Title

Understanding teachers' 'level of use' of learnscapes

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Skamp, KR 2009, 'Understanding teachers' 'level of use' of learnscapes', Environmental Education Research, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 93-110.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504620802629864

Abstract

All eight teachers and their principal, at an Australian regional primary school in New South Wales (NSW) accredited for its ongoing 'learnscape' developments, were interviewed. This was to ascertain their perceptions about the role of learnscapes and their self-reported use of such outdoor areas to assist in the achievement of their State's syllabus and environmental education learning outcomes. Teachers at the school (6) and their principal were (re)interviewed a year later to determine if changes in perceptions and practice had occurred and why. This paper interprets narratives derived from the combined interviews of these latter teachers and their principal from an educational change perspective in order to gain insight into their level of use of learnscapes. Teachers' learnscape and environmental education content and pedagogical knowledge, their focus on the consequences of learnscape use for student learning, and awareness of multiple learning outcomes, including social learning, when using learnscapes, were among interdependent change factors identified which may assist in understanding why teachers embraced learnscapes to different degrees. Consequent avenues for increasing the future use of learnscapes for syllabus and environmental purposes are suggested.

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