30 SES 12 B, Scaling ESD: Inclusion and exclusion when introducing ESD activities in diverse contexts Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 30 SES 13
In this paper, we develop the work on scaling as learning process (Micklesson, Kronlid & Lotz-Sisitka, in press) further by considering an in-depth case study of scaling as a generative process of collective concept formation Vygotsky (1978) i.e. as a collective transformative learning process. This is understood as a situated, socio-cultural, experiential process of higher order thinking and praxis. To develop this generative transformative learning notion of scaling, we draw on empirical work being undertaken in the South African Amanzi [Water] for Food programme (Lotz-Sisitka et al. 2016; Pesanayi, 2016) which is an ESD programme seeking to support boundary crossing learning between agricultural colleges and farmers. It also seeks to support curriculum innovations that introduce rainwater harvesting and conservation practices into the agricultural college curricula as this was identified as a critical absence in initial curriculum review work (Lotz-Sisitka et al. 2016). In this paper, we draw on extensive data of a learning network involving multi-actors in the local agricultural learning system (Lotz-Sisitka et al. 2016) to examine a process of collective concept formation emerging from a ‘germ cell’ process of re-vitalising local indigenous knowledge. Through mobilization of this knowledge a new tool to address water scarcity for food production was introduced. This catalyzed an ongoing situated and critically reflexive engagement with an expanded range of rainwater harvesting and conservation practices, development of local productive demonstration sites. As noted by Engeström et al. (2012), the formation of concepts is often regarded as “primarily a textual and language bound process”. In our case study of Amanzi for Food shows that the formation and expansion of the germ cell via a combination of language bound processes and practical demonstration. This analysis contributes to the literature on scaling, but also the literature on how concepts are formed, drawing on the theoretical principle of ascending from the abstract to the concrete (Engeström et al. 2012). We propose that a generative, collective process of concept formation is critical to ESD scaling, since ESD oftentimes requires engaging with new concepts that are as yet unknown (i.e. learning ‘what is not yet there’). As proposed in this paper, such a scaling process is not just a language bound process, but involves engaged social action and social movement in communities of practice and learning networks over time. Critical to this process, is the ‘germ cell’ with the power to catalyse such a concept formation process.
Engeström, Y., Jaana Nummijoki, J. & Sannino, A. Embodied Germ Cell at Work: Building an Expansive Concept of Physical Mobility in Home Care. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 00:1–23. DOI:10.1080/10749039.2012.688177 Lotz-Sisitka, H., Pesanayi, T., Weaver, K., Lupele, C., Sisitka, L., O’Donoghue, R., Denison, J., Phillips, K. 2016. Water use and food security: Knowledge dissemination and use in agricultural colleges and local learning networks for home food gardening and smallholder agriculture. WRC Research Report No. 2277/1/16. 198 pp. Mandikonza, C. & Lotz-Sisitka, H.B. (2016). Emergence of Environment and Sustainability Education (ESE) in Teacher Education Contexts in Southern Africa: A Common Good Concern. Educational Research for Social Change (ERSC) 5 (1), 107-130 Mandikonza, C. (2016). Exploring change-orientated learning, competencies and agency in a Regional Teacher Professional development programme’s change projects. Unpublished PhD-study, Rhodes University, South Africa. Mickelsson, Kronlid and Lotz-Sisitka. (2018) Consider the unexpected: scaling ESD as a matter of learning. Environmental Education Research. Pesanayi, T. (2016). Exploring contradictions and absences in mobilizing ‘learning as process’ for sustainable agricultural practices. In Price, L. & Lotz-Sisitka, H.B. (Eds). Critical Realism, Environmental Learning and Social-Ecological Change. London: Routledge. Pg. 230-253. UNESCO (2014). Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. Paris: UNESCO.
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