Professional learning communities and the integration of environmental education into teaching practice
Vandendool, Lisa Christine
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Subjectaction research; curricular integration; environmental education; professional learning communities
This thesis project investigates the use of one elementary school's Professional Learning Community (PLC) as a means of increasing teachers' abilities and willingness to effectively integrate Environmental Education (EE) in their teaching practices. The study was conducted as an action research project. Teachers worked collaboratively to develop a learning project with a focus on environmental education, integrating multiple curriculum outcomes from Alberta Education's grade three Programs of Study with the intent to implement this project with their students. The PLC was found to be an effective vehicle for increasing teachers' awareness of and willingness to teach EE. It provided the space and time necessary for a more thorough exploration of EE and its importance within the Alberta provincial school system. The teachers were able to work together successfully toward a common goal and became more open to implementing EE by talking through concerns and focusing on commonly held values and objectives.
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