The development of environmental education resource materials for junior primary education through teacher participation : the case of the We Care Primary project

Lotz, Heila Betrie (1996-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 1996.

One copy microfiche.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The We Care Primary project is a participatory materials development research project, grounded through a socio-historical location of the research question in the assumptions and ideals of the critical inquiry paradigm and socially critical environmental education. This research represents an atlemptto clarifY the assumptions and orientations of socially critical environmental education as a possible 'tangible alternative' to modernist models of environmental education and educational change in a South African context. Through this project environmental education materials development emerged as a reflexive and responsive process of change in which I was able to work with teachers with in local contexts to develop resource materials which may contribute to the development of quality education and the transformation of the junior primary school phase. The emerging central thesis of this report is an ongoing questioning of the notion of participation, and a realisation of the complexities of establishing conditions for authentic participation in materials development, curriculum development and research contexts, Phase one of this research report describes a journey of inquiry toward" socially critical environmental education. This phase portrays a growing understanding of environmental education and is focused on the development of a participatory orientation to materials development. Phase two of this research journey illustrates a critical and reflexive stance to the 'weaknesses' identified in the first phase of the project. The interdependence of curriculum development, materials development and in service teacher education is explored. This phase of the research is presented as a journey with in socially critical environmental education and reflects ongoing praxis and engagement with in the assumptions of critical theory and socially critical environmental education. In phase two and three, the development of a critically reflexive stance to the assumptions guiding this study is described, and a shift in possible research orientations is highlighted. Further possibilities for research journeys beyond socially critical environmental education are presented in phase three through a tentative critique of the first two phases of this research project. This research report offers a brief insight into some of the complexities of change in the formal education sector. It demonstrates that confronting the challenges and complexities of change in realistic and meaningful ways is possibly one of the most daunting realities facing South Africans as we begin to respond to the many legacies of apartheid ideologies, modernisation, a history of mis-education and poor education, decades of social separation and increasing socioecological degradation and risk.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Ons Gee Om Primer-projek is 'n navorsingsprojek in deelnemende hulpbronontwikkeling, gegrond op die sosio-historiese plasing van die navorsingsvraag binne die aannames en ideale van die kritiese navorsingsparadigma en sosiaal-kritiese omgewingsopvoeding. Die navorsing verteenwoording 'n poging om die aannames en orienlasies van sosiaa/-kriliese omgewingsopvoeding as moonllike 'Iasbare a/lemalief' vir modemisliese modelle van omgev.'ingsopvoeding and opvoedingsverandering binne 'n Suid Afrikaanse konleks Ie verk/aar. Deur hierdie projek het hulpbronontwikkeling na yore gekom as 'n refleksiewe en responsiewe proses van verandering, waardeur ek mel onderwysers kon werk mel in plaaslike kontekse om hulpbronmateriaal te ontwikkel wat moontlik kan bydra tot die ontwikkeling van die kwaliteit van opvoeding en die transformasie van die junior primere skoolfase. Die sentrale tese van hierdie verslag is 'n voortdurende bevraa!:,rtekening van die idee van deelname, en 'n hesefvan die komp/eksileile daarvan om loeslande Ie skep wal ware dee/name verseker in hulpbronontwikkeling, kurrikulumontwikkeling en navorsingsverbande. Fase een van hierdie navorsingsverslag beskryf 'n reis van ondersoek op weg 110 sosiaal-kritiese omgewingsopvoeding. Die fase skets 'n toenemende begrip van omgewingsopvoeding en fokus op die ontwikkeling van 'n deelnemende orientasie tot hulpbronontwikkeling. Fase Iwee van hierdie navorsingsreis illustreer 'n kritiese en refleksiewe houding ten opsigte van die 'swak plekke' wat in die eerste fase ge"identifiseer is. Die interafhanklikheid van kurrikulumontwikkeling, materiaalontwikkeling and die indiensopleiding van onderwysers word ondersoek. Hierdie fase van die navorsing word voorgestel as 'n reis mel in sosiaal-kritiese omgewingsopvoeding en weerspieel voortdurende praksis en 'n betrokkenheid by die aannames van kritiese teorie en sosiaal-kritiese omgewingsopvoeding. Infases Iwee en drie word die ontwikkeling van 'n krities-refleksiewe houding ten opsigte van die aannames van hierdie studie beskryf, en 'n verskuiwing in moontlike navorsingsorientasies word uitgelig. Verdere moontlikhede vir navorsingsreise verby sosiaal-kritiese omgewingsopvoeding word infase drie uitgewys deur 'n tentatiewe kritiek op die eerste twee fases van die navorsingsprojek. Hierdie navorsingsverslag bied 'n vlugtige kykie na van die kompleksiteite van verandering in die formele onderwyssektor. Dit wil blyk dat 'n realistiese en betekenisvolle reaksie op die uitdagings en kompleksiteite van verandering moontlik een van die gedugste realiteite is waarmee Suid-Afrikaaners te kampe het in ons pogings om te reageer op die vele nalatings van apartheidsideologiee, modernisasie, 'n geskiedenis van wanopvoeding en swak opvoeding, dekades van sosiale skeiding en toenemende sosio-ekologiese degradasie en risiko's.

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