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Open AccessArticle

Conservation Messages in Speech Bubbles–Evaluation of an Environmental Education Comic Distributed in Elementary Schools in Madagascar

1
Ecology and Environmental Education Group, Institute of Biology and Chemistry, University of Hildesheim, Marienburger Platz 22, 31141 Hildesheim, Germany
2
Madagascar Wildlife Conservation–Deutschland, Postfach 6108, 30061 Hannover, Germany
3
Institut Supérieur de Technologie d'Ambositra, Ex-Bâtiment HODIMA, Ankorombe, Ambositra 306, Madagascar
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Armin Lude
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8855-8880; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7078855
Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 8 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
In this paper, we present the results of a survey of an environmental education program applied to a cohort of 542 students in six primary schools at Lake Alaotra, Madagascar. The educational materials used were a comic book and additional materials designed specifically for local conditions in rural Madagascar. The comic book conveyed mostly system knowledge and, to a lesser extent, action-related knowledge. The additional materials posed practical tasks to students and were meant to stimulate teamwork and group discussion of students. There was a control and two treatment groups. A questionnaire was applied to test students’ environmental knowledge at three different points in time. The survey showed a significant increase in environmental knowledge of students receiving environmental education compared to controls. This effect significantly increased with additional education materials fostering peer-to-peer learning by students instead of when teacher-centred learning was provided. Students that used those materials also had the highest scores in tests one year after environmental education ended, thus indicating the usefulness of innovative and locally meaningful materials in environmental education. View Full-Text
Keywords: education for sustainable development; environmental education; program evaluation; nature conservation; Madagascar; Lake Alaotra; Hapalemur alaotrensis education for sustainable development; environmental education; program evaluation; nature conservation; Madagascar; Lake Alaotra; Hapalemur alaotrensis
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Richter, T.; Rendigs, A.; Maminirina, C.P. Conservation Messages in Speech Bubbles–Evaluation of an Environmental Education Comic Distributed in Elementary Schools in Madagascar. Sustainability 2015, 7, 8855-8880.

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