Towards the development of a framework to assess Umgeni Water's environmental education programme.
This study provides an overview of an environmental education programme being implemented in an organization (Umgeni Water), in Pietermaritzburg. In recent years assessment of this education programme’s performance has lost its focus to the detriment of the programme. This has then led to the aim of this study which is to develop a framework to assess the programme. The aim of the study was to develop a framework to assess Umgeni Water’s environmental education programme. Four sub-objectives were identified. These are; to review three learning models and select one best suited to Umgeni Water’s School Environmental Education Programme, to assess which components of the selected learning model are being practiced naturally by teachers, to assess Umgeni Water’s schools environmental education programme against the selected learning model and to develop an outline of a plan for the future of Umgeni Water’s environmental education programme based on the selected learning model. A qualitative research design was used and data collection was through semi-structured interviews and a focus group. One sample of teachers was drawn from schools that had used Umgeni Water’s programme of water treatment plant visits. A second sample was drawn from schools that had no exposure to this programme. The findings revealed that, to some degree, teachers in both instances were naturally applying the components of learning from the selected learning model although they were not aware of the model as such. The study recommends that Umgeni Water’s environmental education programme needs to focus on working with schools that are naturally applying the learning components since the findings revealed that the teachers in these schools could be key in teaching teachers from other schools.
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