Finding Ways to Fill the Void: A Study of Science Preservice Teachers’ Self–Positioning as Consumers

Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 16)


In this chapter, we explore the perspectives of three preservice teacher education students in their first year of their Bachelor of Education at a university in Australia. These 18–19 year old students were challenged to reduce their ecological footprint during a compulsory, 12–week science course that focused on applied dimensions of scientific literacy concerning environmental sustainability. As part of the course, they were required to conduct an evidence–based appraisal of their current consumption practices, redesign practices to reduce the same and evaluate their success or otherwise. Our research is concerned with better understanding the capacities of these young adults to position themselves as scientifically literate social actors who will ultimately be charged with the responsibility of educating others. Data for the study consisted of journals kept by the participating students containing reflective accounts of their action to reduce their consumption and ecological footprint over the 12 week semester. Our analysis highlights their self–positioning as consumers as they negotiate often contradictory responsibilities and obligations as undergraduate students, global citizens, future educators, and as members of a consumer generation.


Discursive psychology Sustainability Scientific literacy Preservice teachers 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and ArtsAustralian Catholic UniversityEast MelbourneAustralia

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