about the environmental challenges facing society. The purpose of this study was to explore the impacts of an arboretum curriculum incorporating mobile technology and an urban greenspace on the ecological knowledge, environmental attitudes and beliefs, and environmental behaviors of undergraduate biology students and pre-service K-8 teachers during a summer course.

Using a convergent parallel mixed-methods design, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected, analyzed, and later merged to create an enhanced understanding of the impact of the curriculum on the environmental attitudes and beliefs of the participants. Quantitative results revealed a significant difference between pre- and post-survey scores for ecological knowledge, with no significant differences between pre- and post-scores for the other variables measured. However, no significant difference in scores was found between experimental and comparison groups for any of the three variables.

When the two data sets were compared, results from the quantitative and qualitative components were found to converge and diverge. Quantitative data indicated the environmental attitudes and beliefs of participants were unaffected by the arboretum curriculum. Similarly, qualitative data indicated participants’ perceived environmental attitudes and beliefs about the importance of nature remained unchanged throughout the course of the study. However, qualitative data supporting the theme connecting with the curriculum suggested experiences with the arboretum curriculum helped participants develop an appreciation for trees and nature and led them to believe they increased their knowledge about trees.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rutledge, Michael L., Sadler, Kim Cleary
Commitee: Barlow, Angela, Kim, Jwa K., Walck, Jeffrey
School: Middle Tennessee State University
Department: Basic and Applied Sciences
School Location: United States -- Tennessee
Source: DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Biology, Science education
Keywords: Arboretum, Ecological literacy, Environmental education, Green infrastructure, Mobile technology, Urban greenspace
Publication Number: 10641765
ISBN: 978-0-355-54345-2
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