Title

Accountability in Education: Investigating Student Retention One-year-post Environmental Education Program

Presenter Information

Bridget Creel

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program's Restoration Education Program (REP) is a placebased science education curriculum that reaches 5th-8th grade students in the Clark Fork Watershed. The program is 1-week long, consisting of 4 classroom sessions and a daylong field trip and is individualized to classrooms throughout the watershed. The program has two main goals: (1) to help students become lifelong environmental stewards and (2) to help students gain a better understanding of the scientific process and the unique ecology of their watershed after a century of unregulated mining at its headwaters.

Historically, the program has tracked its success through pre-test/post-test evaluation. Students show significant improvements in knowledge of the ecological impacts of historic mining damage within their watershed and favorable shifts in attitude towards science and environmental stewardship.

Now, to investigate the long term impacts of REP we are assessing how Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) 6th grade students retain the knowledge gains and attitude shifts they showed in 5th grade post-tests. Retention research is key to keeping education programs accountable to their long-term goals and unfortunately, is rarely practiced. We will show the trend in knowledge and opinion shifts from 5th grade pre-tests to 5th grade post-tests to 6th grade retention tests. Additionally, to control for student development and general knowledge gains from 5th to 6th grade, we will compare the performance of MCPS 6th-graders with the performance of 6th grade students within the Clark Fork Watershed who did not receive REP in 5th grade.

Through this research, we will achieve two main goals specific to the program: ( 1) a tangible measure of the efficacy of REP on a long-term basis and (2) an opportunity to gain insight on how REP could be improved to increase knowledge retention. On a larger scale, through this retention research, we hope to provide insight into the long-term impacts of place-based environmental education.

Category

Social Sciences

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 17th, 2:20 PM Apr 17th, 2:40 PM

Accountability in Education: Investigating Student Retention One-year-post Environmental Education Program

UC 327

The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program's Restoration Education Program (REP) is a placebased science education curriculum that reaches 5th-8th grade students in the Clark Fork Watershed. The program is 1-week long, consisting of 4 classroom sessions and a daylong field trip and is individualized to classrooms throughout the watershed. The program has two main goals: (1) to help students become lifelong environmental stewards and (2) to help students gain a better understanding of the scientific process and the unique ecology of their watershed after a century of unregulated mining at its headwaters.

Historically, the program has tracked its success through pre-test/post-test evaluation. Students show significant improvements in knowledge of the ecological impacts of historic mining damage within their watershed and favorable shifts in attitude towards science and environmental stewardship.

Now, to investigate the long term impacts of REP we are assessing how Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) 6th grade students retain the knowledge gains and attitude shifts they showed in 5th grade post-tests. Retention research is key to keeping education programs accountable to their long-term goals and unfortunately, is rarely practiced. We will show the trend in knowledge and opinion shifts from 5th grade pre-tests to 5th grade post-tests to 6th grade retention tests. Additionally, to control for student development and general knowledge gains from 5th to 6th grade, we will compare the performance of MCPS 6th-graders with the performance of 6th grade students within the Clark Fork Watershed who did not receive REP in 5th grade.

Through this research, we will achieve two main goals specific to the program: ( 1) a tangible measure of the efficacy of REP on a long-term basis and (2) an opportunity to gain insight on how REP could be improved to increase knowledge retention. On a larger scale, through this retention research, we hope to provide insight into the long-term impacts of place-based environmental education.