Futuring sustainable Australian teacher education through recent doctoral dissertations: a thematic analysis of alternative scenarios

P. A. Danaher, Yi Ren, Lindsay Parry, R. Harreveld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Envisioning and enacting teacher education for sustainable futures require simultaneous attention to multiple influences and imperatives. One among several possible approaches to this task is to draw on alternative scenarios as recommended by futures researchers, thereby suggesting several different possible visions of teacher education and considering their likely impact on current policy-making and practice. This paper deploys scenarios of potential higher education futures in the United Kingdom (Blass, Jasman, & Shelley, 2010, in press) as a framework for addressing this research question: Which challenges and opportunities might shape the sustainability of Australian teacher education? In particular, the framework is employed to examine six recent doctoral dissertations supervised by the authors and dealing explicitly or implicitly with teacher education research issues, ranging from visual literacy and visual signifiers to students with learning difficulties and teaching for social justice. A thematic analysis elicits several opportunities and challenges attending the sustainability options for Australian teacher education generated by Blass et al.'s (2010, in press) scenarios. The paper presents the thematic analysis findings by clustering the opportunities and challenges around three key elements of contemporary theorising of sustainability: contexts, connect ions and capabilities (Holland, 2008; Lanzi, 2007). These elements are posited as robust conceptual resources for highlighting and interrogating sustainability options across multiple domains of educational experience and activity. They are also proposed as vital ingredients in the ongoing re-evaluation of Australian teacher education designed to ensure its sustainable futures and to maximise its effectiveness and relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian Teacher Education Conference Proceedings 2010
Subtitle of host publicationTeacher Education for a Sustainable Future
PublisherAustralian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780975232453
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference - Townsville, Qld.
Duration: 4 Jul 20107 Jul 2010


ConferenceAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference
CityTownsville, Qld.


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