Multiple research approaches for research in environmental education and application of findings.

Year: 2001

Author: Cheong, Irene, Treagust, David F.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The paper illustrates how an inquiry was conducted using multiple research approaches involving both qualitative and quantitative methods (case study, semi-qualitative grounded theory and quantitative statistical analyses) with data sources obtained from four groups - teachers, teacher trainees, secondary students and key persons for the environment and environmental education as well as document reviews. This inquiry examined four aspects of environmental education; influences on attitudes towards the environment, perceptions of existing provisions, understanding of the aquatic environment - an environmental issue, and the status of people's environmental attributes, including their knowledge, awareness, attitudes, beliefs, action and sources of information. Results of the multiple components of the study provided baseline data to develop guidelines for policy making and curriculum development as well as improving the teaching of environmental education. Follow-up activities to attempt to apply the research findings and negotiate acceptance of the findings are described. The paper examines how multiple research approaches contribute towards teaching, learning and research in environmental education.