Eco-Schools and the Quality of Education in South Africa: Realising the potential
Eco-Schools South Africa is increasingly being used by external partners as a framework for supporting environmental education in schools. This paper shares the findings of a recent evaluation of the programme in relation to the quality of education in South African schools. Do Eco-Schools activities help to improve the conditions of teaching and learning? Or do they take teachers and students away from their core focus? Evaluation of learner and teacher work in Eco-Schools found signs of the quality problems that currently plague the schools system, and there is evidence that the programme can add to the complexity to which many teachers struggle to respond. The evaluation also found, however, that the programme has significant potential to improve conditions for teaching and learning. The paper is an opportunity to reflect on how environmental education support for schools, in general, and Eco-Schools South Africa, in particular, can detract from and strengthen teaching and learning.
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