Active Citizens: Evaluation of a Community-Based Education Program
“the type of education which cultivates a coherent and adequate body of knowledge as well as the necessary skills, values, attitudes and competencies that an environmental citizen should be equipped with in order to be able to act and participate in society as an agent of change in the private and public sphere, on a local, national and global scale, through individual and collective actions, in the direction of solving contemporary environmental problems, preventing the creation of new environmental problems, in achieving sustainability as well as developing a healthy relationship with nature. ‘Education for Environmental Citizenship’ (EEC) is important to empower citizens to exercise their environmental rights and duties, as well as to identify the underlying structural causes of environmental degradation and environmental problems, develop the willingness and the competences for critical and active engagement and civic participation to address those structural causes, acting individually and collectively within democratic means and taking into account inter- and intra-generational justice.”
2. Materials and Methods
- What is the impact of the AC program on students’ perceived capacity to conduct community-based actions?
- What is the impact of the AC program on students’ perception of democratic school climate?
- How do students and teachers interpret their experience, specifically the process of their participation in the AC program and its benefits?
- Self-efficacy to solve a community-based problem, specifically one´s own perceived competence to conduct community-based actions. The scale was taken from Chen, Gully, and Eden  and modified. It was covered by five items in the questionnaire (α = 0.85).
- Students’ participation in decision-making in a community-based project, specifically how students/teachers perceived how they were able to get involved in the planning and realization of the project and how they were able to put through their own opinions. The scale was created on the basis of scales applied in Gastil and Xenos  and Cincera, de Boeve-Pauw, Goldman, and Simonova . It was covered by five items in the questionnaire (α = 0.85).
- Democratic school climate as students’/teachers’ perception of how democratic the school climate is . It was covered by five items in the questionnaire (α = 0.79).
“Suddenly we started doing something that had no clearly defined aim, and the children (...) did not know much what to expect (...) and they commented that they came to play icebreakers (...) and X and I could see distrust on their part, as to how it would be”(teacher A, male)
“I was discomforted there was too much of these global outreaches, it fits rather to a secondary school. At the elementary school, I am happy if they get that something like a community exists and I would end it by this. For me, it is a great success if we get out of the school and then go to our local community.”(teacher C, female)
“…my six graders do not speak about it (global outreach) and I think they are not mature enough for this”(teacher D, female)
“And our teacher was someone who was there, always ready to help you, and eventually she said her opinion but did not insist on it.”(student A, female)
“So, for me it was that even if we are young there’s no need to underestimate us, and we rather can make a change despite our age, which is something that adults usually do not get very much, but we can see that it works.”(student B, male)
“Yes, this is where I can see the change, these are the civic issues, this is how they could grow in front of our eyes. This is where I can see the biggest shift.”(teacher B, female)
“I think we have done a lot. We have made a castle from the sand. We just have done something and now, when we leave (the school), something we made remains here. And the younger (students) may continue …”(student C, male)
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|Totally Agree (%)||Rather Agree (%)||Not Sure (%)||Rather Disagree (%)||Totally Disagree (%)|
|In the project I could decide what tasks I would participate in.||24||39||20||11||5|
|Every student had the right to suggest how to do the agreed tasks.||40||27||21||7||5|
|Every student had the right to openly say their opinion, even if the teachers disagreed with it.||45||26||18||6||5|
|We, as students, could promote our ideas, even if our teachers did not like them at the beginning.||31||33||17||11||8|
|During planning, I could at any time suggest to our teacher what we should deal with or what problem to solve.||23||29||27||16||5|
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Simonova, P.; Cincera, J.; Kroufek, R.; Krepelkova, S.; Hadjichambis, A. Active Citizens: Evaluation of a Community-Based Education Program. Sustainability 2019, 11, 663. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030663
Simonova P, Cincera J, Kroufek R, Krepelkova S, Hadjichambis A. Active Citizens: Evaluation of a Community-Based Education Program. Sustainability. 2019; 11(3):663. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030663Chicago/Turabian Style
Simonova, Petra, Jan Cincera, Roman Kroufek, Sarka Krepelkova, and Andreas Hadjichambis. 2019. "Active Citizens: Evaluation of a Community-Based Education Program" Sustainability 11, no. 3: 663. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030663