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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Innovation through action research in environmental education : project to praxis : action research in environmental education in an Australian primary school.
Abstract: This is a report on a 'whole school' curriculum innovation in environmental education. The study had two distinct, intertwined phases: collaborative action research and personal analysis and reflection. A key stimulus for the study was the perceived theory-practice gap in environmental education, often presented as a criticism of teachers. The intention of this study was to work with teachers in an exemplary environmental education project and to identify success factors. As the project proceeded, however, it became obvious that the goal was unrealistic. Institutional and organisational rigidities, teachers' day-to-day work demands, and the constant juggle of work and other responsibilities acted as constraints. Progress was slow. At times, the project was in danger of stalling permanently. The outcome seemed best described as a 'small win', perhaps just another example of the theory-practice gap I had hoped the project would bridge. Towards the end, however, an exploration of complexity theory gave new meaning to this 'small win'. I recognised that change is not the product of linear processes applied methodically in purposeful and diligent ways, but emerges from events and processes that cannot be forecast or planned for. This realisation led to a reframing of how I now view innovation in environmental education.