The Future of Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Enhancement of Leadership, Responsibility-Taking, and Personal Development Amongst Novice Teachers Via an Integrated Sustainability Teaching Programme Taught by Higher-Education Staff

Yifat Oshrat-Fink, Oranim College and University of Haifa (Dept. of Education) (Israel)



In 2013, a teacher-training institution in the north of Israel has initiated a pioneering project in which ten lecturers cooperate to teach courses in their field of knowledge (telecommunication, technology, and information management, environmental sustainability, and pedagogy and didactics). The project seeks to convey theoretical and practical knowledge relating to curriculum content, its specific objective being to prepare novice teachers for teaching integrated subjects within the primary-education system. Each lecturer takes professional responsibility for enhancing the students’ vision via the study of learning content and development of effective teaching strategies. The teaching staff share and coordinate knowledge, modes of operation, and learning processes via an on-going synchronous and asynchronous discourse.

     Sustainability was chosen because of its relevance to future generations. Today’s teachers must be capable of creating tailored curricula that address the various fields of knowledge sustainability encompasses. Social networking likewise forming a pervasive element of contemporary life, novices need technological skills that will enable them to use both synchronous and asynchronous teaching modes. Pedagogy and pedagogical instructors are also influential in shaping novice teachers’ educational outlook. The project demands that students acquire theoretical knowledge, participate in learning workshops, and develop and teach practice integrative lesson units within a concentrated period around an organising principle linked to sustainability.

     It is accompanied by a study examining the attitudes of 44 second-year students towards values and beliefs concerning the integrative teaching of sustainability, the contribution made by personal experience and integrated study, and the acquisition of skills for planning integrative classes. A mixed method study design was adopted, both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data being conducted. The latter were collected via pre-post questionnaires, additional qualitative data being sampled from the students’ reflective writing at the end of the process.

     The poster will present the integrative conceptual design behind the project and the principal findings. These indicate a significant rise in perception of the importance of personal responsibility for promoting life in a sustainable world, recognition of the role integrative teaching plays in shaping the image of teachers as educators, and understanding of how integration can help them acquire relevant content for daily living, and the establishment of team work patterns. The teaching staff found this collaborative type of integrated teaching significant, also serving as a form of modelling. The challenges and successes will be presented and a brief description given of the steps taken the following year (2014) for extending the programme.

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