Supporting Tutoring Within a Namibian Environmental Education Course: Challenges and Opportunities
This paper is based on a case study of tutoring in the Namibian Environmental Education Certificate (NEEC) Course. In order to support tutoring, the National NEEC Coordinator investigated the way NEEC tutors are supported and the kinds of challenges faced in the tutoring process. The case study was framed within a naturalistic paradigm and the grounded theory approach was used to analyse data. Hence theory is built on data generated throughout the research process. Data were collected from 11 NEEC tutors/support tutors using interviews and questionnaires. Document analysis provided further data and a means of triangulation. Significant challenges to the tutoring process emerged from the data analysis. The most significant challenge was the tutors’ lack of experience in, knowledge of, and enthusiasm for environmental education and distance teaching. Moreover, restrictions on time and communication (i.e. access to work sponsored telephones) caused by the working environment and a lack of adequate financial incentive emerged. Recommendations regarding the improvement of the infrastructure and management, particularly in the areas of recruitment, induction and ongoing professional development support, are made as a way of overcoming the challenges.
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