HDE (Zoology and Botany); FDE (Environmental Education); MED (Environmental Education)
Dissertation title: A Critical Realist Dialectical Understanding of Environmental Learning Pathways
Presha Ramsarup’s PhD was situated within a Rhodes University / South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) research partnership. The research programme aimed to investigate the nature of learning pathways for environmental protection, sustainable development and a green economy in South Africa and thus lay at the nexus of two important areas for development, policy, and education namely, work and learning and sustainable development.
The empirical context of this study was framed by three cases: case one – explored the emergence of green skills within the supply platforms of the post school system in South Africa. Cases two and three were occupational case studies focused on environmental scientists and environmental engineers. The study focused on what learning pathways exist for key environmental occupations and how these are shaped by the interplay of systemic factors, agentive factors and/or absences.
The study used two conceptual schemas, to attempt to portray environmental learning pathways as complex social phenomenon. The multi-level perspective of transitioning to sustainable development helped to illustrate the co-evolutionary processes of systems during sustainability transitions. To reinforce this heuristic and strengthen the ontological under-labouring, the study used the critical realist notion of laminated systems that enabled pathways to be studied as analytically separate but systemically whole. The study provided a deeper understanding of the systemic issues associated with learning pathways construction, and of transitioning processes that occur as people ‘cross boundaries’ in learning pathways construction into specialist environmental jobs.
Presha has worked as a practicing educator, professional development facilitator and environmental education advisor. She has served a technical advisor to both provincial and national government to support the development of environmental and sustainability education within South Africa’s education and training transformation process.
She is currently actively involved in programme co-ordination of the National Green Skills Project. Her work is focused on supporting Green Skills development through an employer led demand project to identify green jobs and opportunities for green jobs in various sub-sectors.
Keywords: Learning Pathways, Learning and Work Transitioning; Green Skills
Supervisor: Prof Heila Sisitka
Last Modified: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 15:16:14 SAST