Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Bonnie Mullinix

Abstract

Undergraduate students lack the opportunity and environment to contemplate and develop ecoliteracy skills that serve to integrate subject matter into their everyday experiences. Ecoliteracy is grounded in Capra's web of life theoretical framework and represents students' capacities to read world systems objectively with their head, heart, hands, and spirit. Contemplative pedagogy provides educators with exercises that give students time to reflect on the integration of learning. Ecoliteracy and contemplative pedagogy research has shown little quantitative data pertaining to how contemplative pedagogy affects undergraduate student ecoliteracy. To address that gap, this causal-comparative study measured the use of contemplative pedagogy exercises relative to undergraduate student ecoliteracy. A convenience sample of 150 undergraduate students who did and did not experience contemplative pedagogy exercises completed the New Ecological Paradigm Scale and Self-Compassion Scaleâ??Short Form. Independent-samples t tests measured the differences between the 2 groups. Findings indicated that students who did not experience contemplative pedagogy exercises in the classroom were more likely to self-report higher ecoliteracy. A possible interpretation of these findings is that current contemplative pedagogy exercises may focus students' attention internally and not adequately promote the world-centered view that would more readily advance student ecoliteracy skills. Results of this study provide further insight that may inform professional development and contemplative pedagogy exercises that empowers students' ecoliteracy skills by encouraging critical thinking, action, and compassion towards positive social change.