Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,719,120 articles and books

Planning for success: factors influencing change in teacher education.

Abstract Teacher education is widely recognised as a key strategy that is yet to be effectively utilised to embed em·bed   also im·bed
v. em·bed·ded, em·bed·ding, em·beds
1. To fix firmly in a surrounding mass: embed a post in concrete; fossils embedded in shale.
 environmental education and/or education for sustainability in schools. This paper reports on a research study that examined a range of pre-service teacher education This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using .
 initiatives, both in Australia and internationally, that were seeking to reorient Re`o´ri`ent   

a. 1. Rising again.
The life reorient out of dust.
- Tennyson.

Verb 1.
 teacher education towards environmental sustainability. This paper reports on six factors utilised across the initiatives that were critical to their success. These were (1) the nature and length of funding arrangements; (2) the range and quality of partnerships and networks; (3) the curriculum focus and the teaching and learning processes used; (4) the nature of, and incentives for, participant engagement; (5) the level at which a change was being sought; and (6) the use of evaluation as a tool for learning and ongoing improvement. This paper discusses why and how each of these six factors proved critical and explores the implications for initiatives seeking to reorient teacher education towards environmental sustainability.

Keywords: education for sustainability; teacher education; systemic systemic /sys·tem·ic/ (sis-tem´ik) pertaining to or affecting the body as a whole.

1. Of or relating to a system.

 change; reorienting teacher education; higher eduaction; critical success factors.


There have been, since the Tbilisi intergovernmental conference An Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) is the formal procedure for negotiating amendments to the founding treaties of the European Union. Under the treaties, an IGC is called into being by the European Council, and is composed of representatives of the member states, with the  on environmental education (UNESCO-UNEP, 1978), a range of initiatives that have sought to embed or mainstream (1) environmental education and education for sustainability (2) in teacher education, both in Australia and internationally (UNESCO-UNEP, 1990; UNESCO UNESCO: see United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
 in full United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
, 2005a; UNITWIN/UNESCO, 2000). These initiatives have been influenced by the belief that there is a need to reorient teacher education towards sustainability because
   institutions of teacher education fulfil vital roles in the global
   education community; [and] they have the potential to bring changes
   within educational systems that will shape the knowledge and skills
   of future generations. Often education is described as the great
   hope for creating a more sustainable future; teacher education
   institutions serve as key change agents in transforming education
   and society so that such a future is possible. (UNESCO, 2005a, p.

Unfortunately, despite the claimed importance of the role of teacher education, there has been, to date, no teacher education initiative in Australia that has strategically set out to mainstream environmental or sustainability issues into the core offerings of all pre-service teacher education programmes. While there have been some teacher education initiatives in the area of environment or sustainability, such as the UNESCO Reorienting Teacher Education towards Sustainability initiative (UNESCO, 2005a) and the UNESCO and Griffith University Griffith University is an Australian public university with five campuses in Queensland between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. In 2007 there were more than 33,000 enrolled students and 3,000 staff.  Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future project (UNESCO, 2005b), these have not resulted in a broad-scale inclusion of environmental and sustainability concerns in pre-service teacher education in Australia (Tilbury Tilbury (tĭl`bərē), part of the urban district of Thurrock, Essex, E England. Tilbury Fort originated under Henry VIII; it was rebuilt and strengthened in the 17th cent. , Coleman & Garlick, 2005).

In seeking to understand why this might be the case, we undertook a review of the key design features and implementation strategies (what we termed 'models of professional development') of over 20 initiatives seeking to include environmental education and/or education for sustainability in pre-service teacher education both in Australia and internationally. These initiatives included: the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the

European Community
 (EU) funded Sustainability Education in European European

emanating from or pertaining to Europe.

European bat lyssavirus
see lyssavirus.

European beech tree

European blastomycosis
see cryptococcosis.
 Primary Schools (SEEPS SEEPS Styrene-Ethylene-Ethylene/Propylene-Styrene ) project (www.; the University of Greenwich's Teaching and Learning at the Environment, Science and Society Interface (TaLESSI) project (; UNESCO's Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future (TLSF) project (; the joint UNESCO-ACEID and Griffith University Learning for a Sustainable Environment (LSE LSE - Language Sensitive Editor ) project (http://www.; Macquarie University's Action-Research for Change Towards Sustainability (ACTS) project ( education/publications/pubs/acts.pdf); the University of Wales Affiliated institutions
  • Cardiff University
Cardiff was once a full member of the University but has now left (though it retains some ties). When Cardiff left, it merged with the University of Wales College of Medicine (which was also a former member).
 at Bangor's Embedding 1. (mathematics) embedding - One instance of some mathematical object contained with in another instance, e.g. a group which is a subgroup.
2. (theory) embedding - (domain theory) A complete partial order F in [X -> Y] is an embedding if
 Global Citizenship Global Citizenship is both a moral and ethical disposition which might guide an individual or groups' understanding of the local and global contexts — and their relative responsibilities within different communities.  and Sustainable Development Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. The linkage between environment and development was globally recognized in 1980, when the International Union  in Initial Teacher Education and Training (EGCSD EGCSD East Greenbush Central School District (East Greenbush, New York) ) project (; and Jamaica's Sustainable Teacher Environmental Education Project (STEEP) ( jm/Publications/Publications 5000.htm).

