Exploring the role of post-visit action resources in free-choice environmental learning: Translating environmental knowledge into sustainable action

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Bueddefeld, Jill
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The purpose of this research was to explore how post-visit action resources, such as printed handouts and email updates, impact environmental free-choice learning and sustainable behaviour after a visit to an environmental free-choice learning centre. Free-choice learning, which occurs in places like zoos, is an increasingly popular and effective experience to communicate environmental sustainability and climate change issues to the public. This research specifically explored how post-visit resources provided after a visit to the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo in Manitoba, Canada affected environmental learning and sustainable behaviour change over a two-month period. Questionnaire and personal meaning mapping interview responses revealed that post-visit resources can be an effective way to improve environmental learning, increase awareness, and encourage some sustainable behaviour change. The implications for environmental free-choice learning experiences are discussed and recommendations for future practices explained.
Post-visit action resources, Free-choice learning, Sustainable behaviour change, Personal meaning mapping