Nature Awareness and Science Achievement <br />Kelly Chandler and Monica Swartzentruber<br />
Purpose- determine if there is a connection between students’ experiences in nature and their science achievement in the c...
Last year’s results (significance in correlation)<br />Continuation of pilot study<br />Recommended to develop the attitud...
<ul><li>Perkins and Salomon (1988)- Theory of transfer
Kellert (2002)- Survey categories
National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC) (2005)- Environmental Education encourages problem solving and c...
Crim, Desjean-Perrotta, & Moseley (2008)- The students are able to integrate curriculum more effectively.
Brahn and Reece (2006)- Informal Learning
Corbit (2008)- Prior Knowledge
Ballantyne and Packer (2009)- Learning in natural environments</li></ul>Literature Review<br />
56 4th graders in one suburban school/ one urban school<br />TCAP scores from last year- compared classes (T-Test)<br />St...
Results<br />Class comparison<br />An independent sample T-test suggests the mean difference between the two schools was n...
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Nature Awareness and Science Achievement

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Kelly Chandler and Monica Swartzentruber
Graduate Research Study
Johnson University
Spring 2011

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • KellyThe title is… a correlational study
  • KellyWhen we began our project, we believed there may be a connection between students’ experiences with nature and their science achievement in the classroom. Therefore, we collected data in order to determine the validity of our hypothesis.Our project builds off the transfer of learning theory. Transfer refers to the ability to apply knowledge from one situation to another situation. There are several different types of knowledge transfer, but our project deals specifically with brhrt. This type of transfer, explained by D.N. Perkins and Gavriel Salomon, occurs when a person in a problem situation identifies key characteristics of that situation and recalls past experiences that could possibly aid in the learning of the new situation. This is what we propose about nature awareness and science achievement. We believe students with significant experiences in the natural world can draw from these experiences when they are learning new concepts in science class.
  • MonicaWe looked at the questions in order to more clearly convey experiences and attitudesOur perspective is a little different than last year’s project. We chose to focus on knowledge transfer rather than the conditions which affect knowledge transfer. Therefore, our research is not founded on Louv’s theory of nature deficit disorder.
  • KellyThese are some key researchers/names which provide a foundation for our study/research. Our two main research topics are nature awareness and science achievement. We consulted numerous sources about both topics. We have simply listed a few of the more prominent ones here.
  • MonicaDirect- naturally occurring contact with natureIndirected- manipulated experiences in nature i.e zooVicarious- nature experience with technology or books i.e Magic Shool BusAttitude scoring- 2,1,0Yes  =3 worth more points- because they enjoyed the experienceYes  =2No= 1Don’t know=0Hopefully we will attain an accurate account of the students’ nature experiences
  • MonicaAn independent sample T-test using the students’ TCAP scores suggests average science TCAP scores at the first base school (Mooreland Heights) (M = 757.56, SD = 27.09) are somewhat equivalent to the average science TCAP scores at the second base school (West Hills) (M = 750.48, SD = 43.08). Therefore, the mean difference between the two schools was not significant, t(54) = .71, p &gt; .05, d = .48. In order to demonstrate the consistency of the survey instrument, we administered the survey as a test in January and as a retest in February. A Pearson Correlation and a Spearman’s rho for the data revealed a significant test retest reliability between the two surveys, r= +.83, n = 55, p &lt; .01, two tails. The results of both a Spearman-Brown and a Guttman Split-half test revealed significant internal reliability for the Nature Awareness Survey, r = .79.
  • KellyIn order to demonstrate the consistency of the survey instrument, we administered the survey as a test in January and as a retest in February. A Pearson Correlation and a Spearman’s rho for the data revealed a significant test retest reliability between the two surveys, r= +.83, n = 55, p &lt; .01, two tails. The results of both a Spearman-Brown and a Guttman Split-half test revealed significant internal reliability for the Nature Awareness Survey, r = .79.
  • KellyWe believe the students with higher nature awareness scores and higher science averages experience backward reaching high road transfer in the classroom. These students were able to draw from their experiences in nature and transfer that knowledge to classroom learning. Positive experiences in nature also seem to impact students’ science averages. Furthermore, as students’ nature awareness scores increase, there appears to be less variability in their science averages. These conclusions further support the significant relationship between the two components of our study.
  • KellyThe correlation between students’ Nature Awareness scores and science TCAP scores was actually more significant than the proposed correlation. It may be beneficial to use a standardized test instead of science averages. The researchers observed that science grades often reflect a student’s effort rather than a student’s actual content knowledge.
  • MonicaAs we can see, the indirect experiences is the common thread. If we, as teachers, capitalize on the indirect experiences, then, concluding from the research, they will significantly effect the other categories. Therefore, we conclude with those increases, the nature awareness scores would improve, therefore improving the science averages.
  • Kelly
  • MonicaWith this in mind, we encourage future research to focus on who is responsible for children’s indirect experiences in nature. We wonder if the results would be correlated differently between teacher-led indirect experiences and parent/guardian-led indirect experiences.
  • Nature Awareness and Science Achievement

