Title: Environmental education in prison: a comparison of teaching methods and their influence on inmate attitudes and knowledge of environmental topics

Authors: Sarah R. Weber; Marc P. Hayes; Tiffany Webb; Carri J. LeRoy

Addresses: The Evergreen State College, 3204 NE 51st Ave., Portland, OR 97213, USA ' Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Natural Resources Building, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501, USA ' The Evergreen State College, Environmental Studies Lab II, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Olympia, WA 98505, USA ' The Evergreen State College, Environmental Studies Lab II, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Olympia, WA 98505, USA

Abstract: This study evaluated whether lecture- or workshop-style presentations were more effective for teaching environmental education (EE) to both male and female inmate students. To compare these styles, we designed pre- and post-engagement surveys quantified on a five-point Likert scale, and open-ended questions to capture qualitative nuances. Our findings revealed significantly improved inmate attitudes after receiving the educational opportunity, and the lecture-style presentations appeared more effective for male students, whereas workshop-style presentations appeared more effective for female students in improving inmate knowledge and attitudes on environmental topics. Overall, we found no significant differences in knowledge or attitudes among participants prior to the presentations or between male and female inmates, which provides evidence for learning independent of prior conditions or gender.

Keywords: environmental education; prison educational programmes; sustainability; correctional facilities; recidivism; learning styles; teaching methods; lecture presentations; workshop presentations; environmental knowledge; prison inmates; inmate attitudes; gender.

DOI: 10.1504/IER.2015.071026

Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2015 Vol.16 No.2/3/4, pp.267 - 284

Received: 11 Oct 2014
Accepted: 25 Apr 2015

Published online: 05 Aug 2015 *

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