“I Had to Take Action Straight Away.” Preservice Teachers’ Accounts of Pro-environmental Action

  • Lyn CarterEmail author
  • Jenny Martin
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 14)


This chapter focuses on actions at the heart of the STEPWISE framework. Utilising a discursive psychological perspective less usual in science education than cognitive psychology, this chapter investigates preservice teachers’ sense of responsibility for education for sustainability (EfS) or pro-environmental action. Unlike cognitive psychology, the discursive approach acknowledges cultural and relational aspects of any action in the social world and no distinction is made between social and psychological phenomena. Using a coding system developed around the Grammar of Agency, we present findings from our preservice teachers’ development as applied scientifically literate citizens to show how their pro-environmental engagement is limited to individualistic positioning. There may be implications for EfS studies, STEPWISE and other sociopolitical and STSE projects self-reflecting about the cognitive psychological assumptions that depict individual minds and knowledge as separated from their social realisation.


Discursive psychology Pro-environmental action Applied scientific literacy Initial teacher education Grammar of agency 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and ArtsAustralian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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