Global Explorers: An Examination of Program Processes and Outcomes

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Title: Global Explorers: An Examination of Program Processes and Outcomes
Author: Duerden, Mathew D.
Abstract: This study utilizes longitudinal , mixed -method data drawn from participants in an environmental education /international immersion program for middle high -school students to study outcomes and processes associated with program participation . Studies of program outcomes and processes are important for better understanding the design and impact of youth programs . The first study investigated the relationships between experience types (i .e . , indirect vs . direct ) and learning outcomes (i .e . , knowledge vs . attitudes ) . In other words , what is the difference in impacts between reading a book about the rain forest and actually traveling to the rain forest ? Findings suggest that experience type plays a significant role in the type of learning outcomes as well as how these outcomes influence behavior . More specifically , direct experiences appear to catalyze knowledge in a way that facilitates future behavior development . The qualitative data also suggest that participants' perceptions of perceived freedom during the program moderated whether participation was experienced as direct or indirect . The second study employed a social development model (SDM ) to understand the relationship between within program socialization processes and program outcomes . The model provided a good fit for the data and predicted a significant portion of the variance in environmental behavior after controlling for baseline levels of this outcome variable . Additionally , analysis of qualitative data produced a proposed model of shared activities and bonding that suggests youth valued experiences where adults participated with them as equals rather than as disciplinarians or administrators . The final study provided insights regarding the degree to which the program was implemented as originally planned and how the domains of implementation integrity influenced program outcomes . The findings suggest that of the measured implementation domains , only participant responsiveness was significantly related to program outcomes . Data also suggest that implementer efficacy can have differing impacts on program adherence . The qualitative data suggest that most participants positively perceived the program and felt it was well organized . In sum , the findings provide a holistic perspective of the processes and outcomes of this program . Rather than merely presenting an overview of program impacts , the study offers insights into the processes (e .g . , socialization ) and characteristics (e .g . , experience types ) that produced observed outcomes . Thus , the study presents a more complete picture of what individuals gained through their participation in this program as well as the processes that led to these gains .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2009 -08 -866
Date: 2010-01-14

Citation

Global Explorers: An Examination of Program Processes and Outcomes. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2009 -08 -866 .

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