Engaging Creative Pedagogies to Reframe Environmental Learning in an Indonesian Teacher Education Program

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Putri, I Gusti Agung Paramitha Eka ORCID: 0000-0002-5405-7606 (2021) Engaging Creative Pedagogies to Reframe Environmental Learning in an Indonesian Teacher Education Program. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs are responsible for producing graduate teachers with strong capabilities, through advancing high quality teaching strategies and evidence-based teaching. With an increased understanding of universities’ capacities for delivering social change, an interest in broadening knowledges beyond traditional disciplines has emerged. ITE programs are further challenged to address sustainability and mobilise possibilities. A strategic goal for achieving these expectations is to reorient teaching and learning by connecting them with dimensions of the world beyond a discipline focus, including culture, society, and the natural world. Leveraging from Lin’s (2011) work on creative pedagogy, I explore the teaching and learning experiences of Balinese ITE educators and pre-service teachers (PSTs), which interconnect with several ecological zones within the university. The aim of this inquiry is to obtain and offer insights into how a particular pedagogical strategy – creative pedagogy – supports the establishment of transformative environmental learning, including how it enhances the ITE educators’ capacity to scaffold environmental learning, and repositions Balinese indigenous knowledge within an Indonesian ITE program. I also provide an analysis of barriers to practicing creative pedagogies within this higher education context, and signal possible response strategies. This research is informed by Barnett’s (2018) notion of the ‘ecological university’ and draws on literature, and concepts, that relate to creativity in education, pedagogies in higher education, and meaning-making through an indigenous lens. Each chapter of my thesis is accompanied by a different Balinese metaphor that models ways of integrating cross-cultural knowledge. Using the metaphor of Balinese broom construction in the sampat lidi, my study is situated within interpretivist and transformative paradigms. I utilised Kemmis et al.’s (2014) critical participatory action research (CPAR) approaches in semi-structured classroom observations, creative collegial group meetings, and questionnaires with three ITE educators and forty-six PSTs. All participants boast the dual roles of experiencing pedagogies and initiating pedagogical transformation in the ITE program. Data were analysed using two cycles of coding before being displayed as analytic units in a conceptually clustered matrix. Major findings from my research include the emergence of a creative pedagogies mandala that offers an understanding of pedagogical practices across five ecological zones: knowledge, learning, culture, persons, and natural environment. The mandala reflects the results of an interplay between creative teaching, teaching for creativity, and creative learning, techniques administered by the ITE educators to support the shaping of PSTs’ intuitive, collaborative, and reflective skills. The mandala encompasses appropriate pedagogical strategies that are sensitive to indigenous perspectives. The mandala creates a third space for Western and Eastern cultures to interact after creativity and environmental learning, and grounds the indigenous Balinese ways of knowing nature within Western-style ITE classrooms. I pose that creative pedagogies promote the involvement of the ITE educators and PSTs in a more sustainable learning, and support individual and future wellbeing within a world full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Although this research was conducted prior to the pandemic, my findings signal that it is imperative for an ITE program to allow a space for ITE educators and PSTs to experiment with learning, perform risk-taking pedagogical actions, and re-connect with their local places and communities in order to build resilience amidst unprecedented circumstances in the post-COVID era.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/43678
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3903 Education systems
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords creative pedagogies, environmental learning, teacher education, Indonesia, Balinese educators, pre-service teachers, initial teacher education programs, ITE programs, ITE educators
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