Southern African Journal of Environmental Education

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Cultural Historical Activity Theory, Expansive Learning and Agency in Permaculture Workplaces

M Mukute


This paper reports on how Cultural Historical Activity Theory was used to identify and analyse contradictions; model and implement solutions in the learning and practice of permaculture at one school and its community in Zimbabwe. This is one of three sustainable agriculture workplace learning sites being examined in a wider study on change-oriented learning and sustainability practices (Mukute, 2009). It gives a brief background to permaculture and the School and Colleges Permaculture Programme (SCOPE) in Zimbabwe. The paper focuses on how contradictions were used as sources of learning and development leading to ‘real life expansions’. This demonstrates and reflects on the value of an interventionist research theory and methodology employed in the study to enhance participants’ agency in sustainable agriculture workplaces.

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