Creating space for ‘the political’ in environmental and sustainability education practice: a Political Move Analysis of educators’ actions

Creating space for ‘the political’ in environmental and sustainability education practice: a Political Move Analysis of educators’ actions

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Katrien Van Poeck & Leif Östman

Pages: 1-18 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1306835

Literature about education’s role in realising a more sustainable world emphasises the importance of acknowledging democratic and political challenges in environmental and sustainability education (ESE). This article offers an empirically grounded theoretical and methodological contribution to future research on how ‘the political’ is introduced, handled and experienced in ESE practice. It presents an analytical method, ‘Political Move Analysis’, for investigating how educators’ actions open-up or close down a space for the political in learners’ meaning-making. The method has been developed through empirical case studies that allowed to identify a variety of ‘politicising’ and ‘de-politicising moves’ performed by educators. Through these moves, educators can engage in very diverse teaching practices which differently affect the direction of people’s meaning-making. These findings are theoretically discussed in view of how to understand the entanglement of the educative and the political in ESE. Prospects for future research and for inspiring teaching practice are pointed out.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2017.1306835

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