Faculty of Education

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedBerwick Second semester 2014 (Day)
Peninsula Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Susanne Garvis (Berwick); Dr Iris Duhn (Peninsula)


In this unit students develop strategies in education for environment and sustainability in early childhood education settings. They also explore this field of learning in the Early Years Learning Framework and as a cross-curriculum priority in the Australian and Victorian curriculums. They develop an appreciation for how education for environment and sustainability has emerged as a global priority through examination of research in this field and policy including goals and agreements developed by the United Nations. They develop an understanding of the concepts of 'environmental studies' and 'sustainability' and explore how these concepts are inextricably linked. They learn how to develop integrated approaches to 'environment' and 'sustainability' across early years and primary school curriculum. Students investigate and understand the cultural, social, economic, ecological and political factors that influence attitudes and action towards environment and sustainability. Students develop theoretical and pedagogical knowledge and understanding of how to develop whole school approaches and learning experiences for environment and sustainability at different levels of early childhood and primary education.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. describe and understand the difference between environmental and sustainability education
  2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the national and global reasons that have led to the emergence of education for sustainability as an educational priority
  3. develop a knowledge and understanding of how education for sustainability is related to the Early Years Learning Framework, the Australian Curriculum and AusVELS
  4. discuss and evaluate the influence of cultural, social, economic, ecological and political factors on how concepts of environment and sustainability are understood and incorporated into primary curricula in Australia and internationally
  5. design and implement learning experiences that incorporate 'environment' and 'sustainability' at different levels of education.


Essay: analysis of local, national and global environment and sustainability curriculum for early childhood education settings (1600 words, 40%)
Group development task: small groups work together to plan and write strategies for learning experiences related to environment and sustainability in early years education settings (2400 words, 60%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 hours per week

(b.) Additional requirements:

  • 10 hours of independent study per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study