Graduate Project


Impact of Advanced Placement Environmental Science on Environmental Beliefs and Actions of High School Students in Freehold Township High School, NJ Public Deposited

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  • This study aimed to investigate the effects of Advanced Placement Environmental Science on the pro-environmental behaviors and beliefs in high school juniors and seniors at a high school in central New Jersey. Using a pro-environmental behaviors scale adapted from earlier research by Astrid Leeuw (2015) in conjunction with the theory of planned behavior, students were asked to complete binary survey questions designed to determine if they engaged in certain pro-environmental behaviors and scaled questions to determine environmental beliefs. A pilot study was created in the 2018/2019 school year in which students took the survey at the end of the school year to determine survey effectiveness and establish baseline results. In 2019/2020 a new group of high school students in the same school took pre- and post-surveys that were informed by the pilot study to investigate how Advanced Placement Environmental Science informed their pro-environmental behaviors and beliefs. The pre-survey was distributed in class in January 2020, and the post-survey was distributed during distance learning in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Potential ramifications of the change in distribution methods are explored in the paper. Statistical analyses were performed on the data collected. The effectiveness of Advanced Placement Environmental Science on pro-environmental behaviors and beliefs remains an ongoing question. There was no difference in the responses in the pre- and post-survey. Where statistically significant differences did exist, delays in IRB approval and local Board of Education approval combined with the change in pre- and post-survey distribution methods makes establishing a direct paired comparison difficult. Consistency in survey responses between the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 cohorts was established. Potential avenues of future research are explored.
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