Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Julie A. White

Abstract

Environmental education of the general public is widely practiced by a variety of types of organizations. Dedicated environmental groups, nature centers, zoos, parks, and other entities work on issues ranging from local threats to air, water, and habitat to global problems such as climate change and deforestation. A great deal of those efforts focus largely on providing information and raising awareness. Behavioral research and change models, however, suggest other factors are important in order to effect change on an individual, regional, or societal level. An analysis of environmental education in practice, examining methods and materials in use, showed the degree to which there were alignments between the content and psychosocial determinants of change, as well as how actions related to change theories. This mixed-methods study of groups doing environmental education in the public sphere compared their practices with the factors shown to help predict pro-environmental behavior, why people change their actions and habits. Through this survey research and multiple case study, increased knowledge and understanding can help inform future efforts at change on critical local, national, and world environmental problems. It can also lead to further research into environmental education, using behavior and change theories.

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