Sustainability Initiatives in Queensland Schools: Is Socio-Ecological Resilience the Way Forward?

Evans, Neus (Snowy), Gooch, Margaret, and Whitehouse, Hilary (2010) Sustainability Initiatives in Queensland Schools: Is Socio-Ecological Resilience the Way Forward? Report. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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This study investigated the relationship between social-ecological resilience theory and wholeschool education for sustainabilily practice in four Far North Queensland schools with a reputation for exemplary practice in education for sustainability. A set of qualitative indicators (ie statements capturing characteristics of community scale resilience) were developed by exploring the governance, physical surrounds, resource management, teaching and learning, curriculum organisation, networks and partnerships and school ethos attributes of the schools, based on the domains set out in the Australian Government's National Environmental Education Statement (NEES, 2005). These are:

1. A School ethos which is openly discussed and shared by all members of the school community, which reflects the social, environmental and cultural values of the school community, and at the same time fosters higher order learning, diversity, trust, and understands, manages and when necessary, embraces change.

2. School govemance in which school leaders demonstrate flexibility and adaptability, creativity, democracy, altruism, tenacity and recursiveness, trust, and active support of staff and students.

3. Physical surrounds which demonstrate landscape diversity, minimal litter, active management of invasive weeds and pest animals, use of sustainable technologies.

4. Active resource management addressed through the implementation of a locally relevant whole school environmental management plan (SEMP).

5. Teaching and learning which fosters creativity, self-organisation, higher order thinking skills and flexible teaching and learning.

6. Curriculum (ie education planning) which is flexible, local, problem-based, culturally inclusive and integrated.

7. Networks and partnerships which are diverse and flexible.

Item ID: 16445
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: sustainability, schools, resilience, theory, capacity
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Report to the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility, June, 2010

Funders: Marine & Tropical Sciences Research Facility MTSRF
Projects and Grants: MTSRF Australian Government project
Date Deposited: 18 May 2011 00:32
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology @ 50%
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