Capstone/Dissertation Title

A look into locus of control: how high school students perceive their ability to impact the environment

Term

2008

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAED: NSEE

Abstract

The overarching question guiding this grounded theory research is, how will understanding more about what shapes students' locus of control change the way educators teach about environmental issues? This research is motivated by the author's teaching experiences in which students expressed feelings of hopelessness after learning about environmental issues. Key influences included graduate professors, colleagues, current and former students, and the authors Smith-Sebasto, Hungerford and Volk, and Rotter. Participants, who were high school biology students, were given a locus of control survey before and after the ecology unit. Additionally, a modified one minute paper was distributed after the unit to generate qualitative data. Data showed that students who had an internal orientation for locus of control were more likely to believe their actions could positively impact the environment.

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