Incorporating Education for Sustainability into a Pre-service Elementary School Teachers’ Program

By Barbara M. Odgers.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With the declaration of the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) a science educator at an Australian university became committed to incorporating sustainability, as defined by UNESCO (2004), into a pre-service teacher education program. This process began with a grass roots approach of incorporating sustainability into an existing first year science and technology subject of a Bachelor of Education (Primary). The eight UNESCO (2004) themes of sustainability were incorporated into a Sustainability Forum prepared and delivered by pre-service teachers. Pre-service teachers also worked with community bushcare groups on sustainability of the natural environment. Analyses of pre-service teachers’ responses to two questionnaires distributed after the pre-service teachers completed the activities found that they had a wide view of sustainability and clear ideas of how they could incorporate Education for Sustainability into an elementary school curriculum. This small 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

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp.401-418. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.279MB).

Dr. Barbara M. Odgers

Lecturer in Science Education, School of Education, Brisbane Campus, Australian Catholic University, Virginia, Qld, Australia

Dr. Barbara M Odgers is a lecturer in the School of Education at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Campus. Her major teaching areas are Science Education for pre-service primary school teachers and environmental studies. Her research interest are beliefs about the nature of science, science education, education for sustainability and disturbance ecology.


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