Immigrant children promoting environmental care: enhancing learning, agency and integration through culturally-responsive environmental education

Immigrant children promoting environmental care: enhancing learning, agency and integration through culturally-responsive environmental education

  • paper in the current issue

Natasha Blanchet-Cohen & Rosemary C. Reilly

Pages: 553-572 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1153046


This paper examines the potential of culturally-responsive environmental education to engage immigrant early adolescents. Our study suggests that environmental involvement can become a means and an end for children to bridge their school and home in agential ways. Drawing from a multi-phase study involving focus groups with children, parents, and teachers from three culturally-diverse schools in Montreal, as well as a green action research project, we examine children’s role as environmental educators and ambassadors. The role of environmental ambassador allowed children to take on positions that departed from conventional parent-child social scripts, and enhanced the communication between school-student-home, between generations, and spoke to their sense of place. We contend that culturally-responsive environmental education offers a unique space for enacting democracy, knowledge creation and integration, but this opportunity is often squandered. Bi-directional, responsive, and consistent home-school-community-place relations need to be actively supported.

Keywords: environmental education, immigrant children, learning, culturally-responsive, agency, intergenerational


Teaching Sustainable Development Goals in The Netherlands: a critical approach

Teaching Sustainable Development Goals in The Netherlands: a critical approach | Open Access

  • New EER Article Alert

Helen Kopnina

Pages: 1-16 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1303819


One of the main outcomes of the Rio + 20 Conference was the agreement to set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The most common terms in the17 goals are economic growth, resilience and inclusion, all of which are critically examined in this article. This article discusses how these goals are reflected within existing sustainability programs at a vocational college, and at the undergraduate and postgraduate university levels in The Netherlands. Within all three institutions the author has integrated lectures on sustainable development with specific emphasis on the SDGs. The aim was to engage students in critical discussion, allowing reflection on the issues and paradoxes that characterise the larger discourse of sustainability. The case studies illustrate how curriculum aimed at this awareness can be developed stimulating the students’ recognition of critique of economic development, inclusion and resilience. As a result of the courses, the students were able to develop a certain degree of critical, imaginative, and innovative thinking about sustainable development in general and the SDGs in particular. Cradle to cradle and circular economy approaches were named as more promising for current production systems. This article concludes with the recommendation as to how the SDGs can be critically taught.

Keywords: Economic growth, sustainable development, environmental education, resilience, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


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

Start the week with Vol 1 of Environmental Education, and an extract from the first contribution

Start the week with Vol 1 of Environmental Education, and an extract from the first contribution

James Swan ends his (1969) essay for Phi Delta Kappan on ‘the challenge of environmental education’ with:

Environmental education has been offered as a challenge because it is a new and developing educational concept. As yet little research has been devoted to exploring the multitude of ways of involving citizens in environmental problem solving, and even less research has dealt with developing measures to assess environmental attitudes accurately. I hope, however, that educators across the country will realize the need for developing a better informed, more effective citizenry willing to meet the challenge of our degraded environment.

While research is in much better shape to address these shortcomings, Swan started his essay detailing problems in the USA in those times – concerns that, perhaps unsurprisingly, continue to resonate to this day: “No other society in history has been so materially rich and so environmentally degraded” … “a “policy by crisis” pattern” … “many of our environmental problems are actually problems of human behavior rather than problems of technology” … just some of the nuggets from the first page.

Swan’s penultimate paragraph argues environmental education is relevant to the needs and interests – and lives – of citizens as much as students. If you’ve read the article and would like to share your thoughts on it and such themes, either here or on the journal’s blog, please do so – standard netiquette rules apply.

PS Over the coming year, we will be tweeting and sharing extracts from various entries in the Major Works collection for Routledge on environmental education via @eerjournalEnvironmental Education Research.

We encourage you to order a copy for your library should you be interested in using this reference collection for research, reference or teaching needs – further details on the flyer and link:

Development and validation of the anthropogenic climate change dissenter inventory

Development and validation of the anthropogenic climate change dissenter inventory
– New EER Article Alert
Andrew P. K. Bentley, Heather L. Petcovic & David P. Cassidy
Pages: 1-16 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1250150

Individuals are exposed to misleading or outright false anthropogenic climate change (ACC) information. The goals of this study are to identify ACC dissenter messages, and to develop an instrument that quantifies the extent to which individuals agree with these messages. The instrument was developed using a sequential mixed methods design. A qualitative analysis of YouTube videos produced a bank of dissenter messages. A Likert-type survey was derived from these statements and completed by adults who reside in the United States of America (N = 133) via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Parametric and non-parametric tests were used to explore the data, determine relations, and test the instrument’s validity and reliability. Dissenter statements factored into five unique categories. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (N = 151) was used to validate the instrument. Results suggest this instrument will be useful for understanding how different segments of the public, as measured by demographic variables, agree with misleading climate material.
Keywords: Climate change, survey, media, environmental education

The UK’s 25-year environment plan, and whether outdoor learning or environmental education have anything to offer


Follow the link for a thought piece by Associate Editor, Bill Scott, on the values, adequacies and limitations of outdoor learning and environmental education, as well as what might just be missing from what’s on offer in a new 25 year plan by Defra, i.e. the environment ministry in the UK Government.

Did anyone mention avoiding glib talk about ‘Vitamin N’ and having a curriculum that faces up to demonstrating commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals? What do you think?

Source: The UK’s 25-year environment plan – UK NAEE

PS Another of Bill’s postings, examining the idea of the SDGs as a radical curriculum alternative.