Back in the Classroom: Teacher Follow-Through after an Earth Education Program

TitleBack in the Classroom: Teacher Follow-Through after an Earth Education Program
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFelix, L, Johnson, B
JournalApplied Environmental Education & Communication
Pagination187 - 196
Date Published2013/07/01/
ISBN Number1533-015X
AbstractLittle research exists describing what teachers do with new experiences and knowledge after participating in environmental learning programs and the students return back to the classroom This qualitative study aimed to fill this gap by examining and describing the follow-through implemented by teachers after their classes participated in the Earthkeepers earth education program. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted with seven teachers—four who did a great deal in the classroom to follow through on the program and three who did little. Analysis produced informative descriptions of the follow-through as well as comparisons of the characteristics of the teachers and reasons that account for the differences. Student surveys before and after the program showed that students with a teacher who did a great deal of follow through had a higher rate of program completion. This study provides an informative and revealing description of what teachers do following an environmental learning program and why they do it. Based on this research, it is recommended that environmental learning programs that use follow-through provide more comprehensive support structures to both pre- and in-service teachers to better achieve their goals.