Praxis-based assignments for professional development in the Rhodes University/Swaziland Participatory Course in Environmental Education : the case of assignment four

Motsa, Elizabeth Matfobhi (2004) Praxis-based assignments for professional development in the Rhodes University/Swaziland Participatory Course in Environmental Education : the case of assignment four. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The aim of this study was to find out how praxis is fostered in professional development processes, through the assignment four of the Rhodes University / Swaziland Participatory course in Environmental Education (referred to as the Swaziland course), in the Swaziland context. The research aimed at exploring instances of praxis in assignment four development processes and in implementing the assignment ‘product’ in the field of participants’ practice at their schools. The research is intended to improve practice in professional development in the Swaziland course, and in the SADC region more broadly, although the case study does not assume generalisability. The study employed a naturalistic research methodology, involving the development of an interpretive case study to aid understanding of social phenomena in the natural setting. It is influenced by the belief that knowledge is socially constructed and the assumption that meanings are generated and shared through language. The research methods involved observing interactions in the course processes during tutorials sessions and I compiled a course processes profile. I also analyzed copies of assignment four products of two course participants, and observed them using their assignment ‘products’ in their workplaces. Using this data, I generated two ‘constructions’ of the two course participants’ experiences of praxis-based assignment work in the Swaziland course. I also interviewed two course tutors. Data was analysed with an intention to understand actions and interactions relating to praxis-based assignment work. Two ‘layers’ of data analysis were undertaken, to deepen understanding of the phenomenon studied. Through this research I have learnt that though assignment processes enable praxis basedlearning, there are problems encountered in participants’ field of practice due to power relations and participants articulation of the relationship between theory and practice. These, and other structural factors impinge on reflexive agency in the context of both educational and environmental praxis. The structures in the school system frustrate reflexive agency in environmental teaching and learning, and socio-political and socio-economic structures also constrain environmental praxis, hence false consciousness prevails. Given the above situation I recommend further research into the relationship between environmental and educational praxis in environmental education and further research into reflexive agency in environmental education contexts.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Environmental education, Swaziland
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
ID Code:2830
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:21 May 2012 13:03
Last Modified:21 May 2012 13:03
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