The research was undertaken through a systematic review of relevant project literature, including journals, theses, evaluations, initiative websites and other project documentation. Correspondence also took place with initiative leaders in order to source further information and validate To prove something to be sound or logical. Also to certify conformance to a standard. Contrast with "verify," which means to prove something to be correct.

For example, data entry validity checking determines whether the data make sense (numbers fall within a range, numeric data
 our appraisals. The research did not collect empirical data, but instead reviewed program documentation in an effort to identify the strategies for change underpinning un·der·pin·ning  
1. Material or masonry used to support a structure, such as a wall.

2. A support or foundation. Often used in the plural.

3. Informal The human legs. Often used in the plural.
 each initiative.

An interpretive in·ter·pre·tive   also in·ter·pre·ta·tive
Relating to or marked by interpretation; explanatory.

in·terpre·tive·ly adv.
 descriptive approach using the constant comparative method of data analysis was employed to analyse an·a·lyse  
v. Chiefly British
Variant of analyze.

analyse or US -lyze

[-lysing, -lysed] or -lyzing,
 the data collected. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Maykut and Moorhouse (1994), interpretive-descriptive research is exploratory and reliant on words and meanings. Our analysis was thus undertaken using an iterative it·er·a·tive  
1. Characterized by or involving repetition, recurrence, reiteration, or repetitiousness.

2. Grammar Frequentative.

Noun 1.
 process in which the data was read and re-read to determine recurring re·cur  
intr.v. re·curred, re·cur·ring, re·curs
1. To happen, come up, or show up again or repeatedly.

2. To return to one's attention or memory.

3. To return in thought or discourse.
 themes and approaches. In particular, our examination of the documents and discussions with initiative leaders sought to identify the philosophy of change driving the development and implementation of the initiative. The researchers then discussed potential themes and approaches until agreement was reached.

It is also important to note that this research did not represent an exhaustive study of all teacher education for sustainability initiatives but instead captures a range of efforts. The study was also limited to easily accessible English-language documents and by a short timeframe of six months.

The seven initiatives named above provide a good snapshot (1) A saved copy of memory including the contents of all memory bytes, hardware registers and status indicators. It is periodically taken in order to restore the system in the event of failure.

(2) A saved copy of a file before it is updated.
 of the various models of professional development we identified in the 20 initiatives we reviewed. The particular contexts and geographical locations of these seven initiatives are broad and varied. For example, some, such as UNESCO's TLSF project and the European Union's (EU) SEEPS project, were broad in target and range, with the UNESCO project having an international reach, and the EU project being Europe-wide. Others, such as the Macquarie University Location
University publications and material indicate that its campus is located in the suburb of North Ryde, although the Geographical Names Board of NSW indicates it is located in the suburb of Macquarie Park. The University has its own postcode: 2109.
 based ACTS project, or the Jamaican STEEP project, only targeted one or a few institutions, within one country, or one city. While the initiatives differed in their philosophies, approaches, methods, and contexts, we were none-the-less able to identify three broad models of professional development or approaches to change underpinning this diverse range of initiatives. We named these the:

* Collaborative Resource Development and Adaptation model: This model seeks to bring about change through the development and adaptation of high quality curriculum and pedagogy resources. It does not usually seek to bring about change across a whole teacher education system;

* Action Research model: This model aims to build capacity by engaging the initiative participants in a 'deep' process of reflective Refers to light hitting an opaque surface such as a printed page or mirror and bouncing back. See reflective media and reflective LCD.  action. This model thus targets change at the practitioner and institutional level; and

* Whole-of-System model: This is a radically different model from the other two in that it seeks change in a multi-faceted and system-wide manner.

A detailed analysis of each of these models can be found in Ferreira, Ryan and Tilbury (2007).

The purpose of this paper is not to provide an analysis of these models but rather to examine the factors that our research found greatly enhanced the impact or success of these models in influencing and embedding change in teacher education. Broadly, the success or otherwise of these models related to:

* the nature and length of funding and management arrangements;

* the range and quality of partnerships and networks;

* the curriculum focus and teaching and learning processes used;

* the nature of, and incentives for, participant engagement;

* the level at which a change was being sought; and

* the use of evaluation as a tool for learning and on-going improvement.

This paper focuses on describing these six critical success factors and discusses their contribution to the success of the initiatives we reviewed in bringing about change in teacher education. It is hoped that such a discussion will inform the future development of initiatives seeking to mainstream environmental and sustainability concerns in pre-service teacher education.

