The integration of climate change in the Namibian senior secondary Physical Science syllabus through environmental education
Iipinge, Wilhelmine Ndapewa
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This study undertook to explore how climate change could best be integrated in the Namibian senior secondary Physical Science syllabus through environmental education. Current research studies and scientific projections reflect that, if unchecked, climate change will continue to adversely impact on the livelihoods of many societies across the globe. Climate change is a global phenomenon that has gripped governments, academics, scientists, politicians, development practitioners and policymakers. Given the incessant droughts in Africa and rising temperatures in Namibia that will severely affect natural resources as well as the functioning of ecosystems and lead to socio-economic devastation, the impacts of climate change cannot be ignored. Academics have urged the education sectors to develop alternatives in the quest for solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. In light of these challenges and the role that education is called upon to play to develop alternatives in the quest for solutions by equipping learners with relevant skills and expertise that will be useful in today's world,I deemed it necessary to explore how climate change can be integrated into the Grade 11 and 12 Physical Science syllabus in Namibia through environmental education.This involved exploring which climate change objectives contained in the National Policy on Climate Change for Namibia are addressed in the Namibian National Curriculum for Basic Education and in the Namibian senior secondary Physical Science syllabus. I also looked at what climate change issues are addressed by teachers in Grade 11 and 12 in Physical Science and how environmental education can be implemented in the senior secondary Physical Science syllabus to address these issues. This qualitative multiple case study research methodology was undertaken within the interpretivist research paradigm. The data was collected from document research and through semi-structured one-on-one interviews and a focus group interview. I used purposive sampling and the official Namibian curriculum document and senior secondary Physical Science Syllabus (Grade 11and12), as well as official Namibian policies on climate change and environmental education to form the sample. Six Physical Science school teachers from six senior secondary schools in the Kalahari cluster circuit, one Physical Science subject advisor and one National Institute for Educational Development official were participants. Content analysis and thematic analysis were used to inductively analyse the data and derive themes. The conclusions were derived from the literature review, document research, data gathered from the focus group interview and one-on-one semi-structured interviews conducted with participants. The literature review demonstrates and discusses the various processes of curriculum development undertaken to ensure that a curriculum is consistent with the current challenges of society. As such, this research study promotes the integration of climate change in the Namibian Physical Science syllabus through environmental education. The study puts forward guidelines and recommendations for stakeholders involved with curriculum development and implementation regarding climate change in the Namibian education sector, as well as government policy harmonization with regard to climate change and environmental education in the Physical Science syllabus (Grade 11 and 12).
- Education