Connecticut's coast provides food, jobs, and recreational activities. Yet, the coasts are under threat from pollution, altered land use, and climate change. Research has shown that informed citizens are more likely to protect a resource compared to citizens who have no knowledge of the topic. Coastal literacy is the ability to understand, communicate and make informed decisions regarding the basic principles of coastal sciences. Teaching students coastal literacy will be vital for protection and conservation of the coastal resources in CT.
There are potentially many factors that contribute to coastal literacy among high school students. We will focus on those which have been show to affect learning: involvement in field-based projects, incorporation of coastal science into curriculum, proximity to accessible coastline and teacher training in coastal science. The results of the study are an integral component to create an effective and efficient outreach program in coastal literacy. Importantly, success is not predicated on isolating a single factor related to coastal literacy. All results will help shape future discussions regarding educational curriculum.
1.) Identify student, classroom, teacher, school-level, and geographic factors that influence student's performance on a coastal literacy and engagement survey.
2.) Develop a recommendation list of intervention strategies to connect factors that influence coastal literacy with existing resources in Connecticut.
3.) Test the effectiveness of recommended interventions on coastal literacy development in a subset of low-performing schools.