Funding and Leadership

Pre-service teacher educators developed almost all the initiatives we reviewed. However, most initiatives were reliant on funding external to the institution for their execution. Our study found that funding cycles and levels of autonomy exercised at the project management level were important variables influencing an initiative's level of success and longevity longevity (lŏnjĕv`ĭtē), term denoting the length or duration of the life of an animal or plant, often used to indicate an unusually long life. . For example, none of the seven initiatives referred to above operated fully beyond their funding cycles. This does not imply that the initiatives were unsuccessful or ineffective. Indeed, the resource materials and outcomes of these initiatives, such as those of the LSE project, for example, continued to influence curricula in some institutions beyond the life of the initiative (Fien, Kumar & Ravindranath, 2001). However, an inability to financially continue to support initiatives was a major obstacle to the longevity of initiatives, as was evidenced in the TaLESSI project for example, which struggled to maintain momentum when funding was no longer available. We thus argue that longer and more secure funding cycles will provide greater opportunities for change to become embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. , as participants can focus on the project rather than on investigating additional funding sources. In addition, longer and more secure funding cycles, of at least two to five years, will also allow for project evaluations to contribute to the meaningful refinement of initiatives.

Partnerships and Networks

Partnerships are increasingly recognised as an important component in achieving sustainability (UNCED UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, June 1992) , 1992; UNESCO, 2002; Tilbury, Podger & Reid, 2004), with UNESCO arguing that 'partnering and networking has proven successful in sharing examples and lessons of good practice and encouraging adoption by others' (2002, p. 39). Indeed, our review found that all the initiatives placed high importance on partnerships which were sought with a variety of sectors including NGOs, inter-governmental bodies, other teacher education institutions (both nationally and internationally), resource centres, other faculties within the university, industry bodies, and boards of teacher education, for example. There were many motivations for forming partnerships identified by the initiatives that were investigated, such as:

* sharing expertise;

* capitalising on funding opportunities;

* ensuring relevance to market demands from industry and employers;

* maximising the multiplier effect Multiplier Effect

The expansion of a country's money supply that results from banks being able to lend. The size of the multiplier effect depends on the percentage of deposits that banks are required to hold on reserves.
 by networking across institutions; and

* providing mutual peer support and encouragement.

Although each partnership arrangement varied, it would appear that many benefits arose out of these relationships. Some of the initiatives we reviewed, such as TLSF, for example, developed highly effective partnerships with prestigious and influential organisations like UNESCO (UNESCO, 2005b),. Such partnerships provided many opportunities for international endorsement, recognition and broad-scale dissemination dissemination Medtalk The spread of a pernicious process–eg, CA, acute infection Oncology Metastasis, see there . We found that these kinds of prestigious partnerships also helped to garner support for an initiative both inside the university and more generally across an entire teacher education system. For example, in the case of TLSF, UNESCO distributed regional specific adaptations (in several languages) and endorsed the resource to every ministry of education (Matsuura, 2002). We assert, therefore, that partnerships with influential organisations such as intergovernmental in·ter·gov·ern·men·tal  
Being or occurring between two or more governments or divisions of a government.

 bodies and international NGOs can confer prestige and importance to initiatives seeking to embed environmental education and/or education for sustainability in pre-service teacher education. In addition, such organisations can also influence the potential outreach Outreach is an effort by an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public.  and adoption of new initiatives beyond the original site as these organisations often have large multi-sectorial memberships and operate across country borders (Tilbury, Goldstein Gold·stein , Joseph Leonard Born 1940.

American biochemist. He shared a 1985 Nobel Prize for discoveries related to cholesterol metabolism.
 & Ryan, 2003).

Some of the initiatives reviewed also formed partnerships with organisations where a member from the partner organisation worked for a period of time within an institution, to support the work of participants directly. This was the case in the University of Wales at Bangor's EGCSD project, for example. We found that such partnerships provided opportunities for sharing of expertise as well as the load associated with implementing a new initiative. This allowed for the contribution and cross-fertilisation of new ideas "New Ideas" is the debut single by Scottish New Wave/Indie Rock act The Dykeenies. It was first released as a Double A-side with "Will It Happen Tonight?" on July 17, 2006. The band also recorded a video for the track.  and strategies across organisations.

Most commonly, partnerships were established to develop supportive professional networks. In the LSE project, for example, teacher educators from across the Asia-Pacific, often working in isolation not only in their respective institutions, but also in their country, found the support offered by 'critical friends' in the LSE network invaluable (Fien & Maclean, 2000). In all initiatives reviewed, such networks proved extremely important in building a strong support base for teacher educators who were often working outside their comfort zones with new approaches, technologies and/or ideas. While networking partnerships can exist within an institution, in the initiatives we reviewed, they were most frequently used to connect members from different institutions, where teacher educators were often working in isolation.

Some initiatives also sought to build partnerships with stakeholders Stakeholders

All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government.
 across the teacher-education system, to influence change across the whole system. This was the case with the Jamaican STEEP project, were partnerships were fostered with the teacher registration authority, the National Environmental Education Council, teacher education institutions, ministries of environment and education, and a range of environmental NGOs (Collins-Figueroa, M. personal communication, 2005). In our review, we found that such system-wide partnerships increased stability and synergies because the aims and objectives of an initiative were mirrored at all levels within a teacher education system, from policy to practice.

