Whole-school approaches to sustainability: a review of models for professional development in pre-service teacher education

Project report


Ferreira, Jo-Anne, Ryan, Lisa and Tilbury, Daniella. 2006. Whole-school approaches to sustainability: a review of models for professional development in pre-service teacher education. North Ryde, Australia. Macquarie University.
Title

Whole-school approaches to sustainability: a review of models for professional development in pre-service teacher education

Report TypeProject report
AuthorsFerreira, Jo-Anne (Author), Ryan, Lisa (Author) and Tilbury, Daniella (Author)
Institution of OriginMacquarie University
Number of Pages102
Year2006
PublisherMacquarie University
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, Australia
ISBN9781741381795
Web Address (URL)https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/publications/whole-school-approaches-to-sustainability-a-review-of-models-for-
Abstract

Recognising the vital role that teacher education plays in achieving changes in Australian schools, this report investigates ways in which Learning for Sustainability can be mainstreamed in teacher education. The report begins by outlining the context within which teacher education initiatives are framed. It examines the current structures of pre-service education courses and influences on teacher education institutions. It also reviews thinking and practice in Learning for Sustainability in this sector, identifying whole-school approaches to sustainability as a powerful means of advancing the sustainability agenda in schools. Whole-school approaches recognise that sustainability is relevant to all aspects of school life including formal and hidden curricula, school leadership and management as well as teacher development. Whole-school approaches encourage schools to practise what they preach. At present, whole-school approaches to sustainability are not widespread in Australia. There are some efforts to remedy this situation. The Australian Government’s National Environmental Education Statement for Australian Schools and the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative are making progress in this area. However, the uptake of these initiatives is dependent on teachers who are knowledgeable about sustainability and have the capacity to implement whole-school approaches. Unfortunately, pre-service teacher education in Australia does not prepare teachers well for this task. In their initial training, teachers may learn about sustainability in science, geography, or studies of society and environment curricula. However, sustainability does not feature in educational leadership, management, psychology or sociology classes thereby limiting the potential for whole-school approaches. This study recognises the need to address this and find an effective mechanism to bring about change within pre-service teacher education programs so that Learning for Sustainability becomes an integral part of initial training. The research set out to review Environmental Education or Education for Sustainability initiatives targeted at this level. The report essentially seeks to identify the models of professional development that underpin these initiatives and to review their effectiveness in achieving change at this level.

Keywordsteacher education; Australian schools; Learning for Sustainability
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390105. Environmental education curriculum and pedagogy
390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
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Byline AffiliationsGriffith University
Macquarie University
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