An investigation into knowledge and change in a Grade 9 environmental research project

Webber, Susan Marion (2010) An investigation into knowledge and change in a Grade 9 environmental research project. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




This study considers a Grade 9 Integrated Environmental Research Project which was implemented as a vehicle to induce knowledge-based change in learners. It was noted that change did not occur as hoped, and this study was undertaken to review the Grade 9 Project in order to improve it and to probe the apparent gap between knowledge and action. The study generated evidence on the learning processes within the project. This revealed a number of contradictions and tensions which limit change initiatives within the local environment. Notable here was a contradictory mandate between undertaking a research-based change project and responding to the rubric of assessment which was not linked to the research done. It was found that faced with this dual mandate, learners chose to focus on the assessment-laden mandate as this was the ultimate agenda that would reap the reward within the traditional school environment. The study examines the gap between knowledge and practice to probe ways in which to close this gap in the context of an environmental research assignment. The outcome is a recommendation that we as the project designers review the evidence of tensions and contradictions revealed in the study to reflect on the underlying purpose of the project and reshape it in light of recent literature on the challenges of social learning and change.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Environmental education, Activity programs, South Africa, Study and teaching, Sustainable development, Active learning
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
ID Code:2126
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:13 Oct 2011 14:09
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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