Such networks of partners can provide mutual peer support, advice and information, a sense of being part of a community of inquiry, and provide exemplars of practice from other members. Several of the initiatives we reviewed, such as the University of Greenwich's TaLESSI project, the University of Wales at Bangor's EGCSD project, and Jamaica's STEEP project, negotiated partnerships across disciplinary boundaries. This meant, for example, in the case of the TaLESSI project, that the attempts of the academic staff from the Environmental Science faculty to integrate the disciplinary perspectives of the natural sciences (for example, biology and chemistry) with the social sciences (for example, economics and sociology) and humanities (notably ethics ethics, in philosophy, the study and evaluation of human conduct in the light of moral principles. Moral principles may be viewed either as the standard of conduct that individuals have constructed for themselves or as the body of obligations and duties that a  and philosophy) necessitated the fostering of cross-disciplinary partnerships (Jones & Merrit, 1999). The networks we examined were facilitated by regular meetings, seminars, and through email. These networks involved all participants, and utilised a participatory approach that produced an atmosphere of cooperation. Indeed, it appears from our review that the more equal and participatory the partnership, the better the shared process and outcomes for an initiative's participants.

Program Focus and Pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic   also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.

2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner.

Recent education for sustainability literature advocates holistic Holistic
A practice of medicine that focuses on the whole patient, and addresses the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of a patient as well as their physical treatment.

Mentioned in: Aromatherapy, Stress Reduction, Traditional Chinese Medicine
 integrated concepts of sustainability that include the social, economic, political, cultural and ecological ecological

emanating from or pertaining to ecology.

ecological biome
see biome.

ecological climax
the state of balance in an ecosystem when its inhabitants have established their permanent relationships with each
 dimensions of the environment and sustainability, along with teaching and learning pedagogies that are process-oriented and seek to develop critical thinking skills and actively engage learners (Tilbury et al., 2005). Robottom (1987) also argues that teacher professional development should be enquiry-based, participatory, community and action-based, collaborative, and reflective in practice. The most successful, widespread and long-lasting initiatives we reviewed were those that reflected environmental education and/or education for sustainability 'best practice' in both program focus and pedagogy.

Of the initiatives we reviewed, those that were interdisciplinary in·ter·dis·ci·pli·nar·y  
Of, relating to, or involving two or more academic disciplines that are usually considered distinct.

, rather than single-issue or single-discipline focussed, has success in embedding change because deeper and more complex understandings of sustainability were negotiated and constructed across often-conflicting disciplines. For example, the whole focus of the TaLESSI project was on fostering interdisciplinarity (Jones & Merritt, 1999), which was, however, not easily cultivated cultivated,
n in herbal medicine, used to describe plants that are commercially farmed rather than collected from the wild.
, particularly in traditional educational institutions where disciplinary boundaries are so well established. Of those initiatives that did manage this change, three different approaches to facilitating interdisciplinarity were taken:

1. In the EGCSD project, a central coordinator was appointed who liaised with all academics, assisting them in infusing environmental education and/or education for sustainability into their faculty by making connections with initiatives/ strategies that academics in other institutions were already implementing (Bennell, 2004);

2. Jamaica's STEEP initiative organised theme days, such as Wetlands Day, which provided teacher education staff with discrete and easy to implement interdisciplinary topics. The theme days also provided opportunities for environmental NGO NGO
nongovernmental organization

Noun 1. NGO - an organization that is not part of the local or state or federal government
nongovernmental organization
 staff to assist with technical information and teaching activities (Collins-Figueroa, personal communication 2005); and

3. In the Greenwich University For the London university, see .
Greenwich University is a now-inactive correspondence school and it was never accredited.[1] According to the Australian Department of Education, "Between 30 June 1998 and 2 December 2002, Greenwich University (Norfolk Island) degrees
 TaLESSI project, staff meetings and planning sessions enabled a group of academics to investigate opportunities for interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches in their teaching (Jones & Merrit, 1999).

The initiatives reviewed all showed evidence of having engaged with the most current, cutting-edge understandings of, and knowledge about, sustainability at the time of their development. For example, the SEEPS project developed a teacher education resource that supports a whole-school approach to sustainability. The resource goes beyond the mere inclusion of sustainability into the curriculum, by also including modules on leading and managing change, encouraging student participation and monitoring and evaluation (Shallcross, 2004).

Another factor critical to the success of the initiatives reviewed was the congruence con·gru·ence  
a. Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.

b. An instance of this: "What an extraordinary congruence of genius and era" 
 between the teaching and learning processes promoted and the principles of environmental education and/or education for sustainability. These principles call for the development of:

* critical, creative and futures thinking skills to develop alternative and innovative solutions to sustainability issues;

* needs assessment and action-oriented skills to motivate, manage and measure change towards sustainability;

* interpersonal in·ter·per·son·al  
1. Of or relating to the interactions between individuals: interpersonal skills.

 and intercultural in·ter·cul·tur·al  
Of, relating to, involving, or representing different cultures: an intercultural marriage; intercultural exchange in the arts.
 skills in order to redefine Verb 1. redefine - give a new or different definition to; "She redefined his duties"
define, delimit, delimitate, delineate, specify - determine the essential quality of

 relationships amongst the various stakeholders;

* confidence and skills to deal with uncertainty;

* learning through engaging with real and specific problems or tasks; and

* learning about and for sustainability (Tilbury, Podger & Reid, 2004, p. 7).

