Swapna Mukhopadhyay

Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction

Physical Description

1 online resource (xii, 242 pages)


Environmental education -- Study and teaching (Middle school) -- Oregon -- Evaluation, Environmental literacy -- Study and teaching (Middle school) -- Oregon -- Evaluation, Educational tests and measurements




This mixed methods study evaluated the validity, and reliability of an instrument designed to assess a middle school student's proficiency in systems thinking as described in the 2010 Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan. In Stage 1, a forum of middle school students, formal, and non-formal educators used the Delphi technique to reach consensus regarding which skills were important to include in a scoring guide for systems thinking. In Stage 2, the scoring guide was field tested by formal and non-formal educators using a sample of students' work. The two groups' scores were compared using Cohen's kappa to make inferences regarding inter-rater reliability. Concurrently, an autoethnographic narrative was written to explore issues of equity related to the assessment of environmental literacy.

The commonalities between formal and non-formal educators revealed a high level of validity for the construct of proficiency with systems thinking, and a moderate level of reliability between the scores assigned by two groups of educators. In the words of the middle school students, formal, and non-formal educators, who volunteered to create the scoring guide, the ability to make responsible decisions with natural systems, community, and the future in mind involves: creating solutions for systems that are not in balance, presenting the complex inner workings of a system in a simple and succinct way, collaborating, exploring multiple solutions, and sharing ideas in a way that people will understand you.

Persistent Identifier