Environmental Education Organizations and Programs in Texas: Identifying Patterns through a Database and Survey Approach for Establishing Frameworks for Assessment and Progress

Jenny D Lloyd-Strovas, Thomas L Arsuffi


We examined the diversity of environmental education (EE) in Texas, USA, by developing a framework to assess EEorganizations and programs at a large scale: the Environmental Education Database of Organizations and Programs(EEDOP). This framework consisted of the following characteristics: organization/visitor demographics,pedagogy/curriculum, operations, and assessment. A database of organizations was built by surveying EE programdirectors state-wide. Of 237 possible organizations, 82 responded to the survey. Results showed that 6-20% of Texansare exposed to EE yearly. In 2009, each of these organizations conducted 19 programs to serve 6,000 people usingonly $7,500 USD (based on medians). Environmental educators most frequently used hands-on, outdoor experimentsand group discussions to teach students, suggesting constructivism as the underlying learning theory in Texas EE.The field needs a comprehensive analysis of the large diversity of organizations and programs to better understandthe structure and function of EE. Databases are highly effective tools in education research because they provide: 1) asource of quality research; 2) information across multiple scales; 3) networking and collaboration; and 4)comprehensive and longitudinal data for testing theories. This study provides a framework for creating large-scaledatabases of EE organizations and identifies patterns among and between characteristics.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v6n6p1

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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