(Re)connect social and environmental responsibility to learners’ living environments: Curriculum challenges and possible solutions for teaching-learning in Life Orientation

  • P. Swarts, Dr North-West University, South Africa
  • J. A. Rens, Prof North-West University, South Africa
  • L. O. de Sousa, Dr North-West University, South Africa
Keywords: Life Orientation, Social and environmental responsibility, Place-based education


An analysis of the National Curriculum Statement indicates a strong focus on the promotion of knowledge in local context, whilst being sensitive to global imperatives. This implies that learning experiences must reflect local realities first; a call which compels teachers to adapt their teaching with the purpose to make learning relevant and meaningful for the learner. It is therefore an appropriate time to ask the key question: Do Life Orientation teachers (re)connect their teaching-learning on social and environmental responsibility with learners’ living environments to adhere to curriculum requirements of relevance and meaningfulness? The qualitative data obtained from 13 structured classroom observations, with specific reference to the topic social and environmental responsibility, revealed that Life Orientation teachers experienced challenges. Based on these qualitative findings the researchers propose place-based education as an appropriate teaching-learning strategy to (re)connect social and environmental responsibility with the learner’s living environment.


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