Term of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Gregory Chamblee

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Stephen Jenkins

Committee Member 3

Thomas Koballa, Jr.

Committee Member 3 Email




The purpose of this study was to assess the impact on third grade students’ achievement and attitudes when integrating an inquiry based learning with a technology-based public service announcement component into a pollution, recycling, and conservation unit of instruction. The theoretical frameworks for this study were inquiry based learning and ecopedagogy. Forty third grade students participated in the mixed method action research study. A control group (N=19) was taught using the science textbook lesson and activities. An experimental group (N=21) was taught using the four strands of science learning practices. Quantitative data collected were pre-test and post test content, attitude, and public service announcement rubric scores. Pre-test and post-test and attitude data were analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Experimental group content mean total and domain mean scores were significantly higher than control group mean scores. Qualitative data collected consisted of student interviews. Transcripts from interviews for students in the experimental and control groups were coded and analyzed. Transcript analyses found that the students in both groups recognized pollution, conservation, and recycling problems. Students from the control group had difficulty remembering vocabulary words from the pollution, conservation, and recycling unit. Students in the experimental group believed that their public service announcements would change people’s attitudes about pollution, conservation, and recycling. Based on the findings, inquiry based learning with a public service announcement provided students with a holistic and self-directed process to understand the environmental concepts. Implications of these findings are discussed.