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An exercise in environmental education: investigating, disseminating and evaluating two contrasting floodwater metaphors.

Namafe, Charles Mwendabai.; (1992) An exercise in environmental education: investigating, disseminating and evaluating two contrasting floodwater metaphors. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

In academic and real life, issues of water have been predominantly ruled by a single approach. Such an approach, I argue, is the enemy metaphorical vision and I contend that this metaphorical vision comes particularly from the Dutch culture. It is further argued that the Dutch enemy vision, while not only problematic and giving rise to questions, is also nearly global in extent now. Running alongside the Dutch dominated Western metaphor I argue for the existence of another approach to water and floods. This is the Lozi flood approach in Western Zambia. The Lozi metaphorically view floodwaters as a patelo (ie. an open space in the centre of a village, public place). In effect, we have two contrasting views, namely, the 'enemy' and 'patelo' flood metaphors belonging to the Dutch and Lozi cultures respectively. Indeed, in the course of writing and researching this thesis I came to realise that the Dutch vision of water as enemy may be seen as metaphorical in itself for Western attitudes and policies towards water and floods. Throughout the thesis the Dutch enemy vision stands in as metaphor. This needs to be understood. Particular contexts are reviewed in order to understand the enemy/patelo issue and include (a) the Western flood-hazard school of thought (b) the Western Zambian experiences (c) environmentalism and (d) the 'serviceknowledge' concept for the role of universities in the dissemination of knowledge and understanding. Since the view of floods originating with the Dutch is, arguablyl considered to be a problem and now global in extent, the idea in this inquiry is to propose as a partial solution materials which would be seen, debated and assessed internationally. Theoretically, the proposed solution consists of an exercise in environmental education and a 'serviceknowledge' concept of education as defined in the text. In practice, the theoretical and abstract concept of serviceknowledge takes the tangible form of a pamphlet (for the local Zambian public) and the 'video script in embryo' (for the international public outside Zambia). Moreover, in practically carrying out the study, I adopt a mixture of three research paradigms, namely, the positivist, interpretive and action research paradigms. The pamphlet and video script are, in effect, both research instruments and dissemination techniques. The results of the inquiry are reported in discussion. My position moves from two contrasting ideas of natural floods to three different and contextually based interpretations of the biblical flood story. The study concludes with a hope that our knowledge of and attitudes towards floods and flooding, as well as modes of university public service in education, will have increased slightly in the course and aftermath of this inquiry.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: An exercise in environmental education: investigating, disseminating and evaluating two contrasting floodwater metaphors.
Language: English
Additional information: Comprises two volumes. Pages 385-823 are appendices. Access to this thesis is restricted to repository staff due to third party rights or other legal issues.
Keywords: Environmental education,Hydrology,Floods,Zambia,Environmental psychology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10018847
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