An evaluation of the learning outcomes in environmental science from a field-based water quality environmental unit.
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This thesis validates the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory for the first time in a field based environmental setting using a water quality-monitoring program within a girls' high school and compares the cognitive achievement of students in the water quality-monitoring school with those in non-water quality-monitoring schools. The psychosocial learning dimensions of the water quality-monitoring program are assessed using a modified form of the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory.The results indicate that students involved in the water quality-monitoring school were more homogenous and ranked higher in their cognitive achievement and transferability of concepts than students in the non-water quality-monitoring schools. Pre and post testing together with anecdotal information affirmed that there was a direct association between the quantitative results and qualitative information in relation to the learning dimension scales of the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory.Comparisons were made between similar water environmental programs in different countries and the water quality-monitoring school program results. The use of skills and constructivist techniques indicates that the water quality-monitoring program together with real life problem solving work is an effective method for improving science learning.
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