CHAPTER 4 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT IN SELECTED COUNTRIES
In the previous chapter the history, policies and practices of EE were described and the relevance for the integration of EE into curricula, indicated. This chapter describes what underpins, informs and drives EE curriculum development and implementation in other countries around the world. This information can help with the development of criteria for a model for the integration of EE into the curricula of schools in the NP because curriculum innovation experiences of other countries should be an indicator of success stories to be considered and examples that may be followed.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CURRICULA IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Australia has developed national statements and curriculum profiles in recent years. A national statement gives a curriculum framework. The arts, English, health and physical education, languages other than English, mathematics, science, technology and studies of society and environment (SOSE) are the learning areas covered (Robbotom 1996:44). The SOSE learning area is identifiable with EE.
The SOSE places emphasis on:
- continuity and change
- place and space
- resources and natural and social systems (Australian Education Commission, in Robottom 1996:45). The five strands are supported by a process strand of investigation, communication and participation.
Two research projects carried out by the Faculty of Education, Deakin University, contributed to an understanding of the Australian EE policy and practi’ce. The projects were titled:
- Contestation over National and « Community » Interests in the Development of Environmental Education (Robottom 1996:45) and
- Environmental Education across Australia (Robottom 1996:45)
The project on the « Contestation over National and Community Interests in the Development of Environmental Education » focussed on the tension between the attempt by government to centralise curriculum development and hisforically school based EE activities. The study revealed that there are (Robottom 1996:46):
- a number of role players in the development of the EE curriculum, that is the teacher, the community and non-governmental curriculum development agencies;
- conflicts over policy direction in EE: in the ?O’sthe Ministry recommended that schools take the initiative to develop programmes whereas SOSE national standards centralise decision making;
- to some extent lessons to learn from the United Kingdom that centralisation of EE might have a marginalising effect;
- critical research topics such as EE curriculum development and continuing professional development of teachers;
- calls for a socio-political approach in EE research .
The project on « Environmental Education across Australia » looked at the relationship between EE policies and practices in schools, agencies (non-governmental organisations) and field study centres involved in EE. A distance education programme was developed.
Other issues relating to EE learning and teaching in Australia are (Palmer 1998:170-171; Schulze 1998; Duffy & Duffy 1994):
- It is teacher based and school based.
- Teaching is investigative in approach.
- There is adherence to national curricular statements.
- The curriculum is centralised, strongly contextual and community based.
- An attempt to address philosophical and empirical questions has been made.
- Environmental issues are addressed on the basis of what is, and what ought to be.
- There is collaboration with other non-governmental agencies that are committed to environmentalism.
- An EE curriculum is co-joined with social education, hence promoting a social agenda.
- There is a presence of an association for EE formed in 1980 with a membership of about 500 individuals.
The lessons from fil!§tr(3li9 for the integration of EE into the school curriculum of the NP are that: It is important to develop and pronounce a National Curriculum Statement that gives a framework for curriculum development. Furthermore, it is of value to follow a participatory and collaborative process in the development of EE curricula. The process of EE curriculum development should consider the advantages and disadvantages of centralisation of decision making. This implies that criteria for the integration of EE into the school curriculum of the NP should define the EE curriculum framework through the involvement of stakeholders and also strike a balance between centralisation and decentralisation of decision making.
The Botswana government appointed an Education Commission in 1994 to review its education system. The report of the education review by the appointed commission m.ade the following recommendations (The revised national policy on Education 1994). That:
- clear national goals for EE be defined;
- an action plan for implementation be drawn;
- EE be incorporated into all key school subjects;
- an EE Education Development officer be appointed;
- an EE curriculum panel be institutionalised with all other subjects represented; and
- in-service teacher training for citizen participation be recognised.
The NP shoul~rf}trom the Botswana experience that political and administrative decisions should be followed by a commitment to allocation of resources. In this case the decision to « incorporate EE into all key school subjects » was followed by the appointment of EE staff and an emphasis on continuing professional development of teachers.
Since the late 1960’s, Canada recognised the importance of public education (Palmer 1998:173-175). EE was preceded by nature study, natural history, conservation education and outdoor education. There was federal and provincial co-operation though education is a provincial mandate (Palmer 1998:173-175).
- is embedded in the science curriculum documents. Environment related school activities are integrated into existing subjects. Learning support material is available. Topics covered include: water resources, sustainable living, forestry and environmental citizenship. Learning programmes challenge schools to become « green’.Schools engage in activities such as restoring grounds, parks and wetlands, recycling, fund-raising for whales, local zoos and forests, planting trees and writing to elected officials about local issues. Values of caring, responsibility and respect are inculcated (Palmer 1998: 173-175). Canadian higher education has faculty members whose main research interest is EE.
