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‘No One Should Destroy the Forest': Using photo-based vignette interviews to understand Kenyan teachers' views of the environment
International Journal of Science Education
  • Cassie Quigley, Clemson University
  • Zachary D Miller, Clemson University
  • James Dogbey, Clemson University
  • S Megan Che, Clemson University
  • Jeffrey Hallo, Clemson University
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Taylor & Francis
In the midst of the current environmental crisis, scientists, academics, authors, and politicians worldwide are urging citizens to create sustainable communities. However, there is little capability to build a sustainable society without an informed, active, and engaged populous. This requires more than just environmentally knowledgeable citizens. It requires a society that understands the principles of the environment and can also exemplify them in daily life. In order to create a more environmentally literate world, there has been a push for environmental education integrated into schools. This qualitative study sought to examine Kenyan teachers’ perspectives on the human–nature interaction by conducting vignette focus-group interviews. It is a subject not widely explored but vital for conservation not only in this area, but also other areas that seek to have an ecological informed populous. The vignettes were created using photographs and explanations of the photographs that the participants collected and emailed to the authors. For the focus-group vignette interviews, there were a total of 55 participants (30 females and 25 males). After InVivo analysis, we had 6 codes (resentment, pride, perils, blame, pragmatism, and self-interested) within 3 major themes. This study has implications for informing science education to combat these traditions of subjecting students to a science curriculum that demotes Kenyan cultural heritage and lifestyle. By incorporating local knowledge such as the ideas discussed in this paper into Kenyan science education, Kenyans can reach one of most challenging objectives of education, which is to produce children who are fundamentally aware of their environment.

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