Measuring the Success of Environmental Education Programs
Based on experiences as environmental educators in the parks of British Columbia, Canada, the authors provide real world examples of evaluation. This handbook is for conservation education professionals working in the field who constantly strive to improve their programs and managers/funders who often focus on outcomes and accountability. Building on historical foundations, the authors describe ‘Elements of Excellence’ in conservation education and conditions unfavorable for evaluation. Formative, summative, and process-based evaluation are briefly mentioned with an emphasis placed on outcome evaluation. Using examples, the authors lead the readers through the creation of a logic model, which forms the basis for creation of an evaluation plan. The authors discuss at length the “tough stuff” of evaluation such as understanding the change in motivation, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, and values that influence the ultimate goal of education – behavior change. Techniques for measuring the “tough stuff” of evaluation are presented. A lengthy appendix provides a tool kit for conducting evaluation, including techniques of gathering information, pros and cons of various survey instruments, evaluation planning checklists, and sample survey instruments, including tools for capturing attitudes and behaviors. The author’s focus on trying to capture the “tough stuff” of conservation education programs makes this a useful tool for front line program staff and those working behind the scenes in development and management. The 2010 update reflect new outcomes terminology.
Format and Retrieval
Thomson, G., Hoffman, J. & Staniforth, S., (n.d./2010). Measuring the Success of Environmental Education Programs.