An exploration of intermediate phase natural sciences and technology pre-service teachers’ experiences of learning about education for sustainable development: a case study at a South African university.
Ugwu, Alvin Uchenna.
MetadataShow full item record
United Nation’s Global Action Programme for implementation of Sustainable Development recognizes teachers as key role players in promoting education for sustainable development (ESD). This research reports on a study which explored Intermediate phase pre-service Natural Sciences and Technology teachers (PSNSTTs) experiences of learning about ESD, at a selected university in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. There has been little research on preservice teachers’ experience of learning about ESD within the higher education context. This study intends to address this gap identified in the literature. This research has provided insight into how pre-service teachers understand ESD, and how it affects their attitudes and behavior towards sustainable development. It gives insight in understanding and interpreting their experience of learning about ESD in their science and technology modules. The study employed a qualitative case study research design to draw on the views and experiences of Intermediate phase pre-service Natural Sciences and Technology teachers, learning about ESD at university. Data were generated using questionnaires and focus group interviews and thematic and content analysis were carried out. Results indicate that Intermediate phase pre-service Natural Sciences and Technology teachers perceived Education for Sustainable Development to be concerned primarily with educating about the environment, conserving, the 3Rs of resources, reducing, reusing and recycling. Education for a wider view of development goals concerning economic sustainability, food security and gender equity were also identified. Learning about ESD had enhanced positive behavioural attitudes towards the environment among the students, despite some challenges due to inappropriate pedagogical approaches and time constraints encountered in their studies. From the study, a pragmatic approach is advocated for all stakeholders to improve actualization of the sustainable development goals rather than their remaining romantic theoretical ideals.