The effects of Environment-based Education on Students’ Achievement Motivation and The Effect of Environment-based Education on Student’ Critical Thinking Skills and Disposition Toward Critical Thinking
Athman, Julies & Monroe, Martha. (2004). Journal of Interpretation Research, 9(1): 9-25.
400 students in grades 9 & 12 in 11 Florida high schools
This research focused on the effects of environment based learning on students’ motivation and critical thinking skills. In addition to conducting interviews with select students, they looked at student performance on three norm-referenced tests, including:
- Achievement Motivation Inventory
- Cornell Critical Thinking Test
- California Measure of Mental Motivation
Summary of Findings
Controlling for GPA, gender and ethnicity, EIC programs significantly raised scores on all three tests. They also found that
- Student improvement in critical thinking skills was attributed to environmental themes, open-ended research projects, student voice and empowerment, and connection to community
- Improvements in motivation were attributed to learning experiences tailored to students’ interests and strengths.
- Students reported being motivated by work that applied to real-life issues and problems