n Journal of Educational Studies - Enhancing synergy : a strategic interrogation of the intersection between social justice and the creation of sustainable learning environments




This paper interrogates the intersection between the creation of sustainable Physical Science learning environments (SULE) and social justice (SJ). It depicts SULE and SJ as mutually inclusive processes and goals with a transformational and empowering focus. This depiction serves to strengthen the argument for development and the use of critical operational strategies that enrich and deepen the inherent synergy between SULE and SJ. A recent study and strategy on 'transformational learning of Physical Science through service learning for sustainability' (TLSL), is considered to advance the argument in this paper. The democratic and collaborative participatory action of the participants in this endeavour is pivotal. The centrality of the participants' participatory social action resides in the inherent issues of oppression, exclusion and power struggles. These realities influence the participants' commitment towards social justice principles of equity, peace, hope and freedom. The creation of sustainable learning environments is in the same vein imbued with realities associated with addressing learners' real life needs as well as those associated with the curriculum content which must be learned. The learning needs which are to be addressed can be derived from the services rendered by the participants, namely learners, parents and community members. Thus, learning and service take place simultaneously to the benefit of all the participants and the community. The participants' continual engagements that are characterised by mutual respect and trust enhance their working relations and communication to the extent that they become open and transparent about issues that matter.


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