Exploring the value of Indgenous Tonga stories in the Teaching and Learning of Environmental Education Among Zambia Grade 5 Pupils Chibombo Disstrict
Simweemba, Hadunka Bonaventure
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The purpose of this study was to establish the value of indigenous Tonga stories in teaching and learning Zambian Grade 5 Environmental Education. Often, the social, cultural and linguistic elements of indigenous people of Zambia do not become referent points in modem education systems. This stud} set out to try to correct such a negative situation in Zambia.The design of the study was predominantly qualitative, focusing on Tonga stones. . This study took four steps in trying to establish the value of Tonga stories in teaching and learning Environmental education at grade 5 level. These included, firstly, making a catalogue of existing indigenous Tonga stories appearing in appendix 5. Secondly, the author analysed the catalogued stories in order to extract the various environmental issues which such stories could address in modem Environmental education lessons at grade 5 level. Thirdly, Environmental Education teachable exercises for use in grade 5 classes were devised from 26 selected stories as shown in appendix 1. Fourthly, two of the stories with their developed exercises were field-tested at two schools in Chibombo District of Central Province of Zambia. This was done in order to obtain comments and reactions from teachers and pupils on the value of the indigenous Tonga stories. Evaluative comments from classroom teachers who field-tested two of the stories are appearing in appendix 3. The comments from pupils and teachers at the sampled schools where stories were tested were successfully collected and they indicate that the indigenous Tonga stories were of great value in contemporary Envirormiental Education. The teachers also revealed that the developed Environmental Education activities from indigenous Tonga stories can generate different lessons in teachers and learners during environmental education lessons. Some of these are that: (i) through stories, learners are able to realize the need for sustainable use of natural resources, (ii) stories stimulate the thinking capacity of learners leading to creativity, (iii) the exercises at the end of stories promote active learning and encourage development of social and interpersonal relationships among learners, (iv) through these stories, moral values such as self discipline and development of sound conser\'ation practices could be inculcated among learners, (v) since learners understand the concepts easily in a local language, they become free to participate during the lessons, as a result a lot of useful Environmental Education ideas are shared among learners, and (vi) stories can help in the development of various useful skills in learners such as good public speaking, improved grammar, literacy skills and creativity. Only a small number found the activities to be a little difficult. Pupils who were interviewed at the sampled schools indicated that indigenous Tonga stories were valuable in contemporary education. Pupil A of Chinyongola Basic School, for example, pointed out that the story which was read and from which their class did the Environmental Education Activities was very interesting and educative. He was particularly happy with the story because it pointed out the evils that most of the children in the village were doing, that is, killing small animals and birds. According to this pupil, the story would act as a deterrent to the children and this would result in good conservation practices. Results from field-testing of two stories were noted and these are reported in chapter 6.The possibility of integrating indigenous and modem knowledge systems and values into Zambian Environmental Education system was successfully explored. Integration of Environmental Education with other subjects was also successfully done, as shown in appendix 4. This is where Environmental Education - related assignments were given in various subjects at Basic Education Colleges of Education.
- Education