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Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

DOI

10.14221/ajte.2022v47n5.4

Abstract

Early childhood teachers’ environmental perceptions can influence young children’s learning about environmental issues. Yet, to date, there is minimal research focusing on the perceptions of environmental sustainability held by early childhood teachers. This qualitative phenomenographic study collected data via individual semi-structured interviews with five early childhood teachers and one head teacher, in Malta. Preliminary findings revealed that the participants perceived environmental sustainability in terms of environmental concerns; environmental responsibility; and environmental protection. A mismatch between the participants’ environmental concerns and their pro-environmental behaviour emerged. The data also show that any environmental activities at school were done so uncritically. These findings hold importance for the reorientation of in-service and pre-service early childhood teacher education programs towards sustainability to ensure that systems thinking around critical environmental issues are introduced in the early years by addressing gaps in knowledge and supporting educators' development at the earliest stage (i.e., pre-service)

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2022v47n5.4