THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE COURSE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS, GRADES 1 - 7 ZIMBABWE RHODESIA
AuthorAllen, Irma Acosta
KeywordsEcology -- Study and teaching -- Zimbabwe.
Conservation of natural resources -- Study and teaching -- Zimbabwe.
AdvisorLetson, Robert J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA study was made to determine the environmental education needs of Rhodesian African primary school pupils and procedures for meeting those needs within the framework of an Environmental Science Course which would complement an Environmental Social Studies Course. Procedures used to investigate the needs and ultimately determine the scope, aims, methods, and materials for the course were: (1) two questionnaires to stratified samples of education officers, supervisors, headmasters, and teachers--the first to 168 and the second to 504; (2) a questionnaire and interviews with local professional environmentalists; (3) classroom observation and trial teaching of lesson units, as they were developed, across a broad spectrum of schools; (4) an informal survey of the activities and materials produced by agencies and organizations concerned with environmental issues; (5) review of currently existing geography, science, and gardening courses and materials; (6) meetings with provincial education officers, headmasters, and supervisors; (7) meetings with teacher trainers in three major teacher training institutions in the country; and (8) reference to pertinent literature. Results of the questionnaires provided the basis for the topic content of the course, and defined the major areas of concern as being: natural resources, agriculture, the natural physical environment, the man-made physical environment, health, and body systems. Areas emerging from the study which required special attention were: language, traditions, limited physical resources, introduction of new teaching-learning approaches, rural nature of 90% of the schools, terminal aspect of primary education for roughly 80% of the pupils, communication of the teacher-learner strategy, large proportion of teachers with minimum training, and meeting national needs and aspirations in a time of war. The main outcome of the study was a curriculum plan for an Environmental Science course whose broad aims are to: (1) make pupils aware of the ecological inter-relationship of the physical and biological factors that make up the environment, and of man's relationship to it; (2) motivate pupils to responsible action toward better management of the environment so as to ensure survival and improve the quality of life; (3) provide pupils with basic skills and concepts in science, gardening, and geography; and (4) foster the development of positive interests, attitudes, and aesthetic awareness of the environment. The components of the system are presented, as well as a scheme, tentatively incorporating 50 lesson units. Recommendations regarding the learning objectives (content, concepts, skills, attitudes) teaching approaches, instructional materials, pacing, the role of the participants, and pupil assessment procedures are given. The curriculum plan, as presented, was approved by the Ministry of Education for further development and eventual implementation into the schools of the country. Recommendations are made for the next phase of the project. These emphasize the development and evaluation of instructional materials, establishment of teacher training programs, and evaluation of the curriculum.
Degree ProgramGraduate College