The objectives of the present study are- 1. To assess the locus of control, ecological value (utilisation and preservation), and environment related behaviour of the students with visual impairment. 2. To study the effect of type of educational institution, type of visual impairment and gender on the locus of control, ecological value (utilisation and preservation), and environment related behaviour of the students. 3.To compare environment related behaviour and ecological value (utilisation and preservation) of the students having different type of locus of control. 4. To explore the relationship amongst the locus of control, ecological (utilisation and preservation), and environment related behaviour. 5. To develop the predictive model for environment related behaviour of students. 6. To analyse the qualitative data from selected cases.
In all 17 hypotheses were framed. The first six (H01 to H06) were related to the study of differences of locus of control, ecological value (utilisation and preservation) and environment related behaviour in relation to type of educational institution, type of impairment and gender. Hypotheses H07 to H010 are about the differences between the general and special types of educational institution in respect to locus of control, ecological value (utilisation and preservation) and environment related behaviour in case of low vision, fully blind, girl and boy students. Hypotheses H011 is about the differences between the external and internal locus of control students group in respect to ecological value (utilisation and preservation) and environment related behaviour. The four hypotheses H011 to H014 were to examine the inter-correlations among the different selected variables. The predictability of environment related behaviour scores as dependent variable by the locus of control, preservation and utilisation are analysed in the hypotheses H015 and H016 among the total sample and various sub-sample groups. Lastly H017 was to examine the predictability of environment related behaviour scores as dependent variable by the preservation and utilisation among the students with external and internal locus of control groups.
The population of the present study comprises the students (N=240) with visual impairment studying in classes IX to XII (age range 14-25 years) in schools situated in urban and semi-urban areas of West Bengal and affiliated to West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and West Bengal Council Higher Secondary Education. The population also includes special educational institutes (segregation of the students with special needs) and the general educational institutes (inclusion of the students with special needs). Gender and degree of visual impairment are also considered. The sample was drawn from total number of 62 schools (both special and general educational institution) from various districts. It is volunteer sampling in the sense that only those who were willing to participate were included in the sample.
The following instruments were used for data collection: i) Locus of Control Scale (LOCS) The Bengali adaptation of locus of control scale (Julian Rotter, 1966) was standardised by the investigator. The original scale had 29 items. The adapted version included 18 ones eliminating the rest which were not suitable for the sample group. Each item has two alternatives, one related to external locus of control and the other to internal control. The participant has to choose one of the alternatives. The item validity was tested by Tetrachoric correlations were also calculated and the values varied from 0.3-0.7. No negative correlation was found. Face and Content validity was ascertained by experts. ii) Ecological Values Scale (EVS) The study of ecological value scale began with the concept of environmental worldview. The ecological value scale (20 items) constructed by Wiseman and Bogner (1999) was translated into Bengali and two items were modified in such a way so as to suit the purpose of the present research. The tool was standardized on a separate sample group (N=60). The reliability of the test (Likert type 5-point) was determined by Cronbach alpha (0.64). The item validity was tested by Tetrachoric correlations and the values varied from 0.2-0.8. No negative correlation was found. Face and Content validity was ascertained by experts. iii) Sengupta and Maji Environment Related Behaviour scale (SMERBS) The factors included were behaviour related to civic responsibility, personal change, individual civic action and cooperative civic action etc. The researcher developed the Likert type (5-point) scale (25 items) having a reliability (KR-21) value of 0.82. The item validity was tested by Tetrachoric correlation and the values varied from 0.2-0.7. No negative correlation was found. Face and Content validity was ascertained by experts. iv) The Interview Schedule for qualitative data collection open-ended research questions were asked.
This study is a cross-sectional empirical study based on descriptive survey research design and mixed methods research approach. This is a 2x2x2 factorial research design in which case the researcher seeks to understand the relationship between dependent and independent variables. It analysed a few special cases in order to understand the role of relevant variables in environment related behaviour in depth. Thus it is a case study method done along with quantitative of the data collected by mean of close-ended questionnaires. So this study has combined both qualitative and quantitative procedures thereby practicing the concurrent triangulation strategy, in which two different methods cross – validate or corroborate findings within a single study.
The data were analysed in two phases as design is mixed research. First quantitative analysis was done followed by qualitative case study. i) Quantitative analysis (Statistical Treatment) For the purpose of quantitative analysis of data, a few selected statistical methods were used. The responses were typed into an Excel program. Data were analysed by using SPSS v.17 and Amos Student Version501. For measures of central tendencies, arithmetic Mean, figures, etc. were used widely. For testing the significant differences and effect on different sample groups, tests such as t-test and ANOVA were used. Bi-variate correlations were computed to investigate coefficient of correlation among different variables. To investigate level of prediction step wise regression was done. Finally to understand the goodness of fit of the proposed theoretical model Path analysis was conducted. ii) Qualitative analysis (Case Study) For the qualitative analysis they obtained data were coded and categorised in to different constructs and concept.
It was found that EV and LOC correlated (positive) with ERB. The major findings on the basis of objectives revealed that on LOC, EV and ERB, the students in general (inclusive) institution did better and also the students with low vision scored higher than the fully blind. No difference was observed between boys and girls student excepting in ERB scores. ERB could be predicted from LOC and preservation dimension of EV. The path analysis showed that the proposed model of ERB was a good fit. Qualitative analysis has further given an insight into this study.
The study supported the theoretical underpinning of the importance of the psychological factors in developing ERB. The study has also wide implication as it indicates that inclusive policy adopted in general institution is more effective in the context of environmentalism. Hence the policy makers, school authorities and decision makers need to include more specially abled students and provide for their special needs by organizing environment related activities and hands on experiences.
Keyword(s): Ecological Value and Environment , , Visually Impaired Students