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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(8), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7080130

Minority High School Students in Non-Math-Science-Oriented and Math-Science-Oriented Majors: Do They View the Environment Differently?

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Normal, AL 35762, USA
2
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Normal, AL 35762, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate differences, if any, in environmental attitude, knowledge, experience and participation, between non-math-science (NMS) and math-science (MS) high school students from minority ethnic groups. A 16-item survey instrument was used for data collection. Participants were students at eight high schools in Madison County, Alabama, USA who were enrolled in North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence’s (NACEE’s) 2014 and 2015 summer programs. Eighty-six completed questionnaires were collected, the majority from Black/African-American and Hispanic minority ethnic groups. Pearson’s chi-square test and Spearman rho correlation were applied to assess differences and relationships between the groups. We found high level of positive attitude (NMS [95%] and MS [98%]) towards environmental protection among both groups; however, no statistically significant differences were evident. While both groups had low levels of participation and engagement in environmental protection and outdoor recreation activities, the MS group had comparatively higher participation than the NMS group. The relationship between participation and satisfaction was significantly positive for MS students and significantly negative for NMS students. To increase minority students’ knowledge and participation in pro-environmental activities in the future, Alabama’s Environmental Education Program should emphasize selective activities (e.g., involving students’ families and communities in environmental initiatives, providing opportunities to students to socialize and have fun with nature, and encouraging age-appropriate teaching and learning approaches). View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental education; conservation; high school students; attitude; experience; participation; knowledge environmental education; conservation; high school students; attitude; experience; participation; knowledge
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Christian, C.S.; Ojha, S.K.; Herbert, B.S. Minority High School Students in Non-Math-Science-Oriented and Math-Science-Oriented Majors: Do They View the Environment Differently? Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 130.

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