Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The impacts of two school outdoor classrooms on 6th and 7th grade student motivation levels in science
by Harder, Hannah R., M.S., Oklahoma State University, 2010, 170; 1481001
Abstract (Summary)

Scope and Method of Study. Using a Two-way ANOVA, the impacts of two outdoor classrooms on changes in urban Midwestern 6 th (n = 35) and 7th grade (n = 61) student motivation levels in science at two schools was assessed using a modified Achievement Motivation Index instrument at two time periods over 13 weeks. Students were also asked to answer open-ended questions over what they did in their outdoor classrooms and what they liked best.

Findings and Conclusions. Scores of both 6th grade males and females decreased while scores of 7th grade males and females increased. When controlling for grade and sex with alpha of .05, only the main effect of school, F (1,92) = 6.17, p =.015 was found to be significant. Scores across all groups were highly clustered in the highly motivated range of scores, despite the death of a 6th grade student during the week of the second sampling date. Because of circumstantial conditions and because homogenity of variance was not met, findings were limited to within the research situation.

Responses to two open-ended questions indicated that outdoor classrooms were highly valued almost unanimously by students. Biota, water, structures, and peer relationships were among the most important elements of the outdoor classrooms to the students. Student preferences from both grades and sexes revealed that outdoor classrooms allowed for kinesthetic learning that was distinguishable from classroom or textbook learning and also provided them with meaningful and real science learning experiences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Caneday, Lowell
Commitee: Castle, Kathryn, Jordan, Debra
School: Oklahoma State University
Department: Environmental Sciences
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental education, Educational psychology, Science education
Keywords: Education motivation, Environmental education, Outdoor classroom, Science education
Publication Number: 1481001
ISBN: 9781124211060
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