Environmentalism in education - the missing link.
One of modern society's most pressing problems today is the environment with which it interacts. Though this interaction is inseparable, the environment has been treated as a separate entity. This lack of a symbiotic relationship between the society and its environment has produced certain pathologies such as increasing economic growth, excessive exploitation of resources, socio-economic inequalities, consumerism and environmentally insensitive planning and decision making. Education is deemed in this thesis, as a determinant and potential transformer of existing socioeconomic, environmental and administrative ideologies. With education/conscientization being regarded as the catalyst for societal change, Gramscian social theory is used to conceptualize societal functioning. Society has a hegemonic and counter-hegemonic realm. The' organic' intellectuals (leaders) within these realms will determine the nature and extent of political, socio-economic and environmental changes in society. A third grouping - the semi-hegemony - is recognized in this thesis. This group which includes tertiary educative institutions, plays a pivotal role between the hegemony and counter-hegemony in determining the nature of societal change. Universities could adopt a critical environmental paradigm. The environmentally conscientized intellectuals from these institutions can permeate the broader society bringing about gradual environmental, economic and societal transformations. For this reason, the research sets out to gauge the extent to which environmentalism has permeated into some South African universities. The nature and quantity of environmental content in disciplines, the predominant ideological trends and interdisciplinary potentials are assessed. Though experiencing many shortcomings, it is found that these universities had the potential to foster an holistic environmental paradigm. In conclusion, a set of models are proposed that could strengthen the: university's semi-hegemonic role; ensure the integration of an holistic environmental paradigm (via at' Integrated University Environmental Programme); establish links between the semi- hegemony and the broader society; and allow universities to play a role in regional cooperation as regards the promulgation of an environmentally based set of socio-economic and development policies and strategies.