Participatory programme development at an environmental education centre through action research involving secondary school teachers

Klein, Charmain Phillida (1997) Participatory programme development at an environmental education centre through action research involving secondary school teachers. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This mini-thesis documents and analyses an action research project which I conducted with secohdary school teachers. The teachers wished to learn more about environmental education so that they could run their own programmes. I, on the other hand, wanted to improve environmental education programmes offered at the centre where I worked. I hoped that through encouraging teacher participation and involvement, I could begin a process through which the teachers themselves could contribute to, and be in greater control of, their own learning in environmental education. As an introduction to this mini-thesis, I provide some background information on the centre, and state the reasons for having embarked on this project. In addition, I outline the literature and various research findings pertinent to this study. For the purpose of this study, I have selected emancipatory action research as a mode of research, since I believe that emancipatory action research, which embodies processes of reflection and informed action, constitutes the possibility for authentic, emancipatory change in the practice of teachers. The bulk of this thesis, therefore, documents the first two cycles of the action research process and the experiences of those involved in the process. I also briefly comment on some of the claims of action research as a method for research. An important feature of this thesis is that it addresses the possibilities of and constraints to implementing education for the environment in the teachers' practices. The existence of the latter is acknowledged and discussed from my perspective and those of the participating teachers. The study, furthermore, documents teachers' understandings of environmental education, and how this determines the kind of environmental education activities in which they engage. In the final analysis, I argue that the education system we inherited from the apartheid regime has had the effect of producing passive, disempowered and highly demotivated teachers with extremely low levels of self confidence and assertiveness. Despite this fact, I have not only had the opportunity to wltness some positive attitudinal changes occurring in teachers as the study progressed; the project has also enhanced my own understanding of environmental education and the effect the apartheid education system had in shaping my own thoughts and life.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Teachers, Secondary school, Environmental education, Programmes, Emancipatory action research, Apartheid education, Environmental Education and Resources Unit, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Janse van Rensburg, Eureta
ID Code:3817
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:25 Oct 2012 13:18
Last Modified:25 Oct 2012 13:18
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