Community Members’ and Elementary School Pre-service Teachers’ Learning about each other in a Bushcare Community Engagement Program in Queensland, Australia

By Barbara M. Odgers.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As part of a pre-service teacher educational program at a university in South-east Queensland, Australia, two hundred and seventy pre-service teachers enrolled in Science & Technology for Early Childhood and Primary Teachers 1 in the first year of a four year education degree visited and worked with 65 Bushcare community groups in four shires (Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Redland and Logan) in South-east Queensland, Australia to help restore disturbed native vegetation to its natural state. While this research involved two diverse groups of people it was found that both groups had similar ideas about caring for the environment. Over 90% of each group rated the experience as Good/Very Good. Each group learnt from and about each other and developed a respect for each other’s abilities. The findings of this study and a previous study (Odgers, 2009) validate incorporating a Bushcare Community Engagement program into a formal tertiary course for educational, environmental and societal reasons.

Keywords: Community Member, Pre-service Teachers, Bushcare Community Engagement Program

The International Journal of Sustainability Education, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.15-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 496.431KB).

Dr. Barbara M. Odgers

Lecturer in Science Education, School of Education, Brisbane Campus, Australina Catholic University, Virginia, QLD, Australia

Dr. Barbara M. Odgers is a lecturer in the School of Education at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Campus. Her major teaching areas are Science Education for pre-service primary school teachers and environmental studies. Her research interests are beliefs about the nature of science, science education, education for sustainability and disturbance ecology.