Borchers C., Boesch C., Riedel J., Guilahoux H., Ouattara D., Randler R. (2013). Environmental Education in Côte d'Ivoire/West Africa: Extra-Curricular Primary School Teaching Shows Positive Impact on Environmental Knowledge and Attitudes. International Journal of Science Education, Part B
This paper surveys the consequences of pupils' participation in the extra-curricular environmental education (EE) programme Club P.A.N. (Peoples, Animals and Nature) by monitoring changes in their respective knowledge as well as in their environmental attitudes. The programme was conducted in Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa with the help of the local teacher's organization Cellule des Projets Environnementaux (CPE). We used multivariate analysis of data collected during two years of the programme (n = 1,244 participants), in nine villages around the Taï National Park, to test if this EE programme could lead to (1) knowledge gain and (2) attitude change, and the influences of (3) grade, sex and prior knowledge. Participation significantly increased environmental knowledge and positively influenced attitudes towards nature. Boys gained more knowledge and changed attitudes more than girls and pupils of the sixth grade profited more from the programme on both measures than the younger pupils of the fifth grade. We discuss how these results influence the programme and how further research should be emphasized.
The paper can be viewed online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21548455.2013.803632#.Ub7iVPlT4-b
In 2007 the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation created a nature club for primary schools across West Africa called "Club P.A.N." (Personnes, Animaux et Nature / People, Animals, & Nature). Claudia Borchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has observed the Club P.A.N. classes for several years and has analyzed the evaluation results of the program for her dissertation work. Borchers and colleges found that the participation of children in the Club P.A.N. program increased their environmental knowledge and positively influenced their attitudes towards nature.