Policy Dilemmas: Teachers’ Experiences Of Education For Sustainability In Practice

Year: 2015

Author: Kuzick, Sonja

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Knowing what and how to teach ‘education for sustainability’ (EfS) is often assumed in many of the policy documents that purport to guide teacher’s practice. The Australian Curriculum merely has suggestions that are tagged with as being potentially about sustainability. Whilst there is no prescriptive document that mandates what teachers do in this arena in Australia they are able to select the elements that fit in best guided by their personal beliefs, school context and political imperatives. So what happens when the global drive to reorient education into becoming a future focused, critical thinking and transformative enterprise comes face to face with another policy narrative that strongly pulls in a seemingly opposite direction? Education policy in Australia today reveals a binary divide between a holistic vision for a better future and a vision for education that may serve to reinforce the kinds of thinking, practices and structures that have led to current unsustainable outcomes. This presentation explores what occurs in terms of education for sustainability within a purpose built sustainable school in Western Australia with a strong ethos of advocacy for sustainability. It examines how teachers interpret formal and informal policy imperatives, operationalize competing demands and navigate policy and ethical dilemmas