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Combining Development of Environmental Education with a Search for Mechanisms of Mental Ownership Generation through the SEET Project in Thailand

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Title: Combining Development of Environmental Education with a Search for Mechanisms of Mental Ownership Generation through the SEET Project in Thailand


1
Combining Development of Environmental Education
with a Search for Mechanisms of Mental
Ownership Generation through the SEET Project in
Thailand
  • Presentation at
  • Dialogmøde om u-landsrelateret uddannelsesforsknin
    g
  • 15th January 2009 Eigtveds pakhus IV, Copenhagen
  • By
  • Søren Breiting
  • Research Programme for Environmental and Health
    Education/
  • DPU/University of Aarhus

2
School children in Namibia
3
Thai school children
4
What is the background?
  • When projects fail
  • - Reason often too little local feeling of
    ownership
  • When resources stop achieved innovation stops
  • Reason Often too little local feeling of
    ownership
  • When teachers on in-service training continue
    teaching as usual afterwards
  • Reason Often too little local feeling of
    ownership

5
Two types of Ownership
  • to property, things, innovations, ideas,
    documents, intellectual products
  • Legal ownership
  • Based on external acceptance
  • Mental ownership
  • Based on internal engagement

6
My interest in Mental Ownership
  • Was started during a midterm review of the Life
    Science Project in Nabimia in 1997 from a point
    of view of sustainablility of implemented
    innovations
  • Has been with me all since ?
  • Was researched as a follow up research related to
    the SEET Project in Thailand after 2004
    (Strengthening Environmental Education in
    Thailand)

7
The Importance of Sustainability and Developing a
Sense of Ownership (For a project intervention)
  • Some specific aspects stimulate the development
    of a sense ownership, among others
  • If all involved participate in the goal setting
    or strategy formulation, etc.
  • If all concerned are regarded as equal partners
    in the process.
  • If all have a direct interest in the changes.
  • If those involved give input to the process.
  • If they can find their fingerprint in the final
    outcome.
  • If they receive some form of recognition for
    their contribution to the process.
  • --------------------------------------------------
    --------------------------------------------------
    --
  • Fig.text.
  • A summary of specific aspects that seemed to
    support the development of a sense of ownership
    among stakeholders related to educational
    development from the school level up to the
    national level, identified during the mid term
    review of The Life Science Project in Namibia.
  • (After
    Breiting, Imene Macfarlane Life Science
    Project Midterm Review. 1997)

8
Strengthening Environmental Education in
Thailand (SEET Project, 2001-2004)
  • was funded by the Danish Development Agency
    (Danida 2002) and coordinated by the Thai
    Ministry of Education to develop an integrated
    learner centred environmental education based on
    an action competence approach carried out in
    interaction with the communities (Danida 2002
    9).
  • The SEET project covered all levels of the Thai
    general educational system ministries,
    provincial authorities, educational advisors,
    school administration, teachers and their
    classroom practices and interactions.
  • The focus was on decentralisation, development of
    a school-based curriculum, learner-centred
    teaching methods, teachers and advisors
    professional development, whole school
    approaches, and building links with the local
    communities.
  • Throughout all stages of the project (initiation,
    pre-project period and implementing phases), SEET
    had the modernisation of Thai schools and
    teaching as the target, and environmental
    education as the point of departure.

9
Researching mental ownership
  • The complexity and goals of SEET made it possible
    to explore participation and mental ownership in
    relation to a number of issues
  • project development and achieved innovations,
  • conceptual development of environmental education
    (e.g. links between environmental education and
    ESD),
  • professional development,
  • approaches to teacher training,
  • action research,
  • the idea of greening schools (whole school
    approaches).

10
Research approach
  • Interviewing 12 participants in the SEET project
    a year after its implementation and close down.
    People representing all levels, from top
    mininistry civil servants, to supervisors to
    common school teachers
  • Trying to find contraditions to my tentative
    ideas about which mechanisms generate mental
    ownership to a project

11
Some findings
  • .. there was an overall sense of the project as
    mine but shared with others.
  • Some referred directly to their influence (my
    hope was, that ) or that it was in their spirit
    and intentions what the project was aiming at.

12
More findings Social recognition
  • Interviewees also pointed to the influence of
    recognition at higher level in the hierarchy
    (such as the Ministry) as an important factor
    influencing commitment to the project and
    responsibility.
  • Several of the interviewees experienced
    recognition by being invited to participate as a
    speaker or resource person in other schools or
    regions after the closing of the project.
  • Participants gained an additional feeling of
    achievement and recognition through the
    publication and wide availability of small
    reports which they had individually written up as
    interesting cases and which were perceived as
    project achievements.

13
If you fight for something you gain ownership to
the achievements
  • The more involvement and effort to achieve a
    certain change, process or outcome in a
    situation, the higher the level of mental
    ownership possible for those involved.

14
Connection between level/quality of participation
and the development of mental ownership(Participa
tion is about here and now Mental ownership
is for the long run)
15
Levels of generated mental ownership
  • Theoretically, we can imagine a full continuum of
    levels of mental ownership, from very low by not
    having being involved at all, to very high by
    being the sole person that has decided everything
    and done everything alone.

16
Hen or egg?
  • Participation ? (generates)? Ownership
  • An interesting question to ask is, what happens
    when people already have a certain level of
    ownership towards an issue, topic or object?
    Presumably, we will experience more
    participation, i.e. a timeline like
  • Ownership ? (generates) ? Participation

17
The enforcing cycles
  • Participation ? Ownership ? Participation ?
    Ownership? Participation ? Ownership
  • It could equally well be
  • Ownership ? Participation ? Ownership?
    Participation ? Ownership ? Participation
  • ( a kind of centrifugal power mechanism)

18
Important for sustainability
  • It is assumed that the level of mental ownership
    influences a persons future engagement and
    motivation in situations involving the thing(s)
    or situations, to which the person feels
    ownership.

19
What is the effect of a high level of Mental
Ownership, e.g. to a project in education?
  • You burn for the project
  • You fight for the ideas
  • You relate to the project even you dont need it
    in some situations
  • You overcome obstacles
  • You spread the ideas and practice
  • You argue for the usefulness of the project

20
Coming ressource website
  • www.MentalOwnership.net
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