A state-systems approach to embedding the learning and teaching of sustainability in teacher education

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Stevenson, R, Ferreira, J, Evans, N & Davis, J 2015, 'A state-systems approach to embedding the learning and teaching of sustainability in teacher education', in SK Stratton, R Hagevik, Allan Feldman & M Bloom (eds) Educating teachers for sustainability, pp. 381-398. ISBN: 9783319164113

Published version available from:


Peer Reviewed



This chapter reports on a study that sought to develop a system-wide approach to embedding education for sustainability (EfS) (the preferred term in Australia) in teacher education. The strategy for a coordinated and coherent systemic approach involved identifying and eliciting the participation of key agents of change within the ‘teacher education system’ in one state in Australia, Queensland. This consisted of one representative from each of the eight Queensland universities offering pre-service teacher education, as well as the teacher registration authority, the key State Government agency responsible for public schools, and two national professional organisations. Part of the approach involved teacher educators at different universities developing an institutional specific approach to embedding sustainability education within their teacher preparation programs. Project participants worked collaboratively to facilitate policy and curriculum change while the project leaders used an action research approach to inform and monitor actions taken and to provide guidance for subsequent actions to effect change simultaneously at the state, institutional and course levels. The state-wide multi-site case study, we argue, has broader applications to state and national systems in other countries.