Environment Science Education Research Proposal

Pages: 12 (3831 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Teaching  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Scope and Limitations

The scope of the research is to discover the satisfaction of students with the course materials at college level. The study will also assess whether these programs are effective as regards the students practical approach towards environment and environmental issues. Those students who have completed their one year of college education will be approached and will be requested to participate in the research. Though the researcher wants to ultimately present a strategy for interdisciplinary education yet the research has scope for engaging all the field like "life sciences, environmental sciences, and a variety of biology courses." Beyond this proposal and research I myself feel it interesting to explore parts of the curriculum that are proving barriers in the effectiveness of the college science courses.

Budgetary Plan




Total Cost

A Three of three researchers

Preparation for Onsite Research


Conduct Interviews

Code and analyze collected data

$35,000/- per head


15 students to be interviewed

Participate in the research

$30 per student




Personnel salary: $105,000

Students who elect interviews: $450/-

Additional administration expenses if needed: $45,000.

Publicity: $20,000

Total Budget: $170,250

Literature Review

For decades there has been research studies conducted about environmental education, with main prominence on school level environment education and students experiences. Yet litter research has focused on college level science courses and their relevant parts of environmental studies. (Shepardson, 2005). However, the research has been done on higher education exploring and assessing the environment studies and curriculum related to it.

The discipline of environmental science was initially consisted of taking students out to observe natural environment which developed to mindful conservation movement (Stevenson, 2007). It has progressed and is focusing on an 'ecological theme' as well as there is an approach to creating environmental awareness among new generating and preparing them to face these issues

In the beginning, environmental education started as a movement particularly focused to appreciating the nature. In the past, "environmental education has been considered more an approach to learning than a specific discipline" (Johnson & Mappin, 2005, p. 4). In the beginning nature study and examination of the natural world were the educational approaches that created environmental awareness and are considered the foundation of environmental education (McCrea, 2006).

Initially in 1981 a book, "Nature for the Common Schools," written by Jackman. Was published and it was the beginning of nature study. It "took students outdoors to explore an indivisible environment with an integrated academic approach" (Daudi & Heimlich, 1997, p. 1). Jackman was amongst the first education leaders who presented the idea of consolidating all curriculums around the study of nature.

Then another significant author was "Scientist and educator, Agassiz" who supported the concept that teacher should be aware of the nature study. In addition, Agassiz stressed that educational framework must be broadened by adopting practical approach and not just sticking to the textbooks and the classroom. The idea of "experiential learning in the fields and woods symbolized the first sole departure from the archetypal linear style of teaching and learning. Study nature, not books, was a motto ascribed to Agassiz and this-approach to nature education" (as cited in Jordan, 1922).

Many critics also presented the idea of studying nature study as a center for curriculums. Dewey wrote, "Education cannot be unified in the study of science, or socalled nature study, because apart from human activity, nature itself is not a unity" (Dewey, 1897, p. 78). Social studies replaced Science as a discipline that was a focal point for curriculum. This emphasis on social studies, "rather than on the sciences, had the effect of maintaining science's marginal status in the curriculum during subsequent decades" (DeBoer, 1991, p. 215). It was not until the late 1960s that the environment once more gained importance as a field of study as well problem at global level and was considered to be incorporated in the education.. "The disagreement here is that when environmental science was being reduced in the classrooms, politicians and governments were focusing science education to solve societal problems. However, the nature-study approach has remained present persistently at low-profile in schools since the late 1800s" (Disinger 2005, p. 140).

Current Environmental Science Curriculum

In the 21st century, there is a wide range of choices being offered by colleges and universities in environmental studies for the promotion for worldwide sustainable environment. There seems and increase since the 2000 in the research that focused on education for sustainability efforts at the college level. Different aspects have been assessed like the role of college environmental-education courses and their efficiency to provide the essential knowledge, skills, and understanding of global sustainability initiatives (Carlsson, 2002; Colby & Sullivan, 2009; Fortuin & Bush, 2010; Joshi, 2009; Stephens, Hernandez, Roman, Graham, & Schulz, 2008; Svanstrom, Lozano-Garcia, & Rowe, 2008; Venkataraman, 2009).

