Curriculum and its contribution to awareness of climate change among learners in secondary schools in Githunguri Sub-County, Kiambu County, Kenya
Kariuki, Charles Ndiritu
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ABSTRACT Climate change poses a danger to the current and the future generations. Sad to note though is the fact that although developing countries have contributed the least to the current mess, they will be more impacted due to their limited technology to adapt to the consequences. As a remedy to the current situation, formal education has been identified as a major tool of passing the required knowledge, skills and changing people’s attitude towards climate change. However, most education curricula in developing countries have little content on climate change. It is for this reason that this study set out to establish the contribution of curriculum in creating awareness of climate change among learners in secondary schools in Githunguri Sub-county of Kiambu County in Kenya. The study was guided by three objectives: To establish the key areas of climate change addressed by the current Kenya’s secondary school formal curriculum; to establish the extent to which implementation of the curriculum contributes to awareness of climate change among teachers and students and to evaluate effectiveness of curriculum developers in infusing climate change content into Kenya’s secondary school curriculum. To achieve the set objectives, the study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The study adopted purposive, stratified and simple random sampling techniques to compose a representative sample. Using stratified sampling technique, schools were divided into either boys, girls or mixed before selecting a sample of 10 schools. From the sampled schools, stratified sampling was used to dividing teachers into departments before employing simple random sampling technique to select a sample of 8 teachers from each of the sampled schools making a total sample of 80 teachers. Purposive sampling technique was used to select form four students before employing simple random sampling to select a sample of 10 students from each of the schools making a total of 100 students as part of the sample. Purposive sampling was also used to select a sample of 8 subjects for content analysis. Purposive sampling technique was also employed to select 8 respondents from the curriculum developer in Kenya. The study used a thematic area content analysis template to undertake content analysis on sampled subjects. Data from teachers and students was obtained using different questionnaires for each of the categories. An interview guide was used to collect data from sampled Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development officers. Quantitative data collected was analysed using inferential statistics while qualitative data was analysed through descriptions and narratives. Statistical Package for Social Science and Minitab programs were utilised to enhance quality analysis. Analysed data was presented in tables of frequencies, graphs and charts. Analysed data established that sampled subjects had an aggregate variation ratio of 0.44. A statistical test established that the chi-square value was greater than the significant value, that is 0.567>0.495. A conclusion was made that climate change content in the sampled subjects was inadequate. On the relationship between implementation of curriculum and awareness among teachers, the chi-square value was greater than the significant value, 0.794>0.659, and therefore the relationship was not significant. However for students a significant relationship was established with likelihood ratio being less than the significant value, 0.196>0.658. Finally the study established that 63% and 13% of sampled curriculum developers rated the curriculum as poor or very poor respectively. This implied that infusion of climate change content into the curriculum was not been effective. Results of this study are likely to be beneficial in policy, practical and theoretical dimensions.