Factors that influence environmental teaching : a case study of Ngqeleni District, Eastern Cape.
This study investigates factors that influence environmental teaching in rural schools in the Ngqeleni District, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Focusgroup interviews at selected schools for Grade 4 to 6 teachers were held between 7th and 22nd November 2005. The study shows that the environmental curriculum, teacher qualifications and training, resources, attitudes of teachers and learners, governance and the context, influence the implementation of environmental teaching. The study reflects that teacher qualifications and training are the most limiting factors and need to be addressed immediately because environmental curriculum is not effectively delivered. Recommendations provided entail that teachers need to be included during the curriculum planning process together with curriculum experts from the Department of Education. The Department of Education also needs to effectively plan teacher training and extend the training period for teachers. Intersectoral collaboration within government in terms of how teachers are trained might also be helpful for better environmental teaching. A buddy system in which schools form environmental support groups might be helpful to keep on building local experience and capacity at the local level. Teachers are supposed to be part of the pUblishing process of resource materials to ensure relevance of resource materials to their contexts. A traveling resource centre with DVD's, for example, for shOWing different contexts beyond local level might also be helpful. Further training of teaching staff and the use of study trips for the best classes of pupils might also motivate learners and teachers.