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Getting down and dirty: Values in education for sustainability

Lewis, E., Mansfield, C. and Baudains, C. (2008) Getting down and dirty: Values in education for sustainability. Issues in Educational Research, 18 (2). pp. 138-155.

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Values education and environmental education for sustainability are both spheres of education research that have manifested rapid and overlapping development in recent years. An independent primary school located in the Perth metropolitan area of Western Australia participated in research on both values education and environmental education for sustainability. The school contributed to a Values Education Good Practice Schools (Stage 2) project that involved a tri-state school cluster. Six schools worked together to explore an explicit values education agenda from an environmental education for sustainability perspective. Three values education and environmental education mini-projects at the school are examined: planting native reeds at the local lake, creating a community permaculture garden and conducting a trial for a turtle nesting site. The values embedded in these environmental projects were: social and civic responsibility and environmental responsibility. The school also participated in research in the field of education for sustainability, with a focus on the 'whole systems thinking' approach applied to the three mini-projects. Preliminary evidence suggested that conducting environmental education projects, with an education for sustainability perspective was an effective, meaningful approach to the teaching of values and enhancing awareness of whole systems thinking. The relationship between values education and environmental education for sustainability was illustrated in potent, hands-on, real-life contexts.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
School of Education
Publisher: Institutes for Educational Research
Copyright: (c) authors
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