Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Issam Abi-El-Mona, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Ane Turner Johnson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Brianne Morettini, Ph.D.


Biology Faculty Experiences, Environmental Literacy, Introductory College Biology


Biology--Study and teaching; Environmental education


Higher Education | Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this case study was to explore how contingent biology instructors place value on environmental literacy in their instruction and the instructional strategies used to foster their student's environmental literacy. This study also investigated the contextual experiences of contingent instructors influencing the value they place on environmental literacy. Participants included 11 faculty teaching introductory biology courses from two public universities in the Northeast. Our analysis focused on triangulation of participants semi-structured interviews, instructor-generated artifacts, and field notes from classroom observations, interviews, and artifacts. Findings revealed contingent biology instructors understand the importance of placing value on environmental literacy in their instruction, but do not view it as a priority within the curriculum. Numerous contextual variables created complex barriers (time constraints, curriculum format, academic culture, student beliefs, and textbooks) influencing instructors' commitment to placing value on environmental literacy into introductory biology courses. Findings also determined that contingent instructors heavily rely on lecture-focused teaching strategies to incorporate environmental topics into the curriculum. These findings provide an understanding of how participants experience placing value on environmental literacy in their instruction and in turn, facilitates knowledge about how to support them in integrating environmental literacy in the classroom.