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Caribbean Journal of Education

Beginning Teachers as Change Agents–for Sustainable Societies: Exploring the Relationship between Beginning Teachers’ Concept of Change Agency and the Concept of Sustainability

Publication Date: 
April 2011

Based on findings from a study of beginning teachers’ concepts of professionalism in Jamaica, this paper argues for the development of pedagogy in teacher education to address sustainability. The findings indicate that at the core of beginning teachers’ concept of the teacher as a professional is that of the teacher as a change agent. What these teachers mean when they speak of change agents and change agency is the subject of this paper. Specifically the paper analyzes prospective and beginning teachers’ understanding and practice of change agency within the context of one of the critical philosophies of our times—that of sustainability. The analysis reveals the gaps and limitations of their understanding and practice. The paper concludes by suggesting how teacher education pedagogy, focused on sustainability, would have enabled these teachers to be effective change agents.

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