Experimental evaluation of an environmental conservation technology instructional unit

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1990
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Whent, Linda
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David L. Williams
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

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The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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1989–present

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The study was conducted during the fall and winter of the 1989-1990 school year to evaluate the effectiveness of an environmental conservation technology instructional unit. The instructional unit was designed for upper level high school agriculture science technology and marketing students (ASTM). The effectiveness of the unit was measured in terms of students' knowledge of environmental conservation technology, students' attitude toward natural resources, and teachers' attitudes toward natural resources and teaching environmental conservation technology;An experimental pretest-posttest control group design was used in this study. Schools with ASTM departments were randomly selected and randomly assigned to groups from a population of 82 schools within an 80 mile radius of Iowa State University. Because a cluster sampling technique was used, the school was the experimental unit in this study. The experimental group received the instructional unit and an in-service program; the control group received only a list of environmental conservation technology lesson titles and objectives to guide their teaching;Eight instruments were developed to measure the dependent variables and to record personal, situational, and formative data. Three instruments were developed to measure student variables and five instruments were developed to be completed by the teachers;Data were analyzed using SPSSx statistical package for the social sciences. The findings revealed that the instructional unit and in-service program were effective in increasing student knowledge of environmental conservation technology. Both the experimental and control groups increased their knowledge of technology for managing and conserving natural resources. Analyses of pretest and posttest scores within the two groups revealed that the experimental group significantly increased in knowledge of environmental conservation technology. Breakdown of the knowledge test into technology and natural resources subscales revealed that both experimental and control groups significantly increased in knowledge from pretest to posttest on the technology subscale. However, only the experimental treatment group increased in knowledge from pretest to posttest on the natural resources subscale. Qualitative data reported on daily instructional reporting forms and collected from teachers, suggested that students were interested in the technology aspect of the lessons, and that the use of technologies for managing and conserving natural resources stimulated class discussions and thought;The instructional unit was unsuccessful in significantly changing students' attitudes toward natural resources. Significant changes in attitudes were not observed between experimental and control groups, nor were significant changes observed within groups between pretest and posttest scores.

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Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1990