The extent and nature of affective and cognitive changes in teachers and students as the result of participation in an environmental education program

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The effect of participation in an environmental education program on the cognitive and affective growth of teachers and students was investigated. Fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth grade teachers from selected schools in Prince William County Virginia, were enrolled in an environmental education project funded by the National Science Foundation. These teachers, teachers who taught in the same school but not enrolled in the project, and teachers from schools (control) not involved in the project composed the three teacher groups for the study. The students of these three groups of teachers were the student groups of interest in the study.

The three groups of teachers were administered environmental attitude and environmental knowledge measures. Analysis of the data indicated that hypothesized differences between the groups were inconclusive.

The students, while not treated directly, were administered an Environmental Semantic Differential, as an attitude measure and a knowledge test. Analysis of covariance indicated that there was a significant group by grade by sex interaction, with fifth and fourth grade treatment females scoring significantly higher on the attitude measure than the other groups.

The results of the analysis of these student attitude data provide evidence of both the effectiveness of the environmental education program and the use of the semantic differential as a measurement of students' attitudes toward the environment.