Term

Spring 5-13-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAED: NSEE

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Karen Moroz

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kimberly DePino

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Deneen Bernier

Abstract

With the increase in screen-time, children are spending less and less time outside in nature. Many studies are finding significant negative impacts upon their mental, physical and emotional well-being. The author attempted to develop an age-appropriate fictional story based upon accurate and appropriate nature and science lessons. The book, The Adventurers…Journey to the Crooked Forest was created to test if children would be more interested in going outside in nature as well as if the book could increase children’s knowledge of nature and science topics through storytelling. The effectiveness of the book was tested on fifty 1st -3 rd grade students from the local elementary school. The book was read to each of the classes one to two times a week over a two-month period. Using pre- and post-assessments, student’s attitudes towards, interest and knowledge in nature and science topics were evaluated. Parents also completed an assessment questionnaire after the reading in order to determine if they noticed any changes in their child’s interest in nature. Findings show that the book noticeably increased the majority of students’ interest in going outdoors and their knowledge of various nature and science topics. Teachers provided positive feedback pertaining to the relevancy of the content to their classes, engagement of their students and the age-appropriateness of the book. The teachers reported increased curiosity and retention of content over extended periods of time with their students. It was concluded that this book was effective in engaging, educating and motivating students with nature and science. Implications for future studies include expanding the sample size, utilizing more quanititative assessment questions and including suburban and urban students to identify similarities and differences in the book’s effect on those populations.

Research Methodology

Field Study, Observation, Survey, Literature used in education

Included in

Education Commons

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