Southern African Journal of Environmental Education

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Environmental education in teacher education: a viewpoint exploring options in South Africa

Chris Reddy


Environmental knowledge is often regarded as difficult to define and position in education in general and in teacher education in particular. This presents challenges for both knowledge production and for curriculum development for teacher education programmes. While many ‘traditional’ disciplines have well-defined knowledge bases developed over time, environmental education does not, and is also less easy to integrate into teacher education programmes.

In this paper, the policy framework for teacher education in South Africa is explored so as to develop ideas for knowledge selection and inclusion in environmental education for professional (teacher) education in South Africa. The works of Short (2002) on mission/practical knowledge and of Ball, Sleep, Boerst and Bass (2009) on high-leverage practices in teacher education curricula are used as ways of doing in order to enable environmental education. It is contended that these processes can provide ideas to exploit the generative spaces that exist in national policy for inclusion of contextualised, issue-based knowledge for curriculum organisation and of practice-based processes in order that environmental issues and sustainability goals may be included in teacher education curricula in South Africa.

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