The Fundisa for Change programme has adopted a critically reflexive approach towards learning around teacher and teacher educator professional development for ESD. As part of this approach the Fundisa for Change programme had a series of research attached to the various approaches used. In addition to informing the approach two important evaluations have taken place of the Fundisa for Change programme.
- Dr Zintle Songqwaru completed a PhD on the Fundisa for Change programme and her topic focused on:
“A theory-based approach to evaluating a Continuing Teacher Professional Development Programme aimed at strengthening environment and sustainability education.” The PhD has provided a useful framework into a theory of change in the teacher professional development activities of the Fundisa for Change programme.
- Dr Mutizwa Mukute conducted an evaluation of the Fundisa for Change programme. The evaluation looked at: Impact Area 1: System development for environmental learning and teacher education in South Africa.
The following key messages have emerged from this evaluation:
In addressing the objectives of the evaluation, the following key messages were identified:
- Fundisa for Change has established and operationalised a multi-stakeholder partnership programme comprising government, parastatal, NGO and university organisations to co-develop and implement social innovation in the schooling and teacher education systems of South Africa.
- Fundisa for Change has improved quality of teacher education by integrating environmental and sustainability learning in the national system of education.
- Fundisa for Change has deepened the relevance and quality of teacher and teacher educator’s content knowledge, pedagogy and formative assessment participating institutions.
- Fundisa for Change has produced exemplar materials that are suitable for local learning environments.
- Fundisa for Change has generated research products that address Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS), Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education and Gaps between Teacher Education Theory, Practice and Policy.
- Fundisa for Change has developed a strong and growing community of practice of teacher trainers who can play a catalytic role and scaling the Fundisa for Change approach to integration of relevant and quality integration of environment and sustainability in the schooling and teacher education systems.
- Fundisa for Change has implemented: (i) National Development Plan 2030, (ii) Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS), (iii) Environmental Sector Skill Plan (ESSP), and (iv) the Biodiversity Human Capacity Development Strategy (BHCDS) in teacher education.
- Fundisa for Change influenced the inclusion of ESD in Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ, 2015).
- Fundisa for Change has made significant progress as a scalable case but insufficient progress towards the systemic integration of environment and sustainability in teacher education and the schooling system of South Africa.
- Fundisa for Change needs to:
(i) work more closely and strategically with DBE and DHET,
(ii) institutionalise the Programme in partner organisations,
(iii) expand the size and depth of the coordinating mechanisms,
(iv) develop and implement a more sustainable funding model, and
(v) more robust scaling model.