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A posthumanist approach to environmental education in South Africa: implications for teachers, teacher development, and teacher training programs

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As we enter the sixth great mass extinction event, an event that points to humanity’s exploitative attitude towards nature, posthumanist ethics offers a different way of engaging with the world, a way which has clear and extensive implications for the way environmental education is taught in South African schools. However, given the official curriculum and assessment practices currently in use in South Africa, can a posthumanist approach to environmental education actually work within the current educational framework of discrete discipline/subject areas and specializations? The paper diffractively engages with the Department of Basic Education National Curriculum Statement: Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement: Foundation Phase Grades R-3: Life Skills for South Africa (the phase where environmental education is most likely to take place), and superpositions this text with a research study on environmental education undertaken in Canada and key posthumanist notions as they relate to environmental education. The paper concludes with a section on the implications for teachers, teacher development, and teacher training programs (not solely in South Africa) of using such an approach in the teaching of environmental studies.
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Keywords: Environmental education; diffractive methodology; early childhood education; posthumanism; teacher development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Education, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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