The effects of an art-based environmental education program on children's environmental perceptions
Flowers, Ami Alese
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Across the United States, children are becoming increasingly isolated from the natural world, as modern technologically-advanced lifestyles keep or draw children indoors—trading authentic-outdoor experiences for indoor-computerized play. This lack of exposure to nature may have an adverse affect on children’s environmental perceptions. Environmental education (EE) is one possible solution that may help children re-connect with nature, however these programs need to use the most effective methods of teaching and learning. The inclusion of art activities is one enhancement to EE curriculum that may improve participant understanding and knowledge of the environment. This study evaluates the effectiveness of using art activities and art evaluations within one-week day-camp summer programs for children, ages six to twelve, in Athens-Clarke County, GA. Results reveal that children participating in both traditional and art-based EE programs develop positive environmental attitudes, greater environmental awareness, increased knowledge and understanding of nature, and are more likely to participate in stewardship activities.
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