EXPLORING ESWATINI SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL GEOGRAPHY TEACHERS’ UNDERSTANDING OF AND ATTITUDES TO EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Keywords:Sustainable Development, Education for Sustainable Development, Understanding, Teacher Attitudes
Due to the close affinity that Geography shares with the theoretical constructs and methodologies of Education for sustainable development (ESD), Geography is expected to play a major role in the implementation of ESD. However, for this to take place, Geography teachers ought to have a deep and clear understanding of both sustainable development and ESD and should have positive attitudes towards what these concepts entail. In Swaziland, information about understanding of what both sustainable development and ESD among Geography teachers and what their attitudes are towards these domains of today’s world debate is very little. This study is therefore an attempt to fill this gap of information. The study, which was a mixed methods design answered four research questions, had a sample of 92 senior secondary school Geography teachers from 40 systematically sampled schools in the four regions of Eswatini. A self-developed questionnaire which was validated by two experts at the University of Eswatini, with a reliability value of 0.72 was used. Results obtained were analysed using Qualitative content analysis (QCA) method and Statistical Package for Social Scientists Version 10 (SPSS_10) and Excel. The results indicated that Geography teachers lacked a deep and clear understanding of the theoretical constructs of both sustainable development and ESD. More so, very few teachers had any clear, supported understanding of what ESD is all about. Despite this lack of knowledge, teachers showed a high level of positive attitudes towards sustainable development and ESD. The study concluded that a majority of the geography teachers did not understand the concept of ESD and recommended that sustained in service training programmes be put in place urgently and teacher training institutions should fully incorporate ESD in education training programmes to empower trainee teachers who would be the implementers of ESD.
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