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Validating an Environmental Education Field Day Observation Tool

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Author(s): Stephan P. Carlson | Joe E. Heimlich | Martin Storksdieck

Journal: International Electronic Journal of Environmental Education
ISSN 2146-0329

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 151;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Observation tool | environmental field day | validity study | informal science | empirical research

ABSTRACT
Environmental Field Days are held throughout the country and provide a unique opportunity to involve students in real world science. A study to assess the validity of an observation tool for EFD programs was conducted at the Metro Water Festival with fifth grade students. Items from the observation tool were mapped to students’ evaluation questions to determine the degree to which observed characteristics of the field day are aligned with student perception.The data support the conclusion that the observation tool not only captures the perspective of a trained observer on the educational potential of a field day, but also the perceived experience ofthe field day audience (the students): Despite the fact that the observation tool was designed to capture an expert perspective on effective pedagogy and educational practice (rather than student satisfaction), 20 out of 26 items correlated between the observer’s and student’s assessment tool.
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