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Educational Research for Social Change

On-line version ISSN 2221-4070


KALUNGWIZI, Vituce Jelasy; GJ0TTERUD, Sigrid Marie  and  KROGH, Erling. Democratie Processes to Overcome Destructive Power Relations and Sustain Environmental Education in Primary Schools: Implications for Teacher Education in Tanzania. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2019, vol.8, n.2, pp.61-76. ISSN 2221-4070.

This paper is based on a follow-up study of a participatory action research (PAR) project aimed at improving environmental education (EE) in teacher colleges and primary schools in Tanzania. The aim of the current paper is to discuss the power relations involved in sustaining the EE process initiated in the PAR project. We developed two research questions: "To what degree do the democratic processes in the PAR project enable the tutors, teachers, and local community members to continue developing EE while simultaneously addressing the environmental challenges?" and "In what ways do the power relations influence the further development of EE?" We conducted focus-group discussions and interviews with the college dean, tutors from the selected teacher college, and teachers from primary schools who had participated in the project, one year after the researcher left the project. In addition, we interviewed village leaders and local experts. Finally, we undertook nonparticipant observations. We found that, despite hierarchical decisions to transfer teachers, the EE learning processes started in the PAR project continued. We discuss the possibilities for strengthening democratic relations in the educational system in Tanzania through PAR, and recommend the inclusion of PAR in the teacher education curriculum in Tanzania.

Keywords : environmental education; educational governance; Tanzania; participatory action research; teacher education.

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