Date of Award:

2001

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Michael Kuhns

Abstract

This thesis is an analysis of survey research data evaluating Journeys, a placebased environmental education teacher inservice training program developed and administered by Teton Science School. Information gleaned from stakeholder interviews

was used to develop the specific evaluation questions. A self-administered mail survey was then sent to all teachers known to have received Journeys training.

Nearly all trained teachers go on to use Journeys with their classes, and show a commitment to making Journeys a permanent part of their classroom. Teachers generally agreed that their involvement with Journeys has had positive effects on their teaching

behaviors and attitudes towards teaching. In particular, Journeys increased their enthusiasm for teaching and their effectiveness as teachers. Teachers believe their

involvement with Journeys has increased their students' enthusiasm for learning, helped them learn about their place, and helped them connect to their place. Journeys appears to be an effective interdisciplinary program, helping teachers teach a variety of different subjects. The most significant barriers to implementing Journeys are a lack of time to

conduct activities or to prepare for Journeys activities. Answers for open-ended questions revealed that many of the program support components such as site visits,

materials provided, and additional follow-up workshops are largely responsible for the popularity of Journeys. Journeys teachers show a strong affinity for the program's philosophy, though it is unclear what specifically is attractive about this philosophy.

Journeys appears to be most effective with K-3 teachers.

This thesis supports the notion that place-based approaches to environmental education teacher inservice training are effective. This thesis also provides information that can be used to further develop the Journeys program, and contributes to the literature on place-based education and teacher training in Environmental Education.

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