My work, locally, nationally and internationally has reinforced my conviction that teachers continue to play a most significant role in the lives of children; I am sure I am not alone in this way of thinking. It is disturbing to me, however, that most, if not all Faculties or Colleges of Education in Canada and in many other countries are not assuming a more proactive role in educating young pre-service teachers “in, about, and for” sustainability. Teacher educators find themselves once more trying to articulate a pedagogical orientation to heighten faculty and student awareness of the importance of sustainability issues and the implications for preparing teachers. A typical solution is usually to add an elective undergraduate or graduate class here and there, and conclude that the problem has been adequately addressed. It is obvious to me that offering yet another elective will do little to create a profound change in the attitudes and behaviours of the next generation of teachers; practices need to be redressed.
Future educators need to be in touch with the ecophilosophical roots of education if they are to address the goals of sustainability; they must be critically aware of how a dominant paradigm drives society, and have to understand the role of education as an agent of social change. Many scholars and practitioners have suggested that education for sustainability encompasses a vision for society that is ecologically, socially, culturally, economically and politically viable.
This presentation addresses the importance of “coming to our senses” in preparing teachers for the future. The presentation challenges present educational practice, leadership, and organizational behavior. The presentation draws upon contemporary research in areas of eco and social justice, program and curricula design, teaching strategies, and organizational structure in order to provide a lucid argument for educational change where it is most needed.
|Keywords:||Teacher Education, Professional Preparation of Teachers, Connectedness and Integrality|
Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
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