Enhancing Students’ Environmental Knowledge and Attitudes Through Community-based Learning
One of the ultimate goals of education is to provide strategies that will promote knowledge transfer, wherein the students realize the relevance and applications of the subject matter in their lives. In environmental education, the concern is not only the enhancement of the students’ conceptual understanding, but also the
development of awareness and concern for the environment. Community-based learning in environmental education is a pedagogical approach that is based on the premise that students learn to connect environmental concepts with the real world, hence, creating meaningful learning experience. This study aims to design and
evaluate community-based approach in learning environmental science for senior high school students. The mixed method approach was used in this study, which was done through quasi-experimental design and qualitative analysis of the students’ written responses to open-ended questions. Two groups of students have participated in this study: (I) the traditional learning group and; (II) the community-based learning group.
Results revealed an improved academic performance based on the gain score analysis wherein the community-based learning group had a statistically significant higher achievement than the traditional learning group. Moreover, the development of more positive environmental attitudes was also observed in the community-based learning group. In addition, the role of the community members appeared to be significant in the learning process, based on the students’ responses to the open-ended questions. In learning real environmental issues, community-based learning is a promising approach in enhancing students’ environmental knowledge, and in developing more positive environmental attitudes. Moreover, this approach provides an opportunity for personal and social growth, and the development of one’s sense of responsibility
Keywords: community-based learning; environment attitudes; environmental education; environmental knowledge; mixed method approach
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