Preliminary results of a study designed to examine behavior change in elementary and junior high students have shown that an in-school energy curriculum centered on a professional theatre performance has been successful in increasing understanding of important energy issues.
Research Into Action (RIA), an Oregon-based behavior research firm with expertise in energy-related projects and energy audits, spent three years examining students who received an integrated curriculum developed by The National Theatre for Children (NTC) in five states throughout the Tennessee Valley.
“Quality education is crucial to understanding the need to change behavior, and we are seeing increased test scores across all ages, all grades and in both urban and rural schools,” said Ryan Bliss, project director at RIA. “Students involved in the curriculum also show a greater understanding for differences between renewable and non-renewable resources, and that resources produce energy to power their computers, iPods, video games and cell phones.”
The science-based curriculum teaches students grades K-9 that both renewable and non-renewable resources are used to produce electricity. The program connects knowledge and understanding with choices students can make about using energy and the resources needed to make electricity.
“The preliminary results from the first of our three year research study shows that students exposed to the theatre experience used as an introduction to the classroom curriculum understand more than the control group that did not receive the program,” said Ward Eames, president of NTC, an organization that has been bringing energy, environmental and social programs to U.S. schools for over 30 years.
Image Credit: National Theatre For Children
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