A study on the impact of the GLOBE program on students' attitudes regarding environmental issues
A key objective in environmental curricula should be to instill responsible and concerned attitudes toward environmental issues. This can be accomplished through the application of innovative programs which emphasize the development of the affective domain of learning. The development of personal attitudes is one form of evidence that the affective domain is being addressed. This study was undertaken to determine the impact of the GLOBE program (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) on the attitudes of students toward environmental issues. Three hundred and five middle and high school level students from four states were surveyed to determine their attitudes toward selected environmental statements. Results demonstrated that attitudes toward environmental issues of GLOBE students were significantly greater than non-GLOBE students. Additional analysis demonstrated that regardless of grade levels, gender, racial and ethnicity backgrounds, depth of GLOBE involvement, and degree of teachers' GLOBE experiences, GLOBE students display similar levels of attitudes toward environmental issues. Establishment of a reliable Likert scale measurement instrument was accomplished. Permission to use an existing survey was obtained. Additional items were added to increase validity. Establishment of reliability was accomplished through a Guttman split half analysis of the piloted instrument. Through the use of factor analysis, four categories or sub-groupings of attitudes were determined to exist. Reliability was established for the factors. These sub-groupings were identified as personal commitment to environmental protection, awareness of avenues for action, loci of control, and students' perception of teachers' abilities to present environmental topics. These categories were a part of the analysis of four hypotheses.