An assessment of the incorporation and the teaching of environmental studies in primary schools in Murang'a District
Mang'uriu, Daniel Gathuru
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This study assessed the extent of incorporation and the teaching of Environmental studies in primary schools in Murang'a district. The upper primary syllabuses were examined to ,identify topics on Environmental studies included. Forty primary school teachers, eight from each of the five divisions in the district were selected using stratified random selection. Each teacher filled a questionnaire containing two parts. Part 1 assessed teachers' attitudes towards the environment and Environmental studies. Part II assessed the teaching of Environmental studies in 'primary schools. The findings of the study were quantified and expressed in percentages. The examination of the upper primary syllabuses revealed that, a multi-disciplinary approach is used to teach Environmental studies. The disciplines containing Environmental studies are: Combined course (Geography, History and Civics), Agriculture, Science and Horne Science. The findings of the study showed that teachers in Murang'a district are aware of the state of the Environment and have positive attitudes towards the x environment. The majority of teachers agreed that concern for the environment should be a duty for every' citizen. Most teachers agreed that environmental ed~cation should play the vital role of changing pupils' attitudes, values and behaviour with a view to making pupils respect, appreciate and protect the environment. The study revealed that most teachers in the district frequently used the environment as a teaching resource. No text book on environmental education was being used in primary schools visited. Most teachers had no training on how to incorporate environmental education into their instructional programmes. The problems faced by teachers included shortage of reference books, lack of finance to organize field trips and other problems. Recommendations to ensure that environmental studies are effective in promoting environmental awareness and solving environmental problems inc lude those- t.o:the inspectorate, curriculum developers, suppliers of teaching materials and the school community. Recommendations for further research include an assessment:of pupils attitudes towards the environment, research on whether pupils apply the knowledge acquired on environmental education after they graduate from primary schools and others.