Teaching and learning within, and promoted by, nearly all initiatives was, therefore, not didactic di·dac·tic
Of or relating to medical teaching by lectures or textbooks as distinguished from clinical demonstration with patients.
 but interactive and inquiry-based, engaging participants actively in the process of teaching and learning. These initiatives demonstrated a range of complementary approaches such as inquiry learning, experiential ex·pe·ri·en·tial  
Relating to or derived from experience.

 learning, problem solving problem solving

Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error.
, story telling, and reflection in action. They sought not only to introduce a range of new teaching and learning strategies to teacher educators but also provided opportunities for teacher educators to reflect on how they might use such approaches in their own teaching. For example, Griffith University's LSE project worked with a group of teacher educators to produce a professional development resource and in the process built skills and capacities in these strategies (Fien & Maclean, 2000).

Successful initiatives also managed to leverage top-down support by linking their aims and objectives to broader institutional graduate or generic skills goals. Indeed, such a focus also helped to encourage interdisciplinarity, as generic skills such as problem-solving, working co-operatively, and taking action are increasingly advocated not only by environmental education but by other disciplines as well. Focussing on generic skills thus also provides an opportunity for all teacher educators to see the relevance of sustainability concerns to their discipline. An example of this is the Macquarie University ACTS project, which built sustainability into an identified need by industry for graduates to have confidence in dealing with uncertainty (Tilbury, Podger & Reid, 2004).

Nature of Participant Engagement

Most initiatives reviewed seemed to make a choice between the depth at which participants would be able to engage, and the breadth or outreach of the initiative. For example, some initiatives, such as TLSF (UNESCO, 2005) and SEEPS (Shallcross, 2004), targeted a large (regional or international) audience, mainly through the dissemination of a resource through an online medium, while other initiatives, such as LSE (Fein, Heck heck  
Used as a mild oath.

n. Slang
Used as an intensive: had a heck of a lot of money; was crowded as heck.

[Alteration of hell.
 & Ferreira, 1997) and ACTs (Tilbury, Podger & Reid, 2004), sought to engage a small audience intensely, thereby achieving small-scale but often longer lasting change, as opposed to broad change. While reaching a broader audience might appear most preferable, the experiences of both the LSE and ACTS initiatives illustrates that deep engagement by a small group of participants has the capacity to bring about long-term, sustainable and systemic change. In both these instances, for example, the network of support and action-research process developed during the funded period persisted after the funding was exhausted, and with the case of the ACTS initiative, well after the completion of the project (Tilbury, Podger & Reid, 2004). With a deep level of engagement over a longer period of time it appears participants are more likely to remain committed and to continue to seek ways in which to mainstream environmental education and/or education for sustainability ideas and approaches in their own teaching, and in the teaching of their colleagues.

Simply engaging participants at a deep level does not ensure success, however. Ongoing support--from funding bodies A funding body is an organisation that provides funds in the form of research grants or scholarships. Research Councils
Research Councils are funding bodies that are government-funded agencies engaged in the support of research in different disciplines and
, institutions and peer networks--is also needed in order to sustain the change. It may well be that offering long-term support to a group that has already engaged deeply with environmental education issues is an effective use of resources because the group is already 'tuned-into' such approaches. Providing such support may, however, require a changed approach to funding arrangements, as has been discussed earlier.

Using incentives to attract potential participants to the initiative was another factor critical to success. Interestingly, in the initiatives we reviewed, such incentives were seldom financial, with people willing to engage with an initiative for a range of alternative reasons. One of the most significant incentives we identified was the opportunity to be part of an initiative that was deemed to be valuable and worthwhile, by participants themselves, by institutional managers, and/or by reputable rep·u·ta·ble  
Having a good reputation; honorable.

 government, non-government and international agencies (such as UNESCO, government departments of education, national councils or committees, and prestigious NGOs). For example, evaluations from the LSE project explicitly indicated this:
   Network members also commented on the positive support they had
   received from their colleagues and work related institutions. This
   came variously in the form of encouragement, assistance with
   secretarial support, photocopying, etc., and in the influence they
   were able to exert on existing courses and subject content. The
   credibility they gained from working on a well-known UNESCO project
   was seen as very influential in obtaining such support. (Fien,
   Kumar & Ravindrinath 2001; 218)

Such recognition seemed to provide teacher educators with a new sense of credibility, prestige and professional respect within their own institutions, especially when they had been chosen to be part of a nationally- or internationally-funded initiative. This points to high-level recognition and support acting as a motivating factor in participants' decision to engage with an initiative.

In addition, many initiatives provided opportunities for networking with colleagues within and outside of their institutions (sometimes internationally); and for networking in new and more direct ways with university executives, high-level ministry officials, councillors on national bodies and industry partners. Providing opportunities for developing new professional networks gave participants' access to a whole range of new knowledge and experiences; opportunities for engaging in high-level decision-making; opportunities for travel (both domestic and international); for access to research funding Research funding is a term generally covering any funding for scientific research, in the areas of both "hard" science and technology and social science. The term often connotes funding obtained through a competitive process, in which potential research projects are evaluated and ; and new opportunities for research and publication. For example, in the University of Wales at Bangor's EGCSD project, academic staff had the opportunity to spend time working overseas, while in the Jamaican STEEP project, participants had the opportunity to engage in high-level decision-making with government ministry officials and the National Environmental Education Council. Such incentives also allowed participants to feel supported within their institutions by their colleagues, their departments or faculties and their university executives; and to feel supported outside their institutions by government ministers, government departments, colleagues in other institutions, and professional associations and NGOs.

