Teacher and youth priorities for education for environmental sustainability : a co-created manifesto

Dunlop, Lynda and Rushton, Elizabeth A. C. and Atkinson, Lucy and Ayre, Jacquie and Bullivant, Andrea and Essex, Jane and Price, Laura and Smith, Amanda and Summer, Maisy and Stubbs, Joshua E. and Turkenburg-van Diepen, Maria and Wood, Lucy (2022) Teacher and youth priorities for education for environmental sustainability : a co-created manifesto. British Educational Research Journal, 48 (5). pp. 952-973. ISSN 0141-1926 (https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3803)

[thumbnail of Dunlop-etal-BERJ-2022-Teacher-and-youth-priorities-for-education-for-environmental-sustainability]
Text. Filename: Dunlop_etal_BERJ_2022_Teacher_and_youth_priorities_for_education_for_environmental_sustainability.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (400kB)| Preview


What would it mean to put environmental sustainability at the heart of education? This article describes a process of inclusive, participatory manifesto-making to identify young people's (aged 16–18 years) and teachers' priorities for education for environmental sustainability across the UK. Drawing on analysis of qualitative data from over 200 teachers and young people who participated in futures and visualisation workshops, we identify key educational priorities at the levels of classroom, school, community and policy, based on consensus between teacher and youth perspectives. Whilst consensus-seeking comes with a risk of favouring ‘soft’ actions which reinforce unsustainable practices and systems, the process of identifying more desirable futures and immediate barriers that must be negotiated to reach them has the potential to create spaces for more critical pedagogies and practices. There is a need for policy makers and school leaders to recognise the interests of teachers and young people to enable greater participation in decision making at different scales, and to ensure that those with the greatest capacity bear their burden of responsibility for education for environmental sustainability.