    1. 1. Nature Awareness and Science Achievement <br />Kelly Chandler and Monica Swartzentruber<br />
    2. 2. Purpose- determine if there is a connection between students’ experiences in nature and their science achievement in the classroom<br />Theory- knowledge transfer<br />Backward reaching high-road transfer<br />Relationship between purpose and theory<br />Introduction<br />
    3. 3. Last year’s results (significance in correlation)<br />Continuation of pilot study<br />Recommended to develop the attitudes portion of the survey- refine an instrument<br />Cause for Study<br />
    4. 4. <ul><li>Perkins and Salomon (1988)- Theory of transfer
    5. 5. Kellert (2002)- Survey categories
    6. 6. National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC) (2005)- Environmental Education encourages problem solving and critical thinking.
    7. 7. Crim, Desjean-Perrotta, & Moseley (2008)- The students are able to integrate curriculum more effectively.
    8. 8. Brahn and Reece (2006)- Informal Learning
    9. 9. Corbit (2008)- Prior Knowledge
    10. 10. Ballantyne and Packer (2009)- Learning in natural environments</li></ul>Literature Review<br />
    11. 11. 56 4th graders in one suburban school/ one urban school<br />TCAP scores from last year- compared classes (T-Test)<br />Students completed the Nature Awareness Survey in January and February (validity)<br />3 categories: Direct, Indirect, Vicarious (Kellert, 2002)<br />Nature Awareness Survey scoring<br />Gathered the 3rd nine week science averages<br />Pearson Correlation to determine significance<br />Study Design<br />
    12. 12. Results<br />Class comparison<br />An independent sample T-test suggests the mean difference between the two schools was not significant, t(54) = .71, p > .05, d = .48<br />
    13. 13. Survey Instrument<br />A Pearson Correlation and a Spearman’s rho for the data revealed a significant test retest reliability between the two surveys, r= +.83, n = 55, p < .01, two tails. <br />Cronbach’s Alpha shows internal reliability of the survey, (21 items; α = .75). <br />Spearman-Brown and a Guttman Split-half test revealed significant internal reliability for the Nature Awareness Survey, r = .79.<br />Results cont.<br />
    14. 14. Correlation between Nature Awareness and science averages<br />A correlation for the data revealed a student’s awareness of the natural world and his/her science grades were significantly related, r = +.34, n = 56, p < .05, two tails. These findings led to the acceptance of the hypothesis<br />H1: Nature awareness scores are significantly correlated to science grades.<br />Results cont.<br />
    15. 15. Other Findings<br />Correlation between Nature Awareness and science TCAP scores<br />A Pearson correlation and a Spearman’s rho indicate a significant relationship between nature awareness scores and science TCAP scores, r = +.39, n = 54, p < .01, two tails. <br />
    16. 16. Survey conclusions<br />Correlations between indirect and direct (r = .679 n = 56, p < .01, two tails)<br />Correlation between indirect and vicarious (r = .606 n = 56, p < .01, two tails)<br />Correlation between vicarious and direct (r = .477 n = 56, p < .01, two tails)<br />Other Findings<br />
    17. 17. Educational Implications<br />This research should encourage educators to promote and facilitate direct, indirect, and vicarious student interactions with nature in order to foster backward-reaching high road transfer of science understanding. <br />
    18. 18. Recommendations for Further Research<br />We suggest the exploration of a possible correlation between students’ nature awareness scores and their averages in other subject areas such as English or Math. <br />We advise more research on the possible correlation between students’ nature awareness scores and parental involvement.<br />

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