Key questions about climate change education and research

Key questions about climate change education and research

Alan Reid (Monash University) ]



What is this thing called climate change education?

What does it mean to do climate change education?

Or is the question, why there has to be such a thing, more vital?


What is climate change education expected to accomplish?

Are current approaches to climate change education sufficient to the task?

Is climate change education the priority of priorities in these times (and what are the alternatives)?


Is what is supposed to happen in climate change education happening?

Is there confusion about how climate change education relates to both education and climate change?

How has climate change education been understood and how else might it be thought, or thought about better?


From a research perspective, what needs questioning in climate change education?

Is there a strong case for investigating some things more closely than others, now and soon?

Might it be what influences climate change education the most, who asserts what, who argues that … or something other?


What can be said about climate change education based on research evidence?

What hasn’t yet been researched adequately, or enough, in relation to climate change education?

In what ways do the key issues in climate change education vary depending on one’s literature, circumstances, or point of departure?


Where can one go to find the best research-based statements on climate change education?

In making sense of scholarly arguments about climate change and education, which dialogic principles and partners help?

What happens to climate change mitigation and adaptation that doesn’t engage with education, or educational research?

Is everything equally important in climate change education?

What isn’t required, or needed, in climate change education?

What is critical if not crucial to climate change education?


When does climate change education happen, and does raising that imply it needs to happen often too?

Is there an end to climate change education, or for that matter, must it have a particular beginning?

Who decides what is engaged in climate change education, how, and for whom?


In what ways is it true that education is intrinsic to both creating and countering climate change?

Which forms of education can climate change adaptation and mitigation do without?

Are certain gaps or silences inevitable about climate change and education?


Must there be something unique or special to climate change education?

Is climate change education well served by companion forms of education and climate change action?

Does it matter if climate change education is contradicted by other forms of education, or climate change action – or inaction?


Is climate change education inevitable?

Is it quite clear what is at stake in climate change education?

Or is the question, what is being dared through doing climate change education when contrasted with what if it there is none?


When someone claims they are doing climate change education, should they be accountable in terms of to who, to what or to where?

Is a true sense of purpose deferred or found through climate change education?

Is it fair to expect climate change education to be enjoyable?


If climate change education relies on frameworks, is it clear who the frame-makers are and how they frame it?

Is what gets affirmed as much as disconfirmed two sides of the same coin in climate change education (and what of the edge)?

Should anything be done if instances of climate change education don’t comply a certain expectation, or mold?

Is climate change education hard?

Is climate change (and) education inherently gloomy?

Why is it that some people treat climate change education as in vain?


How is climate change education limited?

When is climate change education compromised?

In those hands is climate change education considered dangerous, and why?


How might climate change education be assessed?

Is evaluating climate change education from an educational and/or a climate change perspective the key point for decision?

Does discussion about climate change education research need a certain focus: on what is researched and how, on findings, on implications …?


What happens to climate change education when the best of climate change education research is engaged?

Is research that challenges prevailing assumptions about climate change education the most important to pursue?

Is there a compelling case to be more selective in terms of which research is undertaken or brought to bear on climate change education?


What are the subtle to the more obvious insights that can be gleaned from research on climate change education?

Should anything about climate change education be regarded as unequivocal from a research perspective?

Are researchers still at a stage where initial questions are raised rather than surfacing anything more conclusive?


Which kinds of research are most useful for informing or reforming climate change education?

Are these the same for what is usable in enriching climate change education, such as confirming, comparing or critique?

What are the most significant strengths and weaknesses of research on climate change education?


Which research is past its ‘use by date’ in climate change education?

What research about climate change education is needed now?

How are climate change education research priorities decided and enabled?


Whose (rather than which) research questions about climate change education are fundamental?

Who should be doing climate change education research, and responding to the outcomes?

Must climate change education research be designed in ways that make a difference to those adapting to and mitigating climate change?


Which research topics in climate change education are enduring and which need refining?

Might the focus in researching climate change education now be on matters of creativity, authenticity, urgency … or something else?

In terms of research imperatives for climate change education, is it solely a question of within or across disciplines, funders or stakeholders?


In what ways does it matter that climate change education is yet isn’t a form of climate change communication?

What are the risks and benefits in having climate change education focus on awareness or behaviour change?

What should be expected of, and communicated about, good climate change education?


Where has climate change education come from?

Where is climate change education going?

What can’t be learnt from reflecting on the current state of the art on research on climate change education?


How should what counts as a better way to do climate change education be determined?

What will make climate change education different tomorrow, and not like today’s, or yesterday’s?

Climate change education – why now, why not?


Slides from the launch of the VSI on climate change education and research – COP23 – Bonn

COP23 Reid McKenzie CC Education Research 16 Nov 2017


Start the week with climate change education and research

Education Day (16 November) at the 2017 UN climate change conference in Bonn (6 – 17 November 2017) sees the public launch of a Virtual Special Issue of the journal, Environmental Education Research, focused on climate change education research.

As a taster of the launch event and a stimulus for engaging with the papers in the Virtual Special Issue, Alan Reid has prepared a series of key questions about climate change education and research, hosted on Visit the link to read the Virtual Special Issue for free.

Running the gamut of why climate change education has emerged, where to look for critical analysis of practice, progress and new directions, and what research and researchers have to offer debates about capacity building, awareness, participation and action strategies discussed at COP23, the papers in the VSI and Alan’s questions are a timely and provocative call to reflection and action about climate change and education.

The launch at COP23 is led by Alan Reid (Editor) and Marcia McKenzie (Associate Editor) from the journal. Guest editors of the Virtual Special Issue, they are also editing a follow-on special collection of new research papers and analysis on climate change education, to be published in Environmental Education Research in 2018.

Join the conversation about the VSI and climate change education! Participate via: (link is external)


Start the week with the research strand at the World Environmental Education Congress

This week sees the start of the World Environmental Education Congress in Vancouver.

The research strand is focused on “Perspectives, Challenges and Innovations in Research”, and is being coordinated by senior members of the editorial board, Alan Reid and Nicole Ardoin.

There’s a fine mix of paper sessions, roundtables, posters, a full day research symposium on Monday 11th, and 4 mini symposiums throughout the congress. Most of the sessions will take place in West Meeting Room 110, or close by. The schedule is available at: WEEC-2017-Program research strand events-final. [updated 9 September]

Please note this is subject to last minute changes, please check the Congress website for latest information.

We are delighted to also be supporting the first full day research symposium at WEEC. This is being convened by Alan Reid and Marcia McKenzie, as a joint initiative between the journal and the Sustainability and Education Policy Network, while there’s a reception invitation from SEPN for Saturday evening, Sept 10th in the download above – please note it is 2017 not 2016 on the invitation: you won’t be a year late! Registration is required for the full day symposium and the reception.

Access the pre-readings for the research symposium at

Find out more about the journal and SEPN at their booths at the congress.

We look forward to supporting the research community at these events, and interacting with you within and around the sessions!

Safe travels!

Alan, Nicole and Marcia

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.

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?

Start the week by getting ready for NW30 at ECER in Copenhagen, August 2017

It is now 6 weeks and counting for the annual meeting of Network 30 on Environmental and Sustainability Education Research, at the European Conference on Educational Research.

You can check out the program at:

This year, there will be 14 sessions, a focus on its special call for 2017, “Re-orienting education towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): exploring the ambivalent roles of policy and educational research”, and a  wider conference trying to be greener than before:

As usual, the journal will be supporting the event, with many of the editorial board and contributors in attendance. We look forward to seeing the best papers and debates making their way into the journal in due course!

Har et godt møde!