Docent knowledge and attitudes following an environmental education workshop on a local endangered species
Abstract: Docents and nonformal educators at museums, zoos, and wildlife areas play an important role in educating the public about the environment and conservation issues. Yet, little research has been done regarding the effect environmental education programs can have on increasing knowledge and enhancing environmental attitudes among this population. To ascertain the effectiveness of an environmental-education training workshop, 71 docent participants were surveyed pre- and post-treatment with a 5-point Likert-type scale instrument to establish their knowledge and attitudes regarding a local endangered species: the island fox. Two control samples, 50 members of the general public and 72 non-participating docents, served to comparatively establish the treatment sample's initial knowledge and attitude levels. Comparison of post-workshop surveys between the treatment sample and the docent control sample demonstrated that the environmental education methodologies used in the training program were successful in significantly increasing knowledge of a local environmental problem and inspiring a change in pro-environmental attitude.
Dearborn, K. 2009. Docent knowledge and attitudes following an environmental education workshop on a local endangered species, Masters Thesis. California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA. Full Thesis pdf
Dearborn, K. (2011, August). Conservation conversation starters with the island fox. Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents Conference, Memphis, TN.
Dearborn, K. (2009, June). The Myth of Public Awareness Regarding the Island Fox and the Potential Impact on Recovery. Eleventh Annual Meeting Island Fox Working Group, Ventura CA.
Dearborn, K. (2008, February). Creative methods for teaching environmental issues regarding the endangered island fox and the Channel Island ecosystem. Seventh California Islands Symposium, Oxnard, CA.
Dearborn, K. (2004, September). Molding Your Conservation Bell; Citizen Science Projects and Conservation Action. Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
Dearborn, K. (2002, September). Beneath the Surface: Advanced Docent Training to Advance Public Knowledge. Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents Conference, Huston, TX.