Environmental Education for Educators

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Embracing the essence of peace education requires a new vision of the school curriculum, an intercultural framework of teaching and learning and new roles by the teachers. A legitimate question to be asked is how are teachers, who were not trained in a fashion that exemplifies intercultural frameworks of teaching and learning, expected to teach about social change, peace and reconciliation? An approach to this challenge, we argue, lies within teacher education programs as a means to supporting future teachers construct personal theories of peace education and develop the knowledge, beliefs and abilities needed to bring change in their classrooms. This view is in conjunction with relevant literature pointing that every proposal to reform, restructure or transform schools emphasized teacher education as the primary vehicle in efforts to bring about needed change. In the case of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot teachers, this need lies further than intercultural educational framework. Exploring common interests about their country could contribute to bringing down the walls that divide the two communities and establish peaceful routes to communication, collaboration and development. Education for sustainability, via peace education, multicultural education and environmental education, holds this potential.

The emphasis of our project is on supporting prospective teachers to construct and implement a new vision of peace education through raising their awareness about local environmental issues. In doing so, we aim at organizing environmental education camps, an international conference on environmental education, educational workshops and outdoor activities with the purpose of keeping prospective teachers abreast of current issues in environmental education, support them in constructing visions of reconciliation, help them implement innovations and essentially refine their understandings in the service of peace. Instrumental to our approach is the collaboration and interaction among prospective teachers, teacher educators, science education experts and environment experts that form a dynamic group of an array of interrelated philosophical perspectives, knowledge and expertise.

 
 
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