Climate change and CAPS

The CAPS+ approach, as explained by O’Donoghue (2013) in Framing Active Teaching and Learning in CAPS, is summarised as follows.

  • The curriculum stipulates minimum standards so we should always teach to CAPS+ Environment is already in and across the curriculum as topics that lend themselves to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

ESD is thus a matter of taking up and bringing out an environment and sustainability focus.

  • We need a whole school approach for relevance and to overcome the fragmented nature of a topic-centred curriculum.

So, what makes the Fundisa for Change programme different is that it takes the CAPS+ approach and focuses on enhancing three essential aspects of teaching: knowing your subject, improving your teaching practices and improving your assessment practices, as discussed in the previous section. Fundisa for Change (2013) discusses environmental and sustainability in different subjects. The CAPS curriculum is based on a set of essential principles. These principles inform all teaching and learning in the CAPS and have informed the design and development of all CAPS subjects (DBE, 2011). These principles are:

1. Social transformation
2. Active and critical learning
3. High knowledge and high skills
4. Progression
5. Human rights, inclusivity, environmental and social justice
6. Valuing indigenous knowledge systems, and
7. Credibility, quality and efficiency

Looking at the CAPS curriculum from human social-ecological contexts, the CAPS curriculum encourages teaching for the mediated acquisition of knowledge interactions like listening and reading-to-learn. The aim is to find out more about learning-by-doing and by trying out ideas and deliberating what is best. All these are assessed to foster and mediate social learning processes that shape the competence to live in a changing world (O’Donoghue, 2013).

Internationally, education for sustainability influences curriculum development at all levels and phases of the education system. In South Africa, we can see the influence of new thinking about the environment, society and economy in the CAPS curriculum (DBE, 2011). Each CAPS subject can engage with matters of concern such as climate change and other environmental topics.

Click below to open and read more about the Life Orientation CAPS for Senior and FET Phases.

Follow the link below to watch a series of YouTube videos explaining the processes needed to engage with Education for Sustainable Development approaches in Life Orientation.