Fundisa for Change is a collaboration between a range of teacher education partners working with teachers across South Africa to improve and strengthen environmental learning in schools. Although the programme has a national coordinator to manage and administer the programme, it operates under an emergent consortium structure.
The Fundisa for Change teacher education programme was established in 2011, and operated under the name Teacher Development Network until it was re-branded and re-named ‘Fundisa for Change’ in January 2013, after a national implementation meeting with all implementing partners. The programme is composed of a network of diverse partners, all working with teacher education in a variety of ways. The network was established in response to research findings from three major environmental sector strategy research programmes, including:
- The South African Environmental Sector Skills Plan;
- The SANBI/GreenMatter Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy; and
- The Global Change Grand Challenge National Research Plan Human Capital Development Strategy.
The reports all found that the foundations of environmental learning in South Africa needed more attention if the environmental sector human capital development needs of the country were to be met within a longer term sustainability paradigm.
Core to this are two issues, identified in all of the strategic research:
- The quality of teachers’ knowledge, and teachers’ abilities to teach ‘new’ environmental knowledge; and
- The curriculum content necessary for building national capacity for biodiversity management, sustainable use of natural resources, resilience to climate change challenges, and building a green economy.
The Fundisa for Change programme works within an emergent consortium structure, involving national environment and education sector partners in South Africa. It was established (initially through a partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, SANBI’s GreenMatter Programme and national teacher education institutions, and partners) to strengthen transformative environmental learning and teacher education within the Curriculum and Assessment Policy (CAPS) framework of South Africa, and a broader Education for Sustainable Development framework though a co-ordinated, participatory, national system of engagement.
Programme Coordinator – Shanu Misser (S.Misser@sanbi.org.za)