Evaluating Efficacy of Environmental Education Programming
Published January 2019, Volume 119
School Science and Mathematics
The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program (CFWEP) goals are: (a) increasing students’ understanding of the nature of ecological impacts within their watershed as related to historic mining damage; and (b) increasing students’ sense of stewardship of newly restored landscapes. Data from 2012 to 2016 were evaluated for student knowledge gains (46 trials representing 2,395 student pre‐surveys; 2,409 student post‐surveys). Data from 2013 to 2016 were evaluated for students’ attitudes toward science and disposition toward caring for the environment (38 trials representing 1,479 pre‐surveys; 1,460 post‐surveys). The results of this study support that the program’s goals are being achieved. Students achieved statistically significant gains on knowledge surveys with a 33.4% overall gain pre‐ to posttest (p < 0.0001). Students also moved toward greater positive responses in both attitudes toward science and disposition toward caring for the environment with Cohen’s d effect sizes of “medium effect” for caring toward the environment (d = 0.52) and “small effect” of positive disposition toward science (d = 0.24).