Incorporating Education for Sustainability into a Pre-Service Elementary School Teachers’ Program
With the declaration of UNESCO’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) a science and environmental studies lecturer in elementary pre-service teacher education at an Australian University became committed to incorporating sustainability, as defined by the declaration, into teacher education subjects. This process began with a grass roots approach of incorporating Education for Sustainability into an existing subject, a first year science and technology subject of a Bachelor of Education (Primary) program. The themes of sustainability as defined in the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development were incorporated into a Sustainability Forum prepared and delivered by pre-service teachers. The pre-service teachers also worked with community groups on sustainability of the natural environment. Two questionnaires were completed by pre-service teachers, one after the Sustainability Forum and one after the pre-service teachers had returned from working with community groups. It was found that pre-service teachers had a wide view of sustainability and clear ideas of how they could introduce these views of sustainability into elementary school classrooms. This small case study was part of a larger cross-universities project funded by the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability (ARIES).
Keywords: Pre-Service Teachers, Sustainability, Education
Dr. Barbara M. Odgers
Lecturer in Science Education, School of Education