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Southern African Journal of Environmental Education

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Underlying Mechanisms Affecting Institutionalisation of Environmental Education Courses in Southern Africa

J Lupele

Abstract


This paper discusses the underlying causal mechanisms that enabled or constrained institutionalisation of environmental education in 12 institutions in eight countries in southern Africa. The study was carried out in the context of the Southern Africa Development Community Regional Environmental Education Support Programme’s Course Development Network (CDN). This paper reports on part of the author's doctoral study and draws on critical realism as the ontological lens. Data analysis was done by means of a retroductive mode of inference, as articulated by Danermark, Ekström, Jakosben and Karlsson (2002). The paper demonstrates that there are a number of underlying causal mechanisms, which may enable or constrain institutionalisation of environmental education. They include factors at play at both national and institutional level; namely, responsiveness to national and institutional needs, recognition and ownership, accreditation and certification, institutional culture and politics, short course support structure and support from colleagues. As part of the discussions of the results of the study, I have advanced some retroductive theories that suggest causal mechanisms beyond the empirical data based on the participants’ experiences
and events in the CDN.






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