1st Edition

Empowering Teachers through Environmental and Sustainability Education Meaningful Change in Educational Settings

    188 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Empowering Teachers through Environmental and Sustainability Education draws inspiration from an empirical study exploring early career teachers’ attempts at enacting Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) in their everyday teaching practices. It showcases how a confluence of personal, professional and environmental identities supports implementation of ESE. Additionally, this book discusses key concepts and issues surrounding ESE and the ways in which teachers may claim agency and power to create change in their classroom practices. Drawing from theoretical perspectives, such as Bourdieu’s ‘thinking tools’ habitus and capital, theories of identity, and Foucault’s concept of power and knowledge relations, this book explores how teachers negotiate policies, curriculum and institutional norms to further theoretical and practical understanding of ESE. The use of personal narratives offers new insights into teachers’ agency in creating localised yet powerful change through small and meaningful actions. The purpose of this book, therefore, is to explore ways in which meaningful change can be made in educational settings through these small agentive and yet empowering steps.

    This book reveals that teachers can enact agency and navigate the power structures that exist within educational settings in order to make ESE meaningful within their classrooms. 

    1: ESE: Finding hope amidst future concerns. 2: Educational landscapes: ESE curricular initiatives and change. 3: Identities matter: Teachers’ identities as a lens into teachers’ everyday practices. 4: Enacting agency and negotiating power: A theoretical framework. 5: Empowerment through storytelling: A combinational methodology. 6: Community partnerships – ‘Just sneak it in’: Subversive ways to include ESE. 7: The whole-school approach in ESE schools: ‘I’m the lucky one here’. 8: ESE in Early Childhood Education: ‘We do lots of little things … now’. 9: ESE in status quo schools: ‘It’s just not a priority’. 10: The hierarchical school and ESE: ‘New teachers cannot do anything’. 11: ESE in a rural school: ‘We became the grade who does things. 12: Hope for the future: Enacting power and agency in ESE


    Melissa Barnes is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. She works within the fields of teacher education, assessment, policy and TESOL. Melissa has been a classroom teacher in the US, Germany, Vietnam and Australia, collectively shaping her understanding and approach to teaching and learning.

    Deborah Moore is a Lecturer in Curriculum & Pedagogy and Early Childhood Education at Deakin University. Deborah’s research interests include respectfully researching with young children; listening to children’s stories about the places they construct themselves for their own imaginative play; and examining ESE with teachers and learners.

    Sylvia Christine Almeida is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental, Sustainability and Science Education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University with strong global teaching experiences across India, Africa, USA, the Middle East and Australia. Her research aims to foreground alternative, non-dominant worldviews in shaping Environmental and Sustainability Education.

    "Holding out for hope is what we ‘do’ in times of uncertainty. Focused on the promise of better and inter-connected futures, this book illustrates the key role that early career teachers have in simultaneously shaping the teaching profession and the practices of Environmental and Sustainability Education"-Julianne Moss, Alfred Deakin Professor Deakin University, Director Research for Educational Impact – REDI, Deakin University, Australia

    "It is exciting to see a publication that celebrates teachers' and educators' everyday commitment to transformative change and ongoing learning about environmental education and sustainability. It is in the everyday that futures are made, and this book pays careful attention to the practices that provide the conditions for more sustainable futures. The future unfolds now, and this book helps to grasp the moment"-Iris Duhn, Associate Professor of Early Childhood, Monash University

    "Empowering teachers through Environmental and Sustainability Education offers powerful tools for harnessing teachers as global and local change makers in Environmental and Sustainability Education. Through practical examples, empowering stories, community-based approaches, and the examination of theories and policies, educators from diverse disciplines and backgrounds will find this text to be an exemplary resource for professional development"-Carie Green, Associate Professor of Graduate Education, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

    "Like ripples on a pond, this book, Empowering teachers through Environmental and Sustainability Education, celebrates how small, deliberate actions can embed environmental and sustainability education into classrooms in meaningful ways, paving the way to a brighter future for us all"-Andrea Nolan, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Deakin University

    "It’s so good to see the type of research, thinking and pedagogical practice highlighted by the authors of this book. It offers insights into the teaching and learning of Environmental Education and Sustainability in meaningful ways. A great read"-John Loughran, Emeritus Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor, Monash University