Table of Contents
ISRN Education
Volume 2013, Article ID 503214, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/503214
Research Article

Effective Environmental Education through Half-Day Teaching Programmes Outside School

1Botanical Garden, University of Ulm, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2University of Education, Oberbettringer Straße 200, 73525 Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
3Transfer Center for Neuroscience and Learning, University of Ulm, Beim Alten Fritz 2, 89075 Ulm, Germany

Received 7 February 2013; Accepted 19 May 2013

Academic Editors: A. E. Kelly, K. Y. Kuo, B. Marlow, and A. Tiberghien

Copyright © 2013 Jürgen Drissner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The “Green Classroom” in the Botanical Garden of the University of Ulm is a learning forum outside school. Its educational concept is based on experiential learning and is geared towards expanding students’ biological knowledge and developing positive attitudes towards small animals such as invertebrates. In the first study, we assessed attitudes towards small animals of 43 students before and after they visited the “Green Classroom”, and we compared the answers they gave in their questionnaires with those of 46 students from a control group. Although the students spent only one morning in the “Green Classroom”, some of their attitudes improved after their visit. In the second study, 102 secondary-school students (56 who had previously visited the “Green Classroom”) were asked to write an essay about small animals. Students who had visited the “Green Classroom” before portrayed more positive emotions towards small animals and showed more biological understanding than their peers.