The Canadian EE curriculum development process has certain similarities to the South African situation. Canadian provinces have a mandate to provide education, as in the case of South Africa. From Canada’sexample the NP should consider that it is beneficial to maintain links and co-operate with the National Department of Education in matters pertaining to the integration of EE into the school curricula. EE themes to be taught should be defined and learning support material should be made available to learners and teachers.
Palmer (1998:184) states that Ecuador has an EE policy in support of sustainable regional development. The Provincial Council of the Pichincha Province of Ecuador (a regional government) asked Corporacon OIKOS (a non-governmental organisation) to develop an Environmental Communication and Education Plan (ECEP). Broad components guided the development. The components were environmental communication, environmental education, agro-industrial production and municipalities’institutional building.
Informal sectors chose strategies that were campaign based. The campaign focused on:
- social diffusers: local people were engaged to pass on information to others;
- targeting the general public;
- a mass communication campaign;
- applying new environmental norms and regulations;
- launching complementary local environmental management programmes by municipalities and local development agencies;
- community dialogues, consensus, negotiations around characterisation and interpretation of environmental problems; and
- day-to-day practices to prevent pollution, protect the environment and to conserve natural resources and wildlife.
Formal education in Ecuador focuses on developing and strengthening EE technical infrastructure in the schooling system, including curriculum development, teacher training and the production of educational materials. Formal education is intent on putting schools in contact with communities to work out solutions to environmental needs (Palmer 1998:184). Palmer (1998:184) concludes that problems facing Ecuador are lack of institutional support, monitoring and evaluation.
Informal and formal EE education offer learning programmes that support sustainable regional development. The same can be said for the NP: any EE curricular content should address the broader regional social development agenda. There should be emphasis on the principle of integrated development planning that brings together soeial partners such as the municipality and the NP Department of Education. Issues such as mass communication campaigns to advocate a positive environmental ethos and support schools in the integration of EE into curricula should be considered the model to be recommended.
Palmer (1998:188) indicates that EE was initiated in 1980 with the training of 30 teachers by the Council of Europe (Palmer 1998:188). Presently EE is project based and holistic in approach. The Ministry of Education is supportive.
Various problems are experienced in Greece. For example, the curriculum development is extremely centralised and the supply of textbooks is limited so that schools are provided with one textbook per teacher per subject. Sources of information are limited. Time-tabling is interdisciplinary though EE teaching is on a voluntary basis. An experimental Environmental Education Centre was opened by the Ministry. There are attempts to establish a network of Regional Training Centres. Teachers are encouraged to participate when free. Minor remuneration is offered. Higher education has included EE in university courses. Non-governmental organisations contribute to community projects and networks of teachers.
For consideration by the NP, Greece presents possibilities of continentally and cross country supported EE learning projects. It should be noted that the experience of Greece does not favour centralisation of curriculum development. The problem of inadequate learning support for schools is also evident. In addition the issue of the importance of EE centres is highlighted. In this regard the establishment of a network of EE centres within the NP would benefit schools.
The aims of EE in Kenya (African Social Change and Environmental Studies Programme 1993 & 1997:v) are to:
- increase the learners’awareness of the components of the environment and how they interact to modify surroundings;
- encourage the learners to be more aware and sensitive to their surroundings;
- assist the learners in developing skills that enable them to learn from the environment so as to solve environmental problems;
- encourage the learners to develop personal concern for the quality of the environment;
- help the learners to appreciate and enjoy the environment; and
- encourage the learners to develop positive attitudes towards the use and care for the environment.
CHAPTER 1 OVERVIEW AND RA TIO NALE
1.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
1.2 GENERAL STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.3 AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
1.4 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
1.5 OVERVIEW OF THE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHOD
1.6 DIVISION OF CHAPTERS
CHAPTER2/ ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: A THEORETICAL BASIS
2.2 WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION?
2.3 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
2.4 CURRICULUM DESIGN
2.5 CURRICULUM PRACTICE
2.6 THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
2.7 CURRICULUM PLANNING AND CHANGE
CHAPTER 3 THE HISTORY, POLICIES AND PRACTICES OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
3.2 THE HISTORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
3.3 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
3.4 THEORY AND PRACTICE OF EE
3.5 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION THEORY, POLICY AND PRACTICE IN SOUTH AFRICA
3.6 CURRICULUM 2005
3.7 THE PROVINCES
3.8 THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA: IMPLICATIONS FOR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 4 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT IN SELECTED COUNTRIES
4.2 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CURRICULA IN OTHER COUNTRIES
CHAPTERS 5 RESEARCH DESIGN
5.1 INTRODUCTION .
5.2 SPECIFIC RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
5.3 RESEARCH DESIGN
5.4 RESEARCH METHODS
CHAPTER 6 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
6~2 PRESENTATION OF.RESULTS OF EACH RESEARCH OBJECTIVE
CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
7.4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
CRITERIA FOR A MODEL FOR THE INTEGRATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION INTO THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM OF THE NORTHERN PROVINCE