Environmental education (EE) policy and content of the contemporary (2009–2017) Mexican national curriculum for primary schools

Environmental education (EE) policy and content of the contemporary (2009–2017) Mexican national curriculum for primary schools

  • New EER Article Alert

Arely Anahy Paredes-Chi & María Dolores Viga-de Alva

Pages: 1-17 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1333576


In Mexico a reformed curriculum is being implemented at the national primary level focused on the competence model and incorporating EE as a key element. This article reports our analyses of what theories, policies and/or EE related-contents were included in the documents that integrated this curriculum: general study plan, study programs of Grades and official students’ textbooks. Results indicate that in those official documents was incorporated a competence related to EE called ‘competences for the coexistence’, implying harmonic relationships with others and the nature. Additionally, EE for sustainability was included as a transversal topic expecting that contributes to reach the graduate profile of basic education that indicates that students should promote and assume the care of health and the environment. Nevertheless, it is not clear how it is expected that teachers implement EE in practice, lacking clarity of the environmental theory that support this curriculum.

Keywords: Primary school, official curriculum documents, EE curriculum analysis, Mexico




Start the week by registering for the WEEC2017 Research Symposium, Vancouver

This day-long Research Symposium at the World Environmental Education Congress 2017 will provide a range of insights and dialogues to focus our attention on questions of strategy and priority for environmental education.

The day will include plenary panels in the morning and afternoon, alongside participatory dialogues and a strategy workshop. The first half of the day will focus on trajectories of environmental education, through presentations and discussion that probe why the field of environmental education has become what it is, and where might it be heading. The second half of the day will focus on priorities for environmental education, through presentations and discussion that probe how to increase the contributions of research, policy, and strategy in advancing environmental education.

Short and provocative position papers from invited speakers will be pre‐circulated on the event themes. Registrants will be expected to have read the short position papers and come prepared to discuss them with their authors and other attendees.

Participation is limited to congress delegates and with no additional fee, with pre-registration required. Register for this thought-provoking symposium on the main congress registration site.

The Research Symposium is being co-organised by Marcia McKenzie, Director of The Sustainability Education Research Institute (SERI), and Alan Reid, on behalf of the research and evaluation strand of WEEC2017, with sponsorship from The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) and Environmental Education Research.


Weekend viewing – “Learning to Live with Climate Change: What Educators Need to Know”

The first NAAEE webinar this year was on “Learning to Live with Climate Change: What Educators Need to Know”. Watch it again at the link:


Connecting students to nature – how intensity of nature experience and student age influence the success of outdoor education programs

Connecting students to nature – how intensity of nature experience and student age influence the success of outdoor education programs

  • article in current issue

Tina Braun & Paul Dierkes

Pages: 937-949 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1214866


Nature connectedness counts as a crucial predictor of pro-environmental behavior. For counteracting today’s environmental issues a successful re-connection of individuals to nature is necessary. Besides the promotion of knowledge transfer the aim of the educational program presented in this study is to connect students to their environment. This research explores the impact of an outdoor environmental education program on primary and secondary school students’ nature connectedness with regard to the extent of their nature experience and participant age. The intervention was implemented in two durations: one-day and five-days. Participants were divided into four subsamples from seven up to 18 years of age. Findings suggest that both intervention types evoke immediate shifts towards a stronger nature connectedness among students (p < .001). Notably, the five-day outdoor education interventions were significantly more effective in sustainably promoting nature connectedness compared to one-day field trips (p < .001). Seven to nine year old students performed the strongest shifts towards nature. The value of short-term and residential outdoor environmental education interventions is discussed.

Keywords: Environmental education, inclusion of nature in self, nature connectedness, outdoor education, evaluation




Tips on Thursdays – know someone who needs a research award?

There aren’t many awards in this field, but NAAEE does have some, including an “Outstanding Contributions to Research in EE” category.
Find out more on how to nominate – and of course, eligibility criteria – at the Research and Evaluation group eePRO group (you may need to join eePRO to see this):
You can read about the award and past winners at:
… and may spot some notable gaps in that list – a spur to nominate perhaps? Deadline is tight – 4 August!
PS if this category doesn’t quite fit, there are others, and other award schemes out – use the comments area to share those?

How the environment is positioned in the Next Generation Science Standards: a critical discourse analysis

How the environment is positioned in the Next Generation Science Standards: a critical discourse analysis

  • New EER Article Alert

Elizabeth Hufnagel, Gregory J. Kelly & Joseph A. Henderson

Pages: 1-23 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1334876


The purpose of this paper is to describe how the environment and environmental issues are conceptualized and positioned in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to examine underlying assumptions about the environment. The NGSS are a recent set of science standards in the USA, organized and led by Achieve Inc., that propose science education goals based on the National Research Council report, A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Drawing from critical discourse analysis, we present a detailed textual analysis of the NGSS to identify the positioning of the environment with respect to humans and human activity. This analysis shows patterns in the ways that the environment is conceptualized and inscribed in the standards as an entity separate from people through both exclusion and ambiguity. We also discuss findings about how agency is more often ascribed to actions or activities rather than people and when solutions to environmental issues are included, the focus is on technoscientific solutions. Finally, we provide implications for considering scientific and environmental literacy, education for action, and the role of standards documents in shaping educational practice.

Keywords: Standards, discourse, policy, environmental education, science




Probing into the sources of ignorance: science teachers’ practices of constructing arguments or rebuttals to denialism of climate change

Probing into the sources of ignorance: science teachers’ practices of constructing arguments or rebuttals to denialism of climate change

  • New EER Article Alert

Asli Sezen-Barrie, Nicole Shea & Jenna Hope Borman

Pages: 0-21 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1330949


This study focuses on the nature of teachers’ arguments for and rebuttals to 10 denial theories about anthropogenic climate change that are most commonly encountered in the media and public debates. Through a semi-structured survey, the study collected data from 24 participants who are K-12 teachers in Maryland and Delaware. The deductive coding and frequency analysis of data shows that although all participants of our study agree with the importance of teaching anthropogenic climate change, some teachers agree with the denial theories of climate change. The arguments for the denial theories show less epistemic quality than the rebuttals against denial theories. Moreover, teachers went beyond the textbooks and searched for other varied sources of information. However, we noticed that teachers might still doubt the anthropogenic causes of climate change. The study further uses intertextual discourse analysis to explore the reasons why use of sources might still leave teachers confused.

Keywords: Climate change, teacher education, arguments/rebuttals