The purpose of this study was to establish a first step in identifying how public school principals, perceive environmental educators. This study drew heavily upon stereotype research in the field of social psychology. In attempt to determine if principals stereotype environmental educators, a self-administered online survey was conducted. It followed a very specific assessment format created by McCauley and Stitt (1978) in order to collect data that could be analyzed quantitatively by using the diagnostic ratio.
The results showed that 10 of the 15 traits represented in the survey were stereotypes. Those attributes were: progressive, science-minded, liberal, choosing species over economy, idealist, activist, tree-hugger, self-motivated, logical and choosing people over the environment. It is interesting to note that the attribute ‘people over the environment” represented a negative correlation. Based on the implications of the traits represented, the results can be interpreted to show that there is a framework of ideas that principals had in their head when they thought about environmental educators. Knowing if principals have stereotypes about environmental educators could provide insight into why a particular school may, or may not, embrace environmental education.
Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for The Master of Education Degree in the College of Education and Human Service Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2011. Committee names: Bruce Munson (Chair), Ken Gilbertson. This item has been modified from the original to redact the signatures present.
University of Minnesota, Duluth. College of Education and Human Service Professions
A Quantitative Assessment of the Presence of Stereotypes of Environmental Educators Among Public School Principals.
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