The role of service-learning in college students' environmental literacy: Content knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors
This study evaluated the relationship of environmental service-learning on environmental literacy in undergraduates. The subjects were 36 undergraduates at a small liberal arts university enrolled in an environmental biology course. To determine the role of environmental service-learning on college students' environmental knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and environmental literacy, this study utilized concurrent mixed methods approach for qualitative and quantitative analysis. A quasi-experimental repeated measures approach was the design of the quantitative component of the study. Data were collected on attitude, behavior, and content knowledge aspects of environmental literacy as measured by the Environmental Literacy Survey (Kibert, 2000). Hypotheses were tested by independent samples t tests and repeated measures ANOVA. Repeated measures ANOVA conducted on participants' three subscales scores for the Environmental Literacy Survey (attitude, behavior, and knowledge) indicated that students who participated in environmental service-learning scored statistically significantly higher than those that did not initially participate in service-learning. Qualitative data collected in the form of journal reflections and portfolios were evaluated for themes of environmental attitudes or affective statements, environmentally positive behaviors and skills, and ecological content. Quantitative and qualitative data support the positive role of environmental service-learning in the development of environmental literacy in undergraduate students.