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Early career teacher educators' dispositions toward sustainability and accountability for sustainability issues: a case from teachers colleges in Turkey

Mustafa Öztürk (Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey)
Oren Pizmony-Levy (Teachers College of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 15 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the dispositions of early career teacher educators as young academics toward sustainability and accountability for sustainability issues. Through their interpretations, concerns, awareness and ownership of sustainability, the study portrays how a global phenomenon is articulated specifically within the local context of teachers colleges in Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was designed as a survey, and the data were collected through a cross-sectional online questionnaire. The sample (n = 72) was limited, through purposeful sampling, to early career teacher educators teaching and being trained in well-established Turkish teachers colleges to become prospective faculty members of newly founded teachers colleges across the country. The data were analyzed primarily through quantitative methods. For the analyses, STATA software was used to perform descriptive and inferential statistics.

Findings

The general results indicated that the participants were highly concerned about sustainability problems. However, their concerns were not reflected to the same degree on their perceived awareness and ownership of education for sustainable development (ESD). Hunger and poverty, loss of biodiversity, climate change and epidemic diseases were all perceived to be urgent more in the global context. On the other hand, unemployment, refugees and terrorism were perceived to be locally urgent problems. Different agencies within the community were addressed to be accountable for different types of sustainability problems. The accountability for economic, environmental and societal problems were mainly placed on governments. Additionally, individuals/families and educators were held more accountable for environmental issues, while corporations and super powers were held more accountable for economic issues. As for societal issues, educators, individuals/families and non-governmental organizations were addressed to be more responsible.

Originality/value

The significance of the study is mainly twofold. If sustainable development is conceptualized with a futuristic viewpoint that attaches a great importance to next generations' needs, focusing on the dispositions of early career teacher educators as young academics is a reasonable way of addressing the current gaps and eliminating the future inefficacies. Building on the assumption that ESD would remain imperfect without the commitment of teacher educators who have the potential to bring changes in educational systems and shape knowledge and skills of future teachers, in turn future generations; this study becomes even more valuable as it includes specifically the academicians in the field of teacher education.

Keywords

Citation

Öztürk, M. and Pizmony-Levy, O. (2021), "Early career teacher educators' dispositions toward sustainability and accountability for sustainability issues: a case from teachers colleges in Turkey", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-02-2021-0051

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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