ABS217 - The significance of values and ethico-moral positions for transformative learning in contexts of social-ecological and economic vulnerability: A CHAT-led exploration

2.7 Other topics related to Theme 2
9:50 AM, Friday 1 Sep 2017 (20 minutes)
Values and ethico-moral positions are of significance to CHAT researchers because, (i) they are historically emergent in sociomaterial and cultural systems, and (ii) they influence agentive actions. However, investigating and understanding these ‘invisible’ dimensions of activity systems poses theoretical and methodological challenges. This paper draws on a case study of how the ethico-moral dimensions of tree-planting activities influence the environmental learning processes of teachers and learners in a school in a small South African city. The paper describes how values (explicit and tacit) and ethico-moral positions are dispersed and influential across all aspects of the school greening activity system and play an important role in the actualisation of individual and collective agency in relation to the object of the activity system. The case study's data suggest that ethico-moral engagement is not just ideational but is also entwined in the material relations and embodied experiences of tree-planting activities. These insights invite further exploration of the development and significance of values and ethico-moral positions in the transformation of human activity. The paper argues that such explorations are especially important for current and future CHAT-related research and interventions in contexts of environmental risk and rapid sociocultural and politico-economic change.
Rhodes University, Environmental Learning Research Centre