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Chapter 10 A Call for Transformative Learning in Southern Africa

Abstract

People in Southern Africa face escalating levels of risk and uncertainty, and consequent vulnerability, because of multiple stresses, including climate change, environmental degradation, HIV/AIDS, poverty, and political instability. Considerable and sustained efforts in education for sustainable development (ESD) are noteworthy in helping communities to tackle these problems and to endeavor to become more sustainable. In Southern Africa, many factors make realizing action-oriented and transformative learning an immense challenge. First, historical antecedents have resulted in a curriculum that reflects the colonial past and thus impinges on the framing and internalization of curriculum reforms inspired by an ESD frame of reference. Second, the region faces roadblocks similar to those identified by , impeding the development of transformative learning for climate action. In this chapter, we probe these challenges in light of revised curriculum frameworks in Zambia and Zimbabwe. We use teacher and student voices from a baseline study conducted in 2015 to show gaps in curriculum implementation. The chapter suggests that the adoption of a pedagogy inspired by an Afrocentric philosophy, Ubuntu, is a way to transform learning in the direction of sustainability and of thinking and taking action to address climate change.

Open Access
In: Curriculum and Learning for Climate Action