Critical Environmental Education Research: Re-Engaging the Debate

Ian Robottom


The field of research in environmental education has experienced several
changes in orientation in its first 25 or so years. In the period of the 70s and 80s,
the most visible approach to environmental education research was clearly
applied science in nature. From the late 80s/early 90s there has been a period of
intense debate about research in environmental education, in which the patterns
of research established in the 70s and 80s came to be reflected upon in a more
critical fashion, previously taken for granted assumptions questioned, and a
range of new approaches to research identified and critically considered.
Methodological debates were engaged, arguments for alternative approaches
developed, and critiques presented. This article re-considers some of these
arguments in light of recent critique and project research experience, and argues
for a recognition of the practical exigencies in conducting project research in real

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352