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Title: Educating for sustainability in virtual worlds: Does the virtual have value?
Contributor(s): Quinn, Frances  (author)orcid ; Lyons, Terry  (author)
Publication Date: 2014
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Abstract: Two key elements of education for sustainability (EfS) are action-competence, and the importance of place and experiencing the natural world. These elements emphasise and depend on the relationship between learners and their real world contexts, and have been incorporated to some extent into the sustainability cross-curricular perspective of the new Australian curriculum. Given the importance of real-world experiential learning in EfS, what is to be made of the use of multi-user virtual worlds in EfS? We went with our preservice secondary science teachers to the very appealing virtual world 'Quest Atlantis', which we are using in this paper as an example to explore the value of virtual worlds in EfS. In assessing the virtual world of 'Quest Atlantis' against Australia's Sustainability Curriculum Framework, many areas of coherence are evident relating to world viewing, systems thinking and futures thinking, knowledge of ecological and human systems, and implementing and reflecting on the consequences of actions. The power and appeal of these virtual experiences in developing these knowledges is undeniable. However there is some incoherence between the elements of EfS as expressed in the Sustainability Curriculum Framework and the experience of QA where learners are not acting in their real world, or developing connection with real place. This analysis highlights both the value and some limitations of virtual worlds as a venue for EfS.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: ESERA 2013: 10th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2nd - 7th September, 2013
Conference Details: ESERA 2013: 10th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2nd - 7th September, 2013
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the ESERA 2013 Conference: Science Education Research For Evidence-based Teaching and Coherence in Learning (Strand 9: Environmental, health and outdoor science education), p. 1-6
Publisher: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA)
Place of Publication: online
Field of Research (FOR): 130106 Secondary Education
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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