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Sustainability as a cross-curricular priority in the Australian Curriculum: a Tasmanian investigation


Dyment, JE and Hill, A and Emery, S, Sustainability as a cross-curricular priority in the Australian Curriculum: a Tasmanian investigation, Environmental Education Research, 21, (8) pp. 1105-1126. ISSN 1350-4622 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13504622.2014.966657


In this paper, we report on an investigation into sustainability education in schools in the Australian state of Tasmania following the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. Sustainability is one of three cross-curriculum priorities in the new national curriculum and is the focus of this research (sustainability cross-curriculum priority (CCP)). Principals and Curriculum Leaders (PCLs) from all schools in Tasmania were invited to complete a survey that asked them about their understanding of various aspects of sustainability and how the sustainability CCP was integrated across learning areas. Sixty-eight PCLs (24%) responded to the survey. They reported generally good understandings of sustainability and education for sustainability, but lesser understandings of the sustainability CCP and the nine organising ideas. Respondents’ understandings of sustainability were dominated by an environmental focus. The PCLs’ responses in relation to sustainability implementation across learning areas gave insights into ways that the sustainability CCP can serve as a pivot for cross-curricular teaching and learning, which is strongly advocated for achieving transformative sustainability education. We conclude this paper with a discussion of how the sustainability CCP is an important asset in the necessary reorientation of the Australian formal education system for a more sustainable future. We note the importance of professional support so that educators may better understand sustainability and its complexity as a cross-curricular priority and envision ways in which the sustainability CCP can be realised within education.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:education for sustainability; sustainability; curriculum change; cross-curricular teaching; professional learning; interdisciplinary learning
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dyment, JE (Associate Professor Janet Dyment)
UTAS Author:Hill, A (Dr Allen Hill)
UTAS Author:Emery, S (Dr Sherridan Emery)
ID Code:103944
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2015-10-29
Last Modified:2017-11-19

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