The Evolving Characteristics of Environmental Education Research

Authored by: Robert B. Stevenson , Justin Dillon , Arjen E.J. Wals , Michael Brody

International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415892384
eBook ISBN: 9780203813331
Adobe ISBN: 9781136699313

10.4324/9780203813331.ch48

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Abstract

Over the last forty years of environmental education research, which this handbook can only partially capture, there have been significant changes and shifts within this specialized and still emerging field. These changes need to be examined within the multiple and interconnected layers of contexts that shape the field, including the broader fields of education and education (and social science) research and within the broader global society. Several authors, as Annette Gough notes in the introduction to the first section, have emphasized the importance of understanding different histories of environmental education research, as well as how a history influences their own scholarship. These histories are grounded in particular places and the particular people privileged to tell a historical story. In this introductory chapter to the concluding section, we exercise, from the privileged position of editors of this volume, the opportunity to (re)present our voices on what characterizes environmental education research, the contextual influences, and current trends shaping the field. In the final chapter in this section we examine emerging technological, cultural, and educational landscapes that we see as shaping the field into the future.

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