Ecological footprinting : its potential as a tool for change in preservice teacher education

O'Gorman, Lyndal & Davis, Julie (2013) Ecological footprinting : its potential as a tool for change in preservice teacher education. Environmental Education Research, 19(6), pp. 779-791.

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Environmental and sustainability issues pose challenges for society. Although education is seen as being a contributor to addressing sustainability, teacher education has been slow to act in preparing future teachers to teach sustainability. Recent Australian curriculum documents nominate sustainability as one of three cross-curriculum priorities. In one Australian university course, an Ecological Footprint Calculator tool has been employed to challenge preservice early childhood teachers to consider the sustainability of their lifestyles as a means for engaging them in learning and teaching for sustainability. Students enrolled in an integrated arts and humanities subject voluntarily engaged with the online calculator and shared their findings on an electronic discussion forum. These postings then became the basis of qualitative analysis and discussion. Data categories included reactions and reflections on reasons for the ‘heaviness’ of their footprints , student reactions leading to actions to reduce their footprints, reflections on the implications of the footprint results for future teaching, reactions that considered the need for societal change, and reflections on the integration of sustainability with the visual arts. The power of the tool’s application to stimulate interest in sustainability and education for sustainability more broadly in teacher education is explored.

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7 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 54773
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: teacher education, education for sustainable development, ecological footprint, early childhood, arts education, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2012.749979
ISSN: 1469-5871
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 15 Nov 2012 00:10
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2014 02:33

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