Naming "animal ambassadors" and its effect on environmental literacy retention in collegiate students
Newberry, Milton Garry
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This study explored the effect of naming an animal teaching tool on the knowledge retention of collegiate students. The study sample included 111 participants enrolled in several courses within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at a land-grant university. The study sample participated in a presentation where an owl was used as an educational tool and received a “human” name during the experiment. Following the presentation, participants completed a knowledge-based assessment. Knowledge scores for the participants only indicated retention in knowledge gained regarding owl adaptations. Male, urban participants also earned the highest knowledge score: a unique finding compared to other studies. Future research suggests the use of a different research design involving pretests; expanding the scope of the demographics to include a larger sample size, different educational levels, and various socioeconomic statuses; the use of different animal teaching tools including reptiles and mammals, and comparing the use of exotic versus native species; and determining the potential influence of the presenter on participant learning outcomes.