Finding the Curriculum in the Environment: Fieldwork approaches to student learning in Initital Teacher Education

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Abstract: In Scotland the introduction of A Curriculum for Excellence, (SEED, 2004) will give teachers the responsibility
to support children's learning to become active citizens. As a teacher educator with responsibility for the delivery of combined
Social Subjects to student teachers I am very aware of the ways in which they encompass an understanding of the social
and cultural environment and its engagement with the natural world. The complementary disciplines enable learners to
become reflexive participants in society, critically engaging with thinking about communities, social roles, politics, environment
and a focus on citizenship education highlights this further. The Social Subjects also provide students opportunities
to explore the concept of ‘habitus’ (Bourdieu, 1977), that is a way of understudying our place/being in the world and the
relationship between our perceptions of ourselves as individuals and our living in community with others. Bruner’s model
of representations of the world suggests three distinct phases in the development of understanding the world around us. In
the development of a critical understanding of concepts such as place, time and society in student teachers the street can
form an important locus for learning in an open, embodied and investigative way. This paper addresses the ways in which
holistic and collaborative engagement by student teachers of a local street underpins their understanding of the diverse
nature of ‘environmental education.’
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Embodied Learning
  • Habitus
  • Teacher Education
  • Fieldwork


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