Using discovery maps as a free-choice learning process can enhance the effectiveness of environmental education in a botanical garden

Using discovery maps as a free-choice learning process can enhance the effectiveness of environmental education in a botanical garden

  • paper in current issue

Xi Yang & Jin Chen

Pages: 656-674 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1076766

Abstract

Botanical gardens (BGs) are important agencies that enhance human knowledge and attitude towards flora conservation. By following free-choice learning model, we developed a ‘Discovery map’ and distributed the map to visitors at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in Yunnan, China. Visitors, who did and did not receive discovery maps, were evaluated through a questionnaire and behavioural observations. The map-users scored significantly higher on knowledge than non-map-users. Map-users tended to spend more time and pay more attention to plants during tours than the non-map-users. The study provides evidence to indicate using discovery maps as a free-choice learning process can improve visitors’ engagement during the visit and may enhance the effectiveness of environmental education in botanical garden.

Keywords: botanical garden, environmental education, free-choice learning, questionnaire

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2015.1076766

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