The Development of an Instrument to Assess the Environmental Literacy of Fifth Grade Students in Wisconsin
Quale, Anna M.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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The purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable instrument with which to assess the environmental literacy of fifth grade students in Wisconsin. Funding was provided by the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. An advisory panel was formed; its membership consisted of representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Department of Natural . Resources, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, educational institutions, and a nature center. Components of environmental literacy and the format of the instrument were determined by a review of relevant literature. Multiple choice items were utilized for the cognitive subtest and Likert-type items were utilized for the remaining subtests. A search was made for existing instruments that met the needs of the current study; however, none were found. Existing items were adapted and new items written by the researcher and reviewed by a validity panel of educators familiar with environmental education and fifth grade students. Additionally, items were reviewed to detect bias against females, blacks, Native Americans, and Hmong students. Four pilot assessments were created and piloted on groups of 140 - 157 fifth grade students. An item analysis was performed and the most effective items or those that were determined to be well written and important to environmental literacy were included in the final pilot assessment to be administered in the spring of 1993.