Content Analysis of Environmental Sustainability Themes in Florida Standards

Grant Winners

  • Michelle Tenam-Zemach, Ed.D.
  • Hui Fang Huang (Angie) Su, Ph.D.
  • Charlene Desir, Ed.D.
  • Ron Chenail, Ph.D.
  • Leanne Lai, Ph.D.

Dean

  • H. Wells Singleton, Ph.D.

Abstract

Award Winners

The purpose of this study is to examine the K-12 Next Generation Sunshine State science content standards to learn how these standards documents contend with the goals of educating for environmental sustainability (ES). Grounded in the notion that awareness and understanding of environmental, social and economic development of the planet is necessary at all levels, the researchers will conduct a content analysis of the K-12 science content standards within the framework of an ecological paradigm in education that uses a holistic lens to view and understand material and focuses on studentsí critical and systemic understanding of what they learn. The intent of this study is to determine to what extent each of the five themes of environmental sustainability are presented in the text: (a) Climate Change Indicators, (b) Biodiversity, (c) Human Population Density, (d) Impact and Presence of Environmental Pollution, (e) Earth as a Closed System. Using a concordance program, the researcher will identify the frequency and context of each vocabulary item associated with the five themes of ES. The significance of this study is its capacity to inform all stakeholders of the actual content of the science standards as it pertains to the themes of ES and an ecological paradigm. It also offers an empirical approach for other researchers who are interested in analyzing different curricular documents from this studyís philosophical and methodolgical persepctive. Finally, this study will address dearth of research examining ES and ecological paradigm presence if any in state science content standards by contributing to the empirical knowledge based of the field of Environmental Education and Educating for Sustainable Development.