The role of entomology in environmental and science education: Comparing outreach methods for their impact on student and teacher content knowledge and motivation
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Committee Member 2
Committee Member 3
Outreach programming can be an important way for local students and teachers to be exposed to new fields while enhancing classroom learning. University-based outreach programs are offered throughout the country, including most entomology departments as few individuals learn about insects in school and these programs can be excellent sources of entomological education, as well as models to teach environmental and science education. Each department utilizes different instructional delivery methods for teaching about insects, which may impact the way in which students and teachers understand the insect concepts presented. To determine the impact of using entomology to enhance science and environmental education, this study used a series of university-based entomology outreach programs to compare three of the most common delivery methods for their effect on teacher and student content knowledge and motivation, specifically student interest in entomology and teacher self-efficacy. Twenty fifth grade classrooms were assessed over the course of one school year. The results show that teacher knowledge significantly increased when teachers were unfamiliar with the content and when trained by an expert, and teacher self-efficacy did not decrease when asked about teaching with insects. For students, content knowledge increased for each lesson regardless of treatment, suggesting that outreach program providers should focus on working with local schools to integrate their field into the classroom through the delivery methods best suited to the needs of the university, teachers, and students. The lessons also had an impact on student interest in science and environmental education, with an overall finding that student interest increases when using insects in the classroom.
Weeks, Faith J., "The role of entomology in environmental and science education: Comparing outreach methods for their impact on student and teacher content knowledge and motivation" (2015). Open Access Dissertations. 587.