Encountering Paradigmatic Tensions and Shifts in Environmental Education

Tsepo Mokuku, ‘Mantoetse E. Jobo, Mohaeka Raselimo, Tseliso Mathafeng, Karl Stark


In response to environmental degradation, the Lesotho government, in
collaboration with the Danish government, introduced an Environmental
Education Support Project in schools in 2001. In order to optimise the
achievement of the project goals the, Monitoring and Research Team was
established to formatively evaluate the project as it unfolded. The principles of
action research were to guide the monitoring process. The paper discusses the
findings of the early phase of the monitoring process with reference to Project’s
epistemological commitment to initiate paradigmatic shift, in the context of
conceptualizing environmental education and the associated learning theories
and teaching approaches through workshops with relevant stakeholders in the
school curricula development. It is illustrated that the workshops initiated
cognitive tensions and shifts amongst the participants, and that their occurrence
was indicative of the interrogation of the positivist paradigm underpinning the
education system in Lesotho.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352