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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (2019)

An investigation of plant conservation strategies employed in Makhanda, South Africa : an educational exploration

Cimi, Pumlani Viwe

Titre : An investigation of plant conservation strategies employed in Makhanda, South Africa : an educational exploration

Auteur : Cimi, Pumlani Viwe

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2019

Résumé partiel
The school curriculum in South Africa gives educators the freedom to design and organise learning experiences according to their local circumstances and availability of resources. In that context, this study advocates conservation education through use of plants on school grounds and visits to local herbaria and botanical gardens as part of the school curriculum. Trees growing on street verges in town suburbs are also a resource that could be using for teaching. School learners from three schools representing different areas of Makhanda (Grahamstown) participated in plant-related activities and were surveyed to determine their prior knowledge about plants and plant conservation. Learners answered a series of questions in writing using a funnel sequence and the inverted funnel sequence in questionnaire design. This motivated respondents to co-operate and fully complete a questionnaire. In addition, the non-participant observation technique was used to capture behavioural reactions to the activities in order to supplement the data generated through questionnaires and interviews. This proved to be a purposeful, systematic and a selective way of watching and listening to an interaction phenomenon as it takes place. Interviews and questionnaires revealed that most Makhanda residents (especially in rural and township areas) use traditional medicine and medicinal plants to treat many diseases. They also use plants for cultural activities. Traditional remedies are practised among the rural and township communities because of ease of availability, convenience, and also due to social, psychological and cultural reasons. Medicinal plants have been increasingly recognized for their role not only for health care, but also for improving the economic status. Community members and street vendors were also questioned using semi-structured interviews. Open-ended questions were used successfully to assess the person’s knowledge, attitudes, opinions, beliefs and feelings.

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Page publiée le 11 avril 2020