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Learning as connection in Science Teacher Education: 

A case for mainstreaming Societal Issues into Science Teacher Education Courses

Presented by Royda KAMPABA (University of Copperbelt, Zambia)

From the Faculty of Education at the University of León (Spain), in discussion with: Theresa OFOEGBU (University of Nigeria), J.M. DIAZ & Samuel ALVÁREZ

Tuesday, Dec 1st, 2015, 19:00 (ECT)

In this case study, researchers evaluated national education policies in Zambia, analysed a localised science (Chemistry 5070) syllabus, assessed a university teaching methods course, and evaluated 54 mathematics and science education students’ perceptions on mainstreaming education for sustainable development (ESD)/societal into their courses.  

ESD goes beyond environmental issues to include quality and relevance of science education. ESD was a salient matter in education policies and in the preamble to Chemistry 5070, but not in the university teaching methods course. The chemistry syllabus included societal issues in the ‘notes’ section, but was lacking in guidance on teaching and learning approaches to integrate the issues. The university Teaching Methods course did not include content and methods to assist teachers to effectively teach Chemistry 5070 and to integrate sustainability issues into it. Students surveyed had some awareness of ESD issues and most were inclined to suggest that ESD issues must be mainstreamed into their courses, especially in educational theory courses; few students suggested natural sciences as carrier subjects for ESD. The findings pointed to a discrepancy among educational policies, school Chemistry 5070 and the university teaching methods courses. A paradigm shift is recommended in order that the quality and relevance of science education be viewed via the metaphor of ‘learning as connection’ and that Shulman’s (1986) pedagogical content knowledge model be adapted so that content and pedagogy of science courses are inclusive of social and humanistic issues such as those advocated in ESD discourse.

Royda Chibulu Kampamba
 is lecturer in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the department of Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Copperbelt (Zambia). Currently, she is the coordinator of Science Education and visiting Professor at the University of León.  She studied philosophy of education at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and advanced diploma and diploma in science education at Mukuba University in Zambia specialising in chemistry (1982-84, 1988). Master of Education specialising in specific learning difficulties and Bachelor of philosophy in educational studies specialising in thinking skills, cognitive acceleration in science education (2001-2004).  

She worked as a secondary school science teacher and science teacher educator in a College of Education. She is a co-establisher of the department of mathematics and science education and of sustainability (2007, 2009).  She has participated in the Southern African Environmental Education, Vrije University in Netherlands and UNESCO short courses, workshops, research and conferences.  She has presented papers and a published article among them is “The Role of Science Language in Teaching Thinking Skills” in science.  She is a member of the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) research network based at Rhodes University, South Africa.  Her research interests are in science innovative teaching and learning in secondary and primary schools; chemistry/science teacher Education, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research and exploring pre-colonial Zambia indigenous science and technology knowledge.
José María Díaz Nafría,
28 nov. 2015 12:06