Date of Conferral
Awareness of the sustainability of our natural resources is a continuing concern. Initiatives promoting environmental adult education (EAE) through professional development (PD) workshops ensure educators' have the knowledge and skills to inform their audience about environmental literacy and stewardship. However, these workshops have rarely been monitored. Specifically, it appears no researchers have focused on the reflective experiences of an EAE PD workshop on educator participants at least 5 years after participation. This basic qualitative study used telephone interviews of 8 past participants to explore whether and how they perceive their behavior changing in relation to natural resources conservation years after the EAE PD, and how they shared these changes with others. Through the contextual lens of EAE with a focus on outdoor experiential learning and transformative learning theories, five major themes emerged including: (a) becoming a more effective educator; (b) becoming more aware of the importance of conservation; (c) experiencing positive emotional effects; (d) changing behaviors that impact the environment; and (e) experiences of the EAE PD location. Implications for positive social change were found in the expressed experiences, content, and application of the EAE PD that ignited new means for approaching curriculum- specific content with a heightened focus on the importance of the conservation of natural resources.