Re-Coupling Nature and Culture: How Can Primary Teacher Educators Enable Pre-service Teachers and Their Pupils to Breathe Life Back into Humanity’s Tin Forests?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainability and the Humanities
EditorsWalter Leal Filho, Adriana Consorte McCrea
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Pages71 - 96
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319953366
ISBN (Print)9783319953359
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2018
Publication type

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Meeker (1972) has long observed the tendency of Western democracies to separate culture from nature in order to dominate it. West (2007) asserts it is the estrangement of culture from nature that contributes to a separation between the conscious reason and the unconscious psyche, leading to an alienation of individuals from their environment. The long-term consequences of such detachment lie in wait for future generations of the Earth’s children.
This paper reports the findings of a case-study to explore how pre-service teachers’ conceptualisations of Education for Sustainable Development were mediated using the picture book The Tin Forest (Ward and Anderson, 2001) and the dramatic inquiry pedagogy The Mantle of the Expert (Bolton and Heathcote, 1999) to contextualise a programme of cross-curricular teaching interventions facilitating links between sustainability, the humanities and arts, within a series of science workshops.

Findings indicate when teacher educators model to pre-service teachers the use of a cross-curricular approach to pedagogical design (Brown and Edelson, 2003) and curriculum-making they demonstrate there are multiple ways of knowing and presenting curricular content to facilitate a diversity of responses from pupils as artists, poets, creative writers, makers, musicians, dancers, scientists, mathematicians, stewards and guardians.