Date of Award:

1998

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Recreation Resource Management

Advisor/Chair:

Dale J. Blahna

Abstract

This thesis presents an analysis of 1996/97 survey research data regarding the relationship between three types of Teton Science School (TSS) programs and classroom teachers ' ability to teach about the environment. Based on observations by resident instructors and faculty at TSS, three research questions were developed. The primary objective of the research questions was to consider the relationship between TSS residential education programs and participating teachers' ability to teach about the environment.

Analyses are based on comparing descriptive statistics of teachers who have participated in one of the three types ofTSS programs or a combination of the three types of programs. Where appropriate, first-order distributional comparisons are considered.

Findings of the thesis include: 1) in general, teachers who participate in TSS programs reported doing a great deal of teaching about the environment and have a positive attitude toward environmental education (EE); 2) both TSS residential education programs and outreach programs, although specifically designed for students, help teachers to incorporate EE into their teaching; 3) specific components of TSS teacher workshops, TSS residential education programs, and TSS outreach programs, which include spending time outdoors and observing others teach, were rated very highly by participating teachers for teachers' ability to incorporate EE into their teaching.

This thesis supports the idea that teacher training in environmental education can include programs that are designed for students, specifically participation in residential education programs. This thesis contributes to the future design of programs at TSS and similar centers and to the literature on long-term evaluation studies in EE, specifically teacher training in EE.

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