Environmental trust? Sustainability and renewables policy and practice in the school years

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Curriculum Perspectives, 2021, 41, (2), pp. 163-173
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The mobilisation of young people is an essential part of attempts to mitigate the effects of climate change. This position paper investigates matches and mismatches between sustainability education policy, curriculum and practice, by examining associated literature and policy documents, including syllabuses. The paper adopts a “policy cycle approach” lens through which to examine the process from policy to practice, and potential credibility gaps therein. One dynamic emergent in the literature is mistrust, which manifests in several forms in the policy-practice process. Education bureaucracies are perceived as placing little confidence in teachers, resulting in relatively rigid policy and syllabus documents. Similarly, such bureaucracies might be mistrusted by some practising teachers, while global oganisations, such as the United Nations, are mistrusted by many lay people, serving to compromise credibility in the resulting curricular and policy documents. The paper focuses on Australia, but also refers to international contexts as relevant. It notes some promising pedagogies, and proposes some recommendations for practice.
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