Place and sustainability literacy in schools and teacher education

Year: 2012

Author: Somerville, Margaret, Green, Monica

Type of paper: Refereed paper


The development of sustainability literate teachers has been identified as a key challenge for the implementation of education for sustainability in Australian schools (Skamp, 2010)and elsewhere (Nolet, 2009). This paper reports on the first year of a participatory action research project that investigates the learning of school teachers, teacher educators, school children and teacher education students, in relation to the integration of place-based sustainability education across the curriculum of a low SES primary school. The methods of data collection included digital visual and audio recorded observations and reflections by teacher educators; reflective observations, focus groups, and interviews with teachers and principals; and the collection of student artefacts from school and teacher education students. A number of different conceptual and theoretical lenses are brought to the analysis of this data including 'thinking through country'; sustainability literacies and new technologies; and contemporary theories of space, place and body. In this baseline paper, the overall findings are summarised under the categories of the participating groups: - teacher, teacher educator, school student, teacher education student, and the school/place/community nexus.