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Bridges to Global Citizenship: Ecologically Sustainable Futures Utilising Children's Literature in Teacher Education

  • Debbie Bradbery (a1)

Developing an understanding of the importance of a sustainable future is vital in helping children to become ‘global citizens’. Global citizens are those willing to take responsibility for their own actions, respect and value diversity and see themselves as contributors to a more peaceful and sustainable world. Children's literature — picture and story books in particular — can be used as a powerful tool to help even the youngest citizens become aware of the need to assume responsibility for creating and enjoying a sustainable future through global citizenship. Children's literature can be utilised to help children examine and change personal lifestyles to secure a sustainable future; to identify, investigate, evaluate and undertake appropriate action to maintain, protect and enhance local and global environments; to challenge preconceived ideas, accept change and acknowledge uncertainty and to work cooperatively and in partnerships with others. This article explores and examines ways in which some examples of Australasian children's literature, specifically Storm Boy (Thiele, 1963), Lester and Clyde (Reece, 1991), The Waterhole (Base, 2001), Window (Baker, 1991) and Belonging (Baker, 2004), have been used in a literacy focused preservice teacher education course to assist preservice teachers entering their internship school placements to develop children's understandings of an ecologically sustainable future. It provides further insight into methods for embedding teaching for a sustainable future into pre-service teacher education.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Debbie Bradbery, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia. Email:
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Australian Journal of Environmental Education
  • ISSN: 0814-0626
  • EISSN: 2049-775X
  • URL: /core/journals/australian-journal-of-environmental-education
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