The approach adopted by the Fundisa for Change programme includes support for pedagogical approaches used to facilitate courses that enable critical, reflexive engagement with ESD and environmental content, including:
- active and critical engagement, and
- deliberative processes
You can read more about these approaches in the three core texts.
The current set of Fundisa for Change resources were developed as illustrative examples of how to support and strengthen the teaching of environmental and ESD content knowledge contained within the CAPS curriculum. The resources focused on articulating core knowledge, teaching practices and assessment practices linked to phase and subject specific topics as a way of demonstrating how to support this form of engagement with teachers. The resources were NOT designed to be comprehensive or uncontested – in fact many authors stressed that the content in their modules was, in fact, highly contested, debated, and more complex that the format of the modules allowed for.
This framing requires partners in the Fundisa for Change network to work with the resources in a reflexive, critical, and adaptive manner.
The Fundisa for Change materials were designed with the understanding that the environmental content included in each of the materials include:
Contested knowledge – knowledge that is being challenged by one or more groups of people, or where competing sources of information about (think about climate change, and climate doubters). The materials (and courses) should aim to support teachers in working with contested knowledge.
Multiple points of view – in other words, there is no one confirmed and agreed upon point of view, due to cultural differences, geographical differences, gender differences, etc. Think about how different people frame the role of women in society, for example.
Contextual complexity – where one area can have people and biodiversity that are impacted in different ways by something (for example, think about how an airport impacts those living near the airport, those who travel to other countries very often, or the biodiversity that is impacted by the airport – each of these experience the airport in different ways, and are affected by it in multiple ways.
Situated examples – where learning, examples and connections are made to the places and contexts where teachers (and their students) are located. This includes more than the geographical position of a school, for example. It also includes the community, the political context, the educational structure, etc. There is some overlap between situated examples and contextual complexity – both of these require that we think about the relationship between the content and pedagogy we are teaching and its relevance to the teachers and communities in our courses.
Critical engagement – this refers to approaching all the core knowledge, approaches and content in the course critically – through a process of questioning the relevance, accuracy and appropriateness of everything we use to support teacher professional development. Even more, it requires that we support teachers in engaging critically with course content, and to extend this critical engagement to the rest of their teaching, especially as it related to environmental learning and content.
Part of the intended design of the Fundisa for Change materials is that the materials developed within the network need to be supplemented by a range of other support resources. These could include specific subject-based materials developed by partners, drawing on school textbooks, newspaper articles, educational videos, etc. It is especially important to connect the existing materials to contemporary developments of current affairs within the teachers contexts.