Continuing with this, Carlsson (2002) in a qualitative study pointed to the need to explore ecological understanding and described significance of promoting the environmental indulgent for college level students that they must be motivate to take part in the environmental concerns and improve their understanding of the environment and facilitate them to make environmentally sustainable decisions. This is accomplished by "deliberate efforts enabling them to see certain things in certain ways, ways that are supposed to be effective when encountering new situations" (Carlsson, 2002, p. 714). As there is a transformation in environmental issues and topics with the change in society, Carlsson stressed that there is a need for understanding the involved processes. Researching the oil and recycling issues, "the idea of transformation seems to be an overall 'gatekeeper' to more advanced forms of understanding" (Carlsson, 2002, p. 712). Provided that a radical and significant awareness and knowledge, a foundation is made that "establishes fundamental links in the understanding of the interrelations and mutual dependencies within, as well as between living and non-living spheres" (Carlsson, 2002, p. 712).

The research has also confirmed that college science courses offerings are artificially divided into specialized fields (Sipos et al., 2008; Taber, 2008). Examples of the specific areas of concentration include "environmental studies, forest ecology and management, ecology, atmospheric and oceanic studies, geology and geophysics, biology, botany, and zoology. Diversification of curriculum, however extensive, is not enough to increase the ecological literacy or intelligence of adult learners" (Joshi, 2009; Orr, 2004; Peters & Stearns, 2003). Joshi (2009) argued that "as an outcome of not just inaccessible, but a nonintegrated curriculum, there is a lack of understanding of the earth's systems due to which a gap is present between suitable knowledge and accepting required for environmental-education attempts that encourage understanding of sustainability." (p. 63),

In addition the research by Taber (2008) also established that it not just the maintenance of the singular-concept move toward for teaching the different field of the study at the college level, but there is lack of literature that assess integrated concepts. "Although much is known about the way that learners make sense of many science topics, this is largely based on individual studies considering the particular areas of science in isolation" (Tabor, 2008, p. 18). The researcher discovered scientific conceptualization in college students in a qualitative study. Though the sample size of the said study was very small and the participants specialized in the science areas to be examined, Taber anticipated that the data gathered through this small-scale approach would change place to a wider model. The patterns that developed through collection of a this thorough and comprehensive data from the participants pointed to that implementing the single interviews with small-size samples creates an all-embracing amount of information about the participants' opinion and experiences. However, the researcher recognized that the time limitations as well as questions posed may have limited the collection of data. Taber accomplished that the participants of the study though had ability to apply specific science concepts, but a lack was seen in their conceptualization abilities.


In brief, it is necessary to explore the scope of current curricula for college students as to what extent this is helping in creating awareness about environmental issues. The study is significant in many ways. First of all the study will prove to be a great contribution as regards the knowledge base for science course material and curricula in the college. Previous research has proved that a vast detachment exists between the experiences of college students in the college and their practical approaches to the environment and environmental issues. The researcher is going to explore this disconnection by reviewing the previous literature. Adoption of a typical linear style to teach college students is not effective and has negative effects on students' learning. By Just regulating the courses to be taught or information you cannot engage students and make them to take a practical approach toward environment. Consequently, several students do not have a positive association with the nature environment and ecological systems besides their own homes or communities and they despite knowing the facts and figures they remain non-serious toward these issues. This may be because there is lack… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Proposal:

APA Format

Environment Science Education.  (2011, November 7).  Retrieved February 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/environment-science-education/1167873

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"Environment Science Education."  7 November 2011.  Web.  18 February 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/environment-science-education/1167873>.

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"Environment Science Education."  Essaytown.com.  November 7, 2011.  Accessed February 18, 2019.