Accounting for the Potential of a Reflective Practice Framework to Enhance Environmental Management in South African Local Government

By Eben le Roux.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In consideration of the challenges faced by practitioners in local government when it comes to the implementation of environmental management in practice, this paper supports a social learning approach to environmental management, which embraces reflective practice. Feedback is provided on the preliminary results of a current action research study in South African local government which aims to appraise the potential of a specific reflective practice framework to enhance environmental management in this transitional context. Consideration is given to some practical outcomes experienced in the roll-out of the reflective practice framework so far, as well as to preliminary data analysis outcomes, such as the nature of reflective practice and in the host organisation. Attention is also given to potential factors influencing the effectiveness of reflective practice in the host organisation and how they could be related to the challenges being experienced in the roll-out of the reflective practice framework.

Keywords: Reflective Practice, Action Learning, Environmental Management, Local Government

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp.255-266. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 772.589KB).

Eben le Roux

PhD student, School for Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Manchester, Manchester, UK

I am a South African PhD student, currently on a Commonwealth Scholarship in the UK at the University of Manchester, where I am doing research on the implementation of environmental management in local government. I am particularly aware of the current challenging context in which local government practitioners in South Africa have to perform their duties, due to the transitional phase the government is going through. It could be argued that this challenging context often has a detrimental impact on the ability of practitioners to perform. I therefore hope that I would be able to contribute with this action research study not only to research, but also to practice in an emancipatory manner. Previous work experience: from 2002 - 2006, I worked for the Centre for Environmental Management in Potchefstroom, South Africa, where I was involved in the development and roll-out of environmental management training. This experience helped me gain an understanding of the challenging context that many environmental management practitioners currently face in our transitional local government in South Africa. I have a BSc degree in environmental science and an honours and a master’s degree in Environmental Management, which I received at the North West University, in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

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