Date Approved

5-4-2005

Embargo Period

4-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Environmental Education and Conservation

Department

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Winther, Austin

Subject(s)

Activity programs in education--New Jersey; Environmental education--Activity programs--New Jersey

Disciplines

Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

Nonformal environmental education experiences can be useful tools for teachers when the programs are connected to state standards and national guidelines. This study examined how well field trip programs at nonformal environmental education centers in southern New Jersey met the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for environmental education and the North American Association for Environmental Education's Nonformal Environmental Education Programs Guidelines for Excellence. Fourteen centers from the six southernmost counties were sent questionnaires. Of the fourteen centers, eight responded to the questionnaire. The programs offered at these centers were then evaluated using a checklist for the state standards and a checklist for the guidelines. The extent to which each variable was met varied. The results indicated that all of the centers met both the standards and the guidelines to a degree. The effect of the standards movement on visitation rates at the responding centers was also under examination, but the results were inconclusive. The information gathered can be used by local school districts to plan useful field trips and by the respondent centers to improve current field trip programs.

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