'Time-out' from the rigours of teaching to deeply consider and reflect on teaching practice was another significant incentive to involvement in some of the initiatives we reviewed. Recognition by institutions that participants were engaging in meaningful professional development also acted as an incentive. This recognition ranged from institutional support through providing leave, to the award of certificates and trophies (Fien, Kumar & Ravindrinath, 2001).

Based on our examination of a range of initiatives, we thus argue that engaging participants at a 'deep' level over a prolonged pro·long  
tr.v. pro·longed, pro·long·ing, pro·longs
1. To lengthen in duration; protract.

2. To lengthen in extent.
 period of time, along with recognition for and rewarding of engagement, seem to be critical to the success of initiatives seeking to mainstream sustainability in teacher education.

Levels of Intervention A procedure used in a lawsuit by which the court allows a third person who was not originally a party to the suit to become a party, by joining with either the plaintiff or the defendant.  and Approach to Change

Teacher education institutions do not exist in a vacuum but are shaped by the many contextual influences around them. Government policies and practices, professional standards for teachers, current curriculum documents, professional associations, and research all shape the way teacher education institutions are managed. Our study found that the initiatives that were most successful, that is the most effective in leveraging long-term and broad-scale change, were those that showed a complex understanding of this context and sought broad-scale, systemic change--through taking a multi-faceted and systematic approach to such change. Such an approach focuses on:

* the development of enabling policies;

* developing capacity amongst teacher educators, student teachers, administrative and ancillary Subordinate; aiding. A legal proceeding that is not the primary dispute but which aids the judgment rendered in or the outcome of the main action. A descriptive term that denotes a legal claim, the existence of which is dependent upon or reasonably linked to a main claim.  staff; and

* co-ordinated professional development programs that facilitated the cascading of new ideas and practices throughout a system (Thomas, 2004).

Unfortunately, only one of the initiatives we reviewed sought to bring about change in such a multi-faceted and system-wide way: Jamaica's STEEP project. The STEEP project negotiated partnerships at a variety of levels within the teacher education system to leverage top level endorsement--enabling a supportive political climate for the project--whilst also building the capacity of academic, administrative and ancillary staff to prioritise Verb 1. prioritise - assign a priority to; "we have too many things to do and must prioritize"

grade, rate, rank, place, range, order - assign a rank or rating to; "how would you rank these students?"; "The restaurant is rated highly in the food
 sustainability within their institutions. (Collins-Figueroa, 2005, pers. comm.; 5000.htm)

Such an approach is complex, having to take all stakeholders within a system into account. It is not just about educating the educators, but also the decision-makers, policy developers, and curriculum writers. Perhaps this is why systemic and organisational change issues seem for the large part to be ignored by creators of professional development initiatives in environmental education and/or education for sustainability. However, if education for sustainability or any other educational perspective is to be mainstreamed in pre-service teacher education then issues of system-wide change need to be seriously addressed in the design and implementation of initiatives. Change needs to be planned for and targeted from both the top down and the bottom up, to ensure that the policies of the teacher education system are consistent with the practices of the teacher education system.


In general, evaluation of the initiatives we reviewed was poorly conducted, if at all. For example, no long-term evaluations were undertaken to indicate the sustainability and longevity of an initiative's impacts in any of the initiatives we examined. Only the two initiatives underpinned by the Action Research model, the LSE and ACTS initiatives, undertook well-structured, effective evaluations. This is because the action research model has evaluation 'built-in', which provides an opportunity for reflection and consideration to be given to evaluation findings, and allows for further rethinking and refining refining, any of various processes for separating impurities from crude or semifinished materials. It includes the finer processes of metallurgy, the fractional distillation of petroleum into its commercial products, and the purifying of cane, beet, and maple sugar  as part of the process (Altrichter, Kemmis, McTaggart & Zuber-Skerritt, 2002; Kemmis, 2006). However, even the LSE and ACTS evaluations were only indicative of the first cycle of action. Of the remaining initiatives, evaluations were most often undertaken to fulfil ful·fill also ful·fil  
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.

 the requirements of funding bodies, not to improve the initiatives per se.

Such poor attention to evaluation may be linked to short-term funding cycles, which currently rarely acknowledge the need to refine and re-implement projects. Evaluation that occurs only at the end of the first cycle may suit the reporting requirements of funding bodies but does little to improve the quality or longevity of such programs. We thus argue that longer funding cycles are needed to allow for evaluations to be meaningfully used to refine and improve initiatives. Short-term funding cycles do not encourage the use of evaluation in this way.


