Weekend viewing – from Anecdotes to Evidence

Find out about the “Anecdotes to Evidence: Demonstrating the power of environmental education” project, from eeWORKS, a project designed to deliver communication tools and strategies that EE professionals can use to bolster support and increase investments in EE, based on summaries and reviews of the research literature.

Read on at: https://naaee.org/our-work/programs/eeworks

Collective Impact on the Ground

Start the week by considering the collective impact of environmental education initiatives

In this new article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the journal’s Associate Editor, Nicole Ardoin and colleagues explore “what might be possible if organisations worked together to increase the impact of environmental education”.

The article sketches the roles and challenges of ensuring a commitment to equity, a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and a backbone support organization.

— You might also be wondering what this raises for environmental education research too (and not just in California). For starters, how to foster (or impede?) collaborative processes, and what kinds of collective impact are desired and desirable for whom, where and when – and of course, why …?

An in-depth look at an environmental education collaborative during the early stages of its collective impact process.

In early 2013, funders, environmental educators, and researchers crowded elbow-to-elbow around a 20-year-old redwood forest shelf fungus. On the 23rd-floor conference room of a San Francisco skyscraper, a skilled educator engaged the group in conversation around this object. Hushed tones filled the room, punctuated by the easy laughter and engaged questions one would expect from a collegial group.

Yet, the group hadn’t always looked this way. Just a year and a half earlier, members of the group sat stiffly in office chairs as they wrestled with an exciting, yet daunting, question: What might be possible if their organizations worked together to increase the impact of environmental education across the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions?”

Read on at the link: Collective Impact on the Ground | Stanford Social Innovation Review


How to understand and manage the interactional effects of having so many SDGs and targets?

The International Council on Science (ICSU) has published a report illustrating how researchers are documenting, visualising and evaluating the interactions between various sustainable development goals and targets, a simple scale for which is reproduced below. 

The scale and report offer a series of timely reminders to those facing competing demands on their priorities, efforts and understanding across a range of fronts.

First, there’s the usual concern that having multiple and many goals isn’t automatically good (particularly if you need not just fingers but toes to cover them all).

Second, each and every goal can’t easily be pursued simultaneously as if they were somehow isolated from each other or had no spill-over effects.

Third, as the report highlights, paying attention to interactions is crucial. A simple starting point is whether strategies and targets reinforce or undermine each other on a pair-wise basis. But the bigger challenge is facing up to the likelihood of complex chains of effects across multiple goals, where follow-on questions include the degree of uncertainty associated with modelling and understanding these, if not how important each and every scenario for these are (17 goals, 169 targets = how many possible interactions?).

So while a few circles and scales can get the conversation started, expect the 2030 Agenda to require more sophisticated and rigorous debate on what is possible to represent and understand here, for the experts and the public taking on the Sustainable Development Goals. Don’t be surprised if that requires further and new forms of learning, deliberation and inquiry in civil society and government – something that wasn’t quite what the authors of SDG4 had in mind as its remit or horizon?




Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education: Remaking Education for the Future

Editors: Jickling, Bob, Sterling, Stephen (Eds.)

This book provides a critique of over two decades of sustained effort to infuse educational systems with education for sustainable development. Taking to heart the idea that deconstruction is a prelude to reconstruction, this critique leads to discussions about how education can be remade, and respond to the educational imperatives of our time, particularly as they relate to ecological crises and human-nature relationships. It will be of great interest to students and researchers of sociology, education, philosophy and environmental issues.

This is the first book in the series, Palgrave Studies in Education and the Environment.

Find out more about the book and the series at the link.

Source: Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education – Springer

From thesis summaries to full theses

Environmental education in a climate of reform: understanding teacher educators’ experiences

In 2014, Sylvia Almeida created a summary of her doctoral thesis for the journal. A study of environmental education policy reform in India, and awarded by Monash University, you can read and download the full thesis via Figshare at the main link, her abstract is as follows:

In a climate of national and international policy reform in environmental education this study is designed to examine the ways in which environmental education is implemented by teacher educators (n=11) in a particular teacher education institution in India. The rapid economic progression particularly over the last decade has led to environmental problems of an unprecedented level. India has struggled to keep pace with these problems resulting in the judiciary stepping in and ordering mandatory Environmental Education in the curricula for all schools and undergraduate programs. This study shows that while there has been development of policies, their impact on teacher educators’ practice, and therefore student teachers’ learning about Environmental Education is limited. This thesis is an ethnographic study of a Teacher Education institution in India. The data included public and private policy documents, semi-structured interviews and classroom observations. These data sets helped to shed light on the work and lives of the participating teacher educators and how they understood, negotiated, determined and implemented Environmental Education. The study showed that while these teacher educators had a clear understanding of the environment and saw the need/importance of incorporating Environmental Education in their daily practices they had very little scope to do so. There were numerous factors that constrained implementation. This thesis argues that while policy reforms are a step in the right direction they need to be backed up with strong implementation systems in order to be successful.

Figshare can be used to store and share various outputs from academic research, providing DOIs and usage figures for its users. Find out more at their website.

Sylvia Christine Almeida PhD (2014) Environmental education in a climate of reform: understanding teacher educators’ experiences, Environmental Education Research, 20:4, 575-576, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2014.910498

New Release: Environmental Education Research Bulletin


We’re excited to announce the release of the latest Environmental Education Research Bulletin, which is a collaborative project with ChangeScale, NAAEE, and Dr. Nicole Ardoin at Stanford University. The research bulletins synthesize and summarize recently reported research from journals focused on issues pertaining to environmental educators. The bulletins include articles related to environmental education evaluation, sense of place, environmental behavior, teaching practices, and professional development, among other relevant topics.

Be on the lookout for new editions of the Research Bulletins later in the year. They are part of our work for our ee360 initiative, which is designed to link research and practice for everyone working in environmental education.

Let us know what you think, and thanks again to our partners at ChangeScale and Stanford!

Environmental Education Research Bulletin, Issue 9 >

“The bulletin is designed to inform environmental and sustainability educators about recent relevant research, with a primary emphasis on informal, field, and residential settings, as well as stewardship behavior, conservation, and related topics. Although other environmental educators and those in related fields might also find this bulletin useful, it does not—nor is it intended to—cover all aspects of environmental education. This Research Bulletin, as well as past issues, is available online through the ChangeScale website: www.changescale.org, as well as on the NAAEE website at https://naaee.org/…/resear…/environmental-education-research. Please send questions and feedback to eeresearchbulletins@changescale.org.”

Source: New Release: Environmental Education Research Bulletin