Brian Johnson is a 2013 graduate of the PhD Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, New England.
Environmental Education, environmental quality, environmental indicators, Pressure-State-Response, evaluation, environmental actions, Evaluation synthesis, semi-structured interviews, multiple-case study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the ways in which environmental education (EE) programs are contributing to environmental quality (EQ) improvement. The research applied the Pressure-State-Response (PSR) environmental indicator framework to the reported outcomes of 103 EE programs in order to 1) determine the extent to which existing EE programs are reporting EQ improvement outcomes; and 2) examine the extent to which these programs are impacting indicators in the three areas of the PSR framework. The study consisted of three research phases: evaluation synthesis, semi-structured interviews, and multiple-case study. The study found that 42 of 103 programs (41%) in the study's sample reported one or more outcomes that could be considered an EQ improvement based on the PSR framework. Of the 91 instances of EQ-related outcomes reported by the 42 EE programs, 75 (82%) were categorized as response outcomes, 13 (14%) as pressure outcomes, and three (3%) as state outcomes. Another finding of this study was that EE practitioners said that EE can and should improve EQ. Barriers to EQ evaluation of EE programs, as cited by EE practitioners, included the scale of EQ issues versus the scale of EE programs; a lack of evaluation tools and understanding; and limited time and money for evaluation. Finally, the findings suggest that factors that may promote EQ improvement outcomes of EE programs include real-world application of learning; strong partnerships; and a commitment to environmental change. The electronic version of this dissertation is available in the open-access Ohiolink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu/etd
Johnson, B. (2013). Can Education Improve the Environment? Applying the Pressure-State-Response Environmental Indicator Framework to Environmental Education Program Outcomes. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/55
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