In conclusion, our study found that there was a range of factors that were critical to the success of initiatives we reviewed. It is our contention that the success of initiatives seeking to mainstream sustainability in pre-service teacher education will be vastly improved if both initiative developers and leaders, and funding agencies, attend to these six factors--preferably simultaneously--during the development of pre-service teacher education initiatives. It is anticipated that this will not only improve the breadth and depth of such initiatives but also the longevity of the changes that are possible through such efforts to mainstream not only environmental education and education for sustainability but also other perspectives in pre-service teacher education. Attention to such factors may assist in pre-service teacher education being more effectively utilised to embed environmental education and/or education for sustainability in schools.


Altrichter, H., Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Zuber-Skerritt, O. (2002). The concept of action research. The Learning Organization: An International Journal, 9(3), 125-131.

Bennell, S. (2004). Embedding Education for Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development (EGCSD) in Initial Teacher Education and Training Courses: Final report. Bangor: World Education Centre, University of Wales.

Ferreira, J., Ryan, L., & Tilbury, D. (2006). Whole School Approaches to Sustainability: A review of models for professional development in pre-service teacher education. Canberra: Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage and the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability.

Ferreira, J., Ryan, L., & Tilbury, D. (2007). Mainstreaming Education for Sustainability in Initial Teacher Education in Australia Education in Australia is primarily regulated by the individual state governments. Generally education in Australia follows the three-tier model which includes Primary education (Primary Schools), followed by Secondary education (Secondary Schools / High Schools) and Tertiary : A review of existing professional development models, Journal of Education for Teaching, 33 (2), 225-239.

Fien, J., Heck, D., & Ferreira, J. (eds.) (1997). Learning for a Sustainable Environment: A Professional Development Guide for Teacher educators, UNESCO Asia--Pacific Centre of Educational Innovation for Development and Griffith University. Available at: [Accessed 27 April 2006].

Fien, J., Kumar, P., & Ravindranath M.J. (2001). An Action Research Network as a Strategy for Educational Change: The Learning for a Sustainable Environment Project'. Journal of Educational Change 2(3), 207-221.

Fien, J., & Maclean, R. (2000). Teacher Education for Sustainability II. Two Teacher Education Projects from Asia and the Pacific. Journal of Science Education and Technology 9(1), 37-48.

Hopkins, C., Damlamian, J., & Lopez Ospina, G. (1996). Evolving towards education for sustainable development Sustainable Development
The concept of sustainable development was popularised in 1987 with the publication of the “Brundtland Report” – the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development.
: An international perspective. Nature and Resources, 32(3), 2-11.

Jickling, B. (2006). The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: A useful platform or an annoying distraction Distraction
Divination (See OMEN.)


a “person from Porlock” interrupted Coleridge while he was recollecting the dream on which he based “Kubla Khan”. [Br. Lit.: Poems of Coleridge in Magill IV, 756]
? A Canadian perspective. Australian Journal of Environmental Education 22(1), 99-104.

Jones P., & Merritt J. (1999). JGHE JGHE Journal of Geography in Higher Education  Symposium symposium

In ancient Greece, an aristocratic banquet at which men met to discuss philosophical and political issues and recite poetry. It began as a warrior feast. Rooms were designed specifically for the proceedings.
: The TALESSI Project: promoting active learning for interdisciplinarity, values awareness and critical thinking in environmental higher education higher education

Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art.
. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 23(3), 335-348.

Kemmis, S. (2006). Participatory action research Action Research or Participatory action research has emerged in recent years as a significant methodology for intervention, development and change within communities and groups. It is now promoted and implemented by many international development agencies and university programs CCAR, as  and the public sphere The public sphere is a concept in continental philosophy and critical theory that contrasts with the private sphere, and is the part of life in which one is interacting with others and with society at large. . Educational Action Research. 14(4), 459-476.

Manchester Metropolitan University History
During the last third of the 20th century MMU grew through the combination of several colleges, some of which were founded in the 19th century. The mergers began on 1st January 1970, when Manchester Polytechnic was formed from Manchester College of Art and Design, the
 (2001). Sustainability Education in European Schools The European Schools are co-educational public schools providing nursery, primary and secondary education. They are established to provide free education for children of personnel of the European Institutions. , Socrates Programme The SOCRATES programme was an educational initiative of the European Commission; 31 countries took part. The initial Socrates programme ran from 1994 until 31 December 1999 when it was replaced by the Socrates II programme on 24 January 2000, which ran until 2006.  Transnational Cooperation Projects. Unpublished Final Report.

Matsuura, K (22 Sept 2002) [address] Presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development launch of the South African version of 'Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future' [Transcript A generic term for any kind of copy, particularly an official or certified representation of the record of what took place in a court during a trial or other legal proceeding.

A transcript of record
] Retrieved October 05, 2007, from http://portal.unesco. org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=5738&URL URL
 in full Uniform Resource Locator

Address of a resource on the Internet. The resource can be any type of file stored on a server, such as a Web page, a text file, a graphics file, or an application program.

Maykut, P., & Moorhouse, R. (1994). Beginning qualitative research Qualitative research

Traditional analysis of firm-specific prospects for future earnings. It may be based on data collected by the analysts, there is no formal quantitative framework used to generate projections.
: A philosophic and practical guide. London: The Falmer Press.

