Saturday, June 27, 2009

California EIC Study Shows Higher Achievement in Three out of Four Students

The State Education and Environment Roundtable also published a study of schools in California finding that three times out of four the students supported by environment-based education did better on tests, attitude, attendence and overall performance that students without such support.

Study Citation: State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER). (2000). California Student Assessment Project: The Effects of Environment-based Education on Student Achievement. Retrieved July 14, 2005 from

This was a controlled study that compared eight paired sets of students. One class was exposed to Education as an Integrating Context (EIC) programs and the other class did not have such a program.

In two cases, the paired classes came from the same school. In the other six cases, they came from different, neighboring schools with closely matched by demographics and socioeconomic charactereristics. Data were collected from standardized test scores, site visits, and teacher surveys and interviews. The authors compared standardized measures of academic achievement in reading, writing, math, science and social studies,

Findings: the EIC students did better in 72% of the time. And, the EIC student class attendance was better 77% of the time. They also showed fewer discipline problems, increased enthusiasm for learning, and greater pride in their accomplishments.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seminal Study: Environment-based Education Measurably Improves All-around Student Performance

In 1998, The State Education and Environment Roundtable helped the environmental education field and education in general to better assess how environment-based education can improve a student's overall academic experience and performance. The particular focus of this effort was on how environment-based education can serve as a medium for integrating education across disciplines and educational strategies. The authors and developers refer to it as Environment as and Integrating Context (EIC).

Citation: Lieberman, Gerald A. and Hoody, Linda. (1998). Closing the Achievement Gap. San Diego, CA: State Education and Environment Roundtable. (

This study assessed student performance in 40 schools that were already implementing the EIC approach. It was completed by Lieberman and Hoody in partnership with 12 State Departments of Education. The data came from site visits to all 40 schools and inclued four different teacher surveys, interviews with more than 400 students and 250 teachers and administrators. Moreover, in 14 of the subject schools, the EIC students were compared with students from the same schools who were in traditional classrooms looking at on standardized test scores, grade point averages, attendance, student attitude measures, and records of disciplinary actions.

The results: higher scores on standardized measures of academic achievement in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies; reduced discipline and classroom management problems; increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning; and greater pride and ownership in their accomplishments.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Environment-Based Education Results in Higher Achievement Motivation

In a time when teachers and parents are concerned about apathy in students, the evidence that environment-based education increases one's desire to learn is apparant.

Consider the study: Athman, Julie & Monroe, Martha. (2004). The effects of environment-based education on students’ achievement motivation. Journal of Interpretation Research, 9(1): 9-25.

This study finds that learning motivation is associated with more actual engagement in schoolwork. This improves improves a student's academic performance. The study looked at 11 Florida high schools, 400 9th and 12th grade students. The authors compared achievement motivation in classrooms with environment-based educational programs that use the environment as an integrated context (EIC) to more traditional classrooms.

Students filled out an Achievement Motivation Inventory and a number of teachers and students participating in the programs were interviewed.

Basic study finding: "Controlling for grade point average, gender and ethnicity, environment-based education significantly raised 9th and 12th graders’ achievement motivation in comparison to the control groups. Students and teachers attributed increased motivation to the use of the local environment, teachers’ ability to tailor learning experiences to students’ interests and strengths, and the application of learning to real-life issues and problems" This "often enabled students to present their work to community audiences beyond their teacher."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Environmental Education Produces Higher Scores on Standardized Tests -- The Washington State Findings

Research in Washington and other states shows that students in schools using environmental education consistently score higher on standardized tests than students in schools without EE


Because EE helps:

◗ Increase motivation for learning in all subject areas
◗ Focus students and improve their overall behavior in the classroom4
◗ Develop critical thinking skills
◗ Foster the ability to work both independently and collaboratively

Eco-Education Makes Better Students

In these posts you will find a collection of articles and studies that document how environmental education prgorams at schools and after-school programs improve student learning and enhance standardized test results.

The evidence is compelling that the hands-on applied and real world aspects of most environmental education improves student desire to learn and performance on most measures of student success.