Pre-service teachers branch out : learning to learn together through the Caring Tree mural project / by Ali Solaja.
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While there is a growing body of literature on the educational benefits of engaging in community murals, less attention is given to the pedagogical significance of community mural-making in schools and Faculties of Education. 'Pre-service teachers branch out' is a thesis which explores this significance and looks at how the inclusion of community murals as research in environmental education can enrich practice. Specifically, this thesis supports community murals as a way of learning and doing research that is: participant-centered, process-oriented, relationships-based, and activist in aims. This thesis argues that these qualities, at the heart of community murals, are important for enabling an approach to environmental education that honours its inherent complex, embodied, and political nature. The research is co-constructed through a community mural project with six professional year students in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University. Our knowledge is represented in this thesis through art and text, which respond to the research questions: How is environmental education knowledge created and negotiated through a community mural project? And, what is the nature of the relationships amongst the participants, throughout this process? The findings reveal some insights for addressing complex challenges facing environmental educators, thus promoting participation in creative and collaborative forms of inquiry.