National Environmental Education Council (NEEC NEEC Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (Seattle, WA)
NEEC Nuclear Excitation by Electron Capture
NEEC National Environmental Enforcement Council
NEEC Northwest Environmental Education Center
), Jamaica (1998.) National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development. Available at: [Accessed 10 May 2006].

Scott, W., & Gough, S. (2003). Sustainable development and learning: Framing the issues. London: Routledge Falmer.

Shallcross, T. (ed.) (2004). School Development through Whole School Approaches to Sustainability Education: The SEEPS (Sustainable Education in European Primary Schools) project. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University.

Thomas, I. (2004). Sustainability in tertiary tertiary (tûr`shēârē), in the Roman Catholic Church, member of a third order. The third orders are chiefly supplements of the friars—Franciscans (the most numerous), Dominicans, and Carmelites.  curricula: what is stopping it happening? International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. 5(1), 33-47.

Tilbury, D., Coleman, V., & Garlick, D. (2005). A National Review of Environmental Education and its Contribution to Sustainability in Australia: School Education, Canberra: Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage and Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability (ARIES Aries (âr`ēz) [Lat.,=the ram], constellation lying on the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path through the heavens) between Taurus and Pisces; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It contains the bright star Hamal (Alpha Arietis). ).

Tilbury, D., Goldstein, W., & Ryan, L. (2003). Towards Environmental Education for Sustainable Development: The contributions of NGOs in the Asia-Pacific Region, International Review for Environmental Strategies. 4(1), 59-73.

Tilbury, D., Podger, P., & Reid, A. (2004). Action research for Change Towards Sustainability: Change in Curricula and Graduate Skills Towards Sustainability, Canberra: Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage and the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability.

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) or Earth Summit, an 11-day meeting held in June, 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to discuss the global conflict between economic development and environmental protection.  (UNCED) (1992). Chapter 36: Promoting education, public awareness and training, in UNCED Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable Development. Paris: UNCED.

UNESCO (2002). Education for Sustainability: From Rio to Johannesburg: Lessons learnt from a decade of commitment, Report prepared for UNESCO as Task Manager for Chapter 36 of Agenda 21. Paris: UNESCO.

UNESCO (2005a). Guidelines guidelines, a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks.
 and Recommendations for Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development in Action, Technical Paper No. 2, (Prepared by UNITWIN/UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability [Charles Hopkins, Chair and Rosalyn McKeown, Secretariat Secretariat, 1970–89, thoroughbred race horse. Trained by Lucien Laurin and ridden by Ron Turcotte, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes to capture the Triple Crown in 1973.

(foaled 1970) U.S.
] and the International Network of Teacher-Education Institutions). Paris: UNESCO.

UNESCO (2005b). Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future, Available at: http:// [Accessed 6 August 2005].

UNESCO-UNEP (1978). The Tbilisi Declaration, Connect Vol. III, No. 1, pp. 1-8.

UNESCO-UNEP (1990). Environmentally Educated Teachers: The priority of priorities, Connect Vol. XV, No. 1, pp. 1-3.

UNITWIN/UNESCO (2000). Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, Available at: UNITWINUNESCO.cfm [Accessed 24 May 2005].


(1.) Mainstreaming here refers to the inclusion of environmental education and/or education for sustainability in pre-service teacher education to such an extent that it becomes part of its core focus and activity. Mainstreaming goes beyond the addition of sustainability into the curriculum, implying instead the broad-scale adoption of a new idea across an entire system.

(2.) While there is debate within the field about the shift from 'environmental education' to 'education/learning for sustainability' (see, for example, Hopkins et al., 1996; Scott & Gough, 2003; Jickling, 2006), this paper uses both terms as some of the initiatives we reviewed refer to environmental education, while others refer to learning for or education for sustainability, usually depending on the time of the initiative's appearance.

Jo-Anne Ferreira ([dagger])

Griffith University

Lisa Ryan Lisa Ryan is an American author and speaker. She has had a career as a television actress, host, reporter and producer. She also held the title of Miss California in 1985[1]. She was raised in a Christian home and became a Christian at an early age.  

University of the Sunshine Coast The University of the Sunshine Coast, is a public university based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. History
The first discussions of a University for the Sunshine Coast region began in 1973.

Daniella Tilbury

Macquarie University

([dagger]) Address for correspondence: Dr Jo-Anne Ferreira, Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan QLD QLD or Qld Queensland  4111, Australia. Email:
COPYRIGHT 2007 Australian Association for Environmental Education, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Ferreira, Jo-Anne; Ryan, Lisa; Tilbury, Daniella
Publication:Australian Journal of Environmental Education
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Previous Article:Drama as a tool in interpretation: practitioner perceptions of its strengths & limitations.
Next Article:Caring for the environment: challenges from notions of caring.

Related Articles
The influence of organizational culture on technology integration in teacher education.
Teachers' efficacy in preparation and retention.
What predicts student teacher self-efficacy?
Teachers facing Information and Communication Technology (ICT): the case of Greece.
Content area specific technology integration: a model for educating teachers.
A successful induction into the teaching profession: for the new career and technical education teacher, a teacher induction program and peer...
Assessing preservice teachers' dispositions: a critical dimension of professional preparation.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters