Capstone/Dissertation Title

Comparing high school aged students’ environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors before and after a wilderness trip

Term

Summer 8-14-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAED: NSEE

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Renee Wonser

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Cara Rieckenberg

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Bridget McMahon

Abstract

Questions researched are: 1) Does participation in a wilderness trip change environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors? 2) How do high school aged students compare to adults on environmental literacy? The Minnesota Report Card on Environmental Literacy will be used to compare groups. 3) Should schools provide greater access to wilderness experiences? Students answered a pre-survey and a post-survey with questions from the Minnesota Report Card on Environmental Literacy. Chaperones on the wilderness trip recorded environmental attitudes and behaviors they noticed while on the trip. Students also kept reflective journals indicating environmental attitudes and behaviors. Literature related to environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors have been referenced in this capstone. Many students’ environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors showed no change. Students did report spending more time outdoors after the trip as well as an increased knowledge of sources of water pollution and a belief in environmental education being provided in schools.

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