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Relevance, Rigor, and Relationships: Student Perceptions Following Participation in an Integrated Experiential Zoo-Based Academic High School Science Program

By John W. Hill, Henry Doorly Zoo

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Abstract

The purpose of this survey study was to compare students’ measured Likert scale perceptions of posttest school climate survey, relevance, rigor, and relationships domain scores following 11th- and 12th-grade participation in either an integrated experiential zoo-based academic high school science program (n = 18) or a same school district integrated experiential school-based academic high school science program (n = 18). Science coursework delivery site served as the study’s independent variable. ACT composite scores and science grade point average scores were equivalent for students participating in both science pro-grams. Students participating in the zoo-based experiential academic high school science program completed real world, hands-on projects on-site at a nationally recognized zoo while same school district control group students participating in the integrated experiential school-based academic high school science program completed matched curriculum, real world, simulated projects in their classrooms. Students who completed the integrated experiential zoo-based academic high school science program compared to control group students had statistically greater posttest Likert scale perceptions of program relevance where independent t(34) = 4.13, p = .0002 (two-tailed), ES = 1.410; program rigor t(34) = 3.66, p = .0008 (two-tailed), ES = 1.237; and program relationships t(34) = 4.98, p < .0001 (two-tailed), ES = 1.690. The importance of these powerfully held beliefs for students’ successful participation in their future science studies is discussed.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2013
Publication Title Creative Education
Volume 4
Issue 4
Pages 287-297
Publisher University of Nebraska at Omaha
URL http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/edadfacpub/18/
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Children
  4. Exotic animals
  5. High schools
  6. Human-animal interactions
  7. perceptions
  8. Science Education
  9. students
  10. wildlife
  11. Zoo and captive wild animals
  12. Zoos