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Hopes and Prospects for the Sustainability Cross-Curriculum Priority: Provocations From a State-Wide Case Study

  • Allen Hill (a1) and Janet E. Dyment (a1)

This article draws on research data from a state-wide case study, intertwined with three key moments that occurred in late 2014, to critically engage with the hopes and prospects of the Sustainability Cross-Curriculum Priority (CCP) in Australian schools. These key moments — the IPCC 5th Assessment Synthesis Report (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014), the conclusion of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005–2014 (UNDESD), and the release of the Australian Government's Review of the Australian Curriculum: Final Report (Donnelly & Wiltshire, 2014) — illuminate both the imperative of societal change towards sustainability and the difficulty associated with integrating sustainability learning into Australian schools. The research findings presented in this article suggest that while there is reasonable support for the Sustainability CCP in some Tasmanian schools, there are many concerns that may be preventing effective integration of sustainability into curriculum. Most notably, there is a limited level of teacher understanding or capability in relation to the Sustainability CCP, which is probably compounded by a distinct lack of professional learning and development. As the spotlight is increasingly focused on the CCPs, we argue for structural change to the curriculum, alongside increased support for schools and teachers, in order to see sustainability learning effectively weaved into Australian schooling.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Allen Hill, Department of Humanities, Ara Institute of Canterbury, PO Box 540, Christchurch 8140, Aotearoa New Zealand. 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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