Relationships between outdoor environmental education program characteristics and children’s environmental values and behaviors

Bruce Johnson, Jan Činčera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Outdoor environmental education programs frequently aim to influence participants’ environmental values and behaviors. Published studies have frequently documented their success in doing so. However, few studies have examined the characteristics of programs in relation to accomplishing those goals. Using characteristics identified as important in the Real World Learning Model, this study investigated five residential outdoor environmental education programs in the Czech Republic. Findings include statistically significant correlations between participants’ views of program characteristics and their environmental values and self-reported behaviors. Structural equation models demonstrate that the relationship between program characteristics was mediated by participants’ environmental values. For participants with positive values, program characteristics more strongly influence behavior. For those with less positive values, the program characteristics are less influential. Program effectiveness seems to be influenced by an interplay between students’ environmental values and the instructional strategies used in the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Environmental education
  • environmental behavior
  • environmental values
  • outdoor learning
  • real world learning model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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