Rushton EAC (2021) Building Teacher Identity in Environmental and Sustainability Education: The Perspectives of Preservice Secondary School Geography Teachers. Sustainability, 13 (9), Art. No.: 5321. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095321
Geography teachers have an important role within environmental education and, in England, are developing their professional identities at a time when environmental education is contested. This study considers the experiences of five trainee secondary school geography teachers who are all part of a university-based teacher education programme rooted in an environmental justice approach. Data is drawn from three interviews with each of five individuals over the course of their training (15 interviews in total) and participants’ written reflections. Findings include (1) teachers draw on a range of approaches to implement Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE), (2) teachers share and value their own and their students’ stories of and personal connections with the environment and (3) teachers seek to enable young people to bring about change to their lives and communities. The contested nature of foregrounding ESE in the geography classroom is noted, as are the tensions and emotional load that teachers experience when seeking to develop their professional identity. Reflections are shared regarding the ways in which PGCE programmes provide teachers with opportunities to build ESE identities, in particular the role of semi-structured, reflexive interviews in providing an important space for identity work that could be usefully considered within the broader context of the newly implemented Early Career Teacher framework for England.
Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law; Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; Geography, Planning and Development
Sustainability: Volume 13, Issue 9