The present research explores whether environmental education practices and methods can serve as a professional development tool and help science teachers to transform theory into educational practice. To answer this question, the perceptions of 40 experienced science teachers implementing environmental education programs were explored. Activity theory was used as an analytical tool to illuminate how teachers relate science teaching to environmental education and to highlight the contradictions and tensions that develop due to the conflict between the dominant positivist model of science teaching and the child-centered model of constructivism adopted by environmental education. The analysis showed that environmental education has the potential to lead to the desired transformation if implemented in a way that is consistent with its principles and objectives. It can also support horizontal professional development efforts as it utilizes the very strong intrinsic and personal motivations of teachers that drive them to engage in environmental education programs.
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