The promotion of sustainable environmental education by the Zimbabwe Ordinary level science syllabi

  • Maria Tsakeni, Dr University of the Free State, South Africa
Keywords: Education for sustainable development, Green chemistry, Environmental chemistry, Place-based pedagogy

Abstract

Chemical education provides methods and theories that enable learners to understand some environmental issues in their communities better. Following the impetus on education for sustainable development (ESD), green chemistry and the need for learners to use the local place as a springboard to learn and understand global environmental issues, this paper describes the integration of environmental chemistry in an Ordinary level physical science 5009 syllabus. Using a mixed methods approach in the form of a case study of a rural school in the Murewa district of Zimbabwe, data were collected by means of an open-ended questionnaire applied to two science teachers, lesson observations and a post-test only control group design. The findings of the study indicate that the teachers believed that place-based pedagogy involves outdoor and classroom activities such as laboratory experiments, projects, investigations and debates. The place-based activities relevant to the rural school settings were environmental issues around soil and water degradation, toxic chemicals in the environment and fuels for domestic use. The post-test demonstrated the place-based pedagogy was effective for learner achievement, problem-solving and environmental awareness. A recommendation is made for the Ordinary science syllabi to emphasise that place-based approaches to reflect in environmental education for ESD implementation as well as assessment practices.

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Published
2018-06-19
Section
Articles