Learning to Embed Sustainability in Teacher Education

Ferreira, Jo-Anne, Evans, Neus (Snowy), Davis, Julie, and Stevenson, Robert (Bob) (2019) Learning to Embed Sustainability in Teacher Education. Springer Briefs in Education . Springer, Singapore.

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Education systems have a key role to play in preparing future citizens to engage in sustainable living practices and help create a more sustainable world. Many schools around the world have begun to develop whole-school approaches to education for sustainability (EfS) that are supported by national and state policies and curriculum frameworks. In addition, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) guidelines for teacher education (2005) and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (2015) are setting an agenda and direction that builds on the activity and focus generated by the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014). Initial teacher education, however, lags behind in the effort to build the capacity of new teachers to initiate and implement such approaches (Evans, Stevenson, Lasen, Ferreira & Davis, 2017;Steele, 2010). Evidence suggests this is because there is limited or no core environmental or sustainability knowledge or pedagogy being provided in a thorough and systematic fashion through initial teacher education and in-service courses and programs (Bjo rneloo & Nyberg, 2007; Evans, et al., 2017; Ferreira, Ryan & Tilbury, 2007).

A major reason for this state of affairs is that teacher education is a complex process and sustainability is a complex concept. Teacher education systems have multiple interconnected, hierarchical levels; institutionalized subsystems; complex rules; and numerous stakeholders and interest groups with competing agendas (Ferreira & Ryan, 2012). Sustainability is also a complex, context-dependent concept with multiple variations and interpretations ranging from ‘weak’ to ‘strong’ (Neumayer, 2013). While teacher educators have a well-developed understanding of education systems, few have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to incorporate a sustainability orientation into their teaching of teacher education students (UNESCO, 2005). The challenge for teacher education, therefore, is to develop teachers who understand and can employ an EfS framework to inform their future teaching and learning practices (UNESCO, 2005). The initiative discussed in this book sought, over a decade, to address this challenge through implementing a systems approach to embedding sustainability in teacher education institutions in Australia. We provide an overview of the key stages of this initiative, discuss our rationale, and explain the model used to facilitate change. Additionally, we offer descriptive exemplars illustrating changes in teacher education facilitated through the initiative and provide a ‘how to’ guide and key lessons learnt. These are resources to be employed by those seeking to facilitate a system-wide change initiative in their organizations.

Item ID: 58959
Item Type: Book (Edited)
ISBN: 978-981-13-9536-9
ISSN: 2211-193X
Keywords: sustainability education; education for sustainability; teacher education; pre-service teacher education;
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Copyright Information: (C) The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 01:57
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified @ 30%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators @ 30%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 40%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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