Social communication towards sustainable physical science learning environments

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    This article documents how social communication among actors in one of the projects in our academic network creates sustainable learning environments at a school and its local community. Social communication is understood to be the symbolic order that emerges when these actors (human beings), in a reciprocal manner, explain and share the intentions, processes and outcomes of their actions. In this study, actors who communicate among themselves in the academic network are teachers, learners, parents, members of the community, postgraduate student researchers and their supervisors. Such communication is deliberate and it is organised, among others, towards enhancing academic performance of school learners as well as the empowerment of other actors participating therein. Using network theory the author comes to understand how this network as the space of flows of knowledge and communication was created and meaningfully used to achieve the abovementioned objectives. Analysing the conversations of actors within this network further, using critical discourse analytic procedures, also shows how they combine their tacit community cultural wealth and global knowledge to scaffold themselves to higher forms of conceptual sophistication. Through this intersection of “knowledges”, learning environments become sustainable as actors own them through self-generated communications and knowledge.