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Stakeholders' perception of their participation in environmental education in tanzania

Environmental education (EE) has been an evolving field which came out of concern for the environment in the 1960's and 1970's. As a focus of international conferences and agreements, it impacted on school curricula in most parts of the world, although, for Tanzania, it is a new field in formal education and an often challenging one. With the influence of contemporary focus on participation in EE, in 2004 the Ministry of Education in Tanzania suggested the integration of environmental education into every subject in the curriculum. However, little is known currently in Tanzania about the response of people who have a stake in education to this suggestion, and in particular about their participation in EE. This study sought to explore stakeholders' views of involvement and participation in EE in Tanzania. The three specific questions in this study related to stakeholders' views on EE; stakeholders' perceptions of their roles and involvement in EE; and stakeholders' perceptions of collaboration in the implementation and development of EE in schools in Tanzania. The study adopted an interpretive methodology framework. Purposeful sampling strategy was used and the sampled participants consisted of two schools, 100 students, seven teachers, four school leaders, 56 parents, three government and two EE agencies officials, all from the Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania. The methods used for data collection included semi-structured interviews with teachers, school leaders, government, and EE agency officials and open-ended questionnaires with students and parents. Data analysis followed qualitative and quantitative procedures. The findings of this study indicated that the views and teaching of EE amongst participants was limited to education about the environment. Little emphasis was given to education in and for the environment. Roles and involvement with EE related activities focused on teaching about the environment, and training teachers, while only a few respondents indicated involvement with activities that reflected ii environment action such as cleanliness, planting trees and gardening. The challenges with respect to the implementation of EE were noted to be limited time, and resources, and lack of training and funds. Participants considered that through collaboration stakeholders in Tanzania can contribute their resources in terms of time, funds and expertise and participate to enhance EE initiatives and developments, e.g. training of teachers, improving teaching, children's learning and behaviour, and supporting school-community developments e.g. take an issue-based approach to address local problems, etc. It appeared that success of collaborative initiatives depends on the participation and commitment of individuals; cooperation and coordination of resources and expertise, as well as leadership. The findings highlight several implications and suggestions for future research such as the need for support for stakeholders in Tanzania to develop an understanding of the contemporary focus of EE; teacher support to challenge their current practices and use active teaching and learning pedagogies; leadership support to initiate and sustain collaborative culture in schools; stakeholders' collaboration in EE initiatives; flexible curricula to allow issue-based and action oriented approaches; as well as community involvement in curricula decisions and school collaborative activities.
Type of thesis
Mtaita, U. Y. (2007). Stakeholders’ perception of their participation in environmental education in tanzania (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2456
The University of Waikato
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