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The integration of environmental education with technology education : an investigation into teacher training and teacher practice
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This research study is mainly based on the third learning outcome for Technology Education which requires the learners to be able to demonstrate an understanding of interrelationships between science, technology, society and the environment. The purpose of the study is to investigate how Technology Teacher Training Programmes incorporate environmental aspects into technology education and how Technology educators facilitate learning in order to meet environmental requirements that are expressed as learning outcome 3 for Technology Education. In this study an attempt is made to encourage efforts that could lead to the development of new learning frameworks, integrated activities and learning programmes for the technology education curriculum. The study is set against the literature on integrated programmes for curriculum development in general and for environmental and technology education in particular. It also draws on literature that calls for partnerships and closer co-operation between institutions of higher learning and the world of work, on evaluation research and programme evaluation and on the role that could be played by service-learning in promoting attitudes and values that are necessary for the integration of environmental aspects into technology education. Using the naturalistic or qualitative evaluation approach and narrative data production methods in the context of teaching and learning, the lecturers in teacher education institutions and technology educators in schools were interviewed in order to find out how technology teacher education prepared technology educators for the workplace and how technology educators designed learning activities and facilitated learning in their technology classrooms. The curriculum documents for technology teacher education programmes were consulted and classroom observations also made. The research findings have indicated that technology educators find it difficult to integrate environmental education with technology education when teaching technology education and that technology teacher education programmes do not entirely prepare technology educators for the integration process that is required by the Revised National Curriculum documents of the Department of Education and Training.The study therefore calls for partnerships and collaborative efforts of higher education institutions, the Department of Education and Training and various environmental organizations in order to develop work integrated curricula that could enable technology educators to assist their learners to demonstrate an understanding of interrelationships between science, technology, society and the environment.