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Developing Pre-service Teacher Education in Environmental Education for Sustainability in Papua New Guinea

Government policies in Papua New Guinea (PNG) identify the need for environmental education for sustainability (EEfS) to respond to environmental and sustainability issues faced within the country. However, little has been achieved to develop EEfS in pre-service teacher education. This doctoral study developed an intervention to address this problem in one PNG teachers college. The intervention design was underpinned by a theoretical framework comprising conceptual knowledge and pedagogical ideas from the EEfS literature, conceptions of teacher education and the local traditional knowledge of PNG, and a survey of pre-service teacher students and document analysis. The intervention was delivered to 300 year one pre-service teachers. An evaluation of the intervention used pre and post intervention questionnaires, student reflective journals and student work of 81 pre-service teacher participants. The analysis involved simple statistical and thematic analysis, using themes that both were informed by the literature and emerged from the data. Student perceptions indicate that knowledge, skills and attitudes for EEfS were developed during the intervention. After the intervention, the students identified land problems and biodiversity depletion especially that of endangered species, as important issues for PNG, but their views on poverty as an issue were more complex. The data further suggests that the pre-service teachers were motivated and confident to teach EEfS, using learning approaches that were modelled in the intervention. While, it is unclear if the pre-service teachers will take personal action to contribute to future sustainability, it appears that the implementation of the intervention has had some impact on the pre-service teachers’ awareness, interest, and confidence to deliver EEfS in their future classrooms. The study also indicated that further development of an EEfS course in pre-service teacher education in PNG may require changes to current teacher education practice.
Type of thesis
Openg, A. S. (2012). Developing Pre-service Teacher Education in Environmental Education for Sustainability in Papua New Guinea (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6593
University of Waikato
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