Date of Graduation

Fall 2012


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Janice Greene


rangelands, issue-based curriculum, placed-based education, bioregionalism, ecology, conservation

Subject Categories



Rangelands are an important part of the ecological, social and cultural aspects of Texas heritage, and as students appear to be losing touch with the outside world, it is increasingly important to expose these students to rangelands communities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an issues-based curriculum on student knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Texas elementary school students. The curriculum evaluated was developed by the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation, titled Rangelands: A Conservation Education Guide. Results were also evaluated for student performance on the Texas Science TAKS (state standardized test). Knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and TAKS scores did not show a significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test. However, with the small sample size, the high degree of variance and p values approaching significance, improvements in knowledge scores could be considered significant. The study showed that students with a background in ranching had a significant improvement between the pre and post-test. This curriculum may be effective in helping students that are familiar with rangelands in understanding more difficult scientific concepts, however, it may be more important for non-ranching students, as it may help these students in understanding the importance rangelands.


© Ashley Exendine

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