Building capacity in education for sustainability: a model of practice

Hickey, Ruth L., and Whitehouse, Hilary (2010) Building capacity in education for sustainability: a model of practice. In: Proceedings of Australian Teacher Education Association Conference. pp. 1-8. From: ATEA 2010 Australian Teacher Education Association Conference, 4-7 July 2010, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Sustainability has been described as a "recalibration of human intentions to coincide with the ways the biophysical world works" (Orr, 2005, p. xiv). It is timely to determine teacher educators' perceptions of sustainability education, and how they position their teaching to support preservice teachers to (a) develop robust knowledges, practices and values of conservation, stewardship, appreciation of ecological limits and socio-ecological interdependence and (b) understand in sufficient depth and breadth, to teach these skills and understandings to youth, who will be enacting their beliefs within tropical ecosystems. Such work builds on strategic initiatives for system-wide change (Ferreira, Ryan & Tilbury, 2006). This paper reports on the extent of centrality of sustainability education in lecturer practice, as found in a Queensland university School of Education. Using data from a research method of semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with Education lecturers, a multi-level classification model of practice was developed. Categories were developed to describe levels of engagement with education for sustainability (EfS) practice, these are: explicit practice, opportunistic practice, cultural and social focus, integrated focus and not included. The results identifY a range of current strategies that embed, to varying degrees, awareness of sustainability into lecturers' practice, when planning programs, courses, learning activities and assessment. This information can be used to suggest a direction for strategic change, and increase the centrality of EfS in lecturer practice.

Item ID: 16440
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9752324-5-3
Keywords: embedding, sustainability, pre-service, teacher, education
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 13:29
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 100%
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