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Improving the Praxis of Environmental and Sustainability Education in Pre-service Teacher Education

Canoeing, singing around a campfire, outdoor yoga, nature walks...sounds like summer camp!  The National Roundtable in Environmental & Sustainability Education in Pre-service Teacher Education was more retreat than camp, yet these experiential activities complemented the lectures, research presentations, and facilitated discussions that delegates were immersed in.  

Hosted in June on the beautiful campus of Trent University in Peterborough Canada by a team of Canadian scholars, this event aimed to bring together those interested in improving praxis and research in ESE in pre-service teacher education.  The 75 delegates, all involved in different aspects of teacher education, came from faculties of education, NGOs, Ministries of Education, and other policy-making organizations. 

Keynote talks by Nicole Bell, Lucie Sauvé, and Charles Hopkins shed light on local, regional, and global initiatives in ESE in pre-service teacher education, articulating the need for and urgency of this work; another thirty presentations on research and practice provided inspiration on how to move this work forward.  Delegates responded by getting to work - through discussing, sharing, networking, and building consensus on how to improve ESE in pre-service teacher education across the country.  

This resulted in a National Action plan, as well as the Otonabee Declaration, calling for a clear and mandatory presence of ESE in all pre-service teacher education programs in Canada.  

The plan and the declaration will help to lay the foundation for working groups to begin to implement the four planks of the Action Plan on a national level, and for individuals to begin work in their faculties of ed on a local level.  

To follow the progress of this work, and to access resources to help with the implementation of EE, visit http://eseinfacultiesofed.ca/index.html 

- Submitted by Hilary Inwood