Integration of Environmental Education into the mathematics curriculum of selected Zambian Basic and High Schools of Lusaka District

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Msoni, Masauso
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Environmental problems at the global, regional and local levels have been escalating at such a rapid rate in the last few decades that they have emerged as a major concern for the international community, particularly the educational planners and curriculum developers. The underlying objective of this study was to determine the integration and frequency of environmental concepts and topics in the pedagogic principles which constitutes the structure of the mathematics curriculum. It was also to determine the actual strategies that have been employed to integrate environmental education into mathematics curriculum, at the same time highlighting the constraints that have been encountered. This study attempted to investigate the extent to which environmental education had been integrated into the mathematics school curriculum of Lusaka urban Basic and Secondary schools. It Iooked at the attitude of both teachers and pupils towards the programme and how this had affected the integration. The sample of the study was composed of pupils and mathematics teachers from thirty-three selected Basic and High schools in Lusaka urban district. Data were collected using questionnaire, interview schedule and a content analysis guide. The items which were analyzed included data from self administered questionnaires , mathematics curriculum documents, mathematics textbooks, continuing professional development (CPD), teachers’ workshops, activities and practices, especially lesson.observations.The findings of this study revealed that although teachers had positive attitude towards environmental education but they had misconceptions about natural and environmental phenomena. They lacked knowledge about how the environment functioned, consequently, failed to develop environmental literacy as they were not able to incorporate environmental concepts into the mathematics subjects they are teaching. The study further revealed some high overall levels of environmental issues being captioned in some mathematics curriculum documents, but the way they were presented in these documents and the way teachers approached lesson delivery did not help pupils to develop positive attitudes towards the environment. However, the overall level of environmental issues integration was found to be very high in the primary school section of grades 1 to 7 mathematics textbooks that were analysed, but very low in the secondary school section of grades 8 to 12 mathematics textbooks. The finding of the study also revealed that a multi-disciplinary approach had been used in integrating
Environmental Education-Zambia , Environmental Education-Study and Teaching-Zambia