Theme 9

New perspectives on research in environmental and sustainability education

Title: Environmental and Sustainability Education Research Network (ESER): Diversity and quality in ESE research

Time: Wednesday 1 July, 08:30 - 10:00
Place: Humanisten, Room C342

At this conference ‘People and planet - how can they live together’ which has the role of education in transitions as its central theme, the ESER network would like to share research on the learning processes, capacities, learning spaces and conditions that might support and facilitate living in and through transition while also exploring and critiquing the meaning and implications of terms such as 'sustainability' and 'change'. This symposium has three purposes: to introduce the ESER network, to illustrate the diversity of ESE-research and finally to contribute to a discussion about quality research.

The official start for the ESER network was in Porto, Portugal, 2014. Our continuing aim is to be innovative and open-minded, as well as rigorous in the quality of research and debate. More than 160 researchers from 26 countries are now members and we would like to invite international senior researchers and graduate students to join this symposium and our growing network.

This symposium will be chaired by Johan Öhman, Örebro University and will have five short presentations, and the titles are: Ethical tendency and educative moment in ESD; Researching Sustainability in Higher Education; ESD and Competencies - A diverse field of research; The dynamics of policy making - Perspectives from implementing ESE in education systems; and ESE research – contextualization and educational philosophy. Each presentation will provide a different perspective on research in environemntal and sustainability education.

Three experienced discussants, Heila Lotz-Sisitka, Rhodes University, Alan Reid, Monash University and Arjen Wals, University of Wageningen will make comments on the presentations and how they illustrate some of the diversity of ESE research. This open and invitational discussion will lead towards future collaborative activities including the ECER conference in Budapest, Sep 2015. Let’s meet here in Gothenburg and continue there! For more information about the ESER network visit: and/or send an email o, the link-convenor of the network.

Per Sund

Per SundPer Sund is a docent in science education at the School of Education, Culture and Communication (UKK), Mälardalen University, Sweden. Per’s research interest is science education and environmental and sustainability education from a teacher’s perspective. He is the link-convenor of the Environmental and Sustainability Education Research Network, ESER (no: 30) in the European Educational Research Association, EERA.

Debby Cotton

Debby CottonDebby Cotton is Professor of Higher Education Pedagogy and Head of Educational Development in the Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO), Plymouth University, UK. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and sits on the editorial board of five journals. Debby has a doctorate in Environmental Education from Oxford University, and has published widely on a range of HE topics.

Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann

Marco RieckmannProf. Dr. Marco Rieckmann is Assistant Professor of Higher Education Development at the Institute for Social Work, Education and Sport Sciences of the University of Vechta, Germany. His major research and teaching interests are: higher education development, competence development and assessment, (higher) education for sustainable development, and global education.

Jutta Nikel

Jutta NikelJutta Nikel is a Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Science at the University of Education Freiburg (Germany). Jutta has a Doctorate (Ph.D. in Education) from the University of Bath (England). She has done work and published on a range of ESE topics such as teacher thinking on ESD and Quality education and ESD in low income countries. Her recent work investigates policy processes, evidence-based policy making and governance in context of ESD.

Leif Östman

Leif ÖstmanLeif Östman is a professor at Uppsala University. He is the Chairmen of the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development, SWEDESD and a member of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO. He is director of the research environment SMED (Studies of Meaning-making in Educational Discourses). He has vast experiences of international development projects, for example in Mongolia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India.

Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard

Jonas Andreasen LysgaardJonas Andreasen Lysgaard, PhD, assistant professor in environmental education and education for sustainable development at the Department of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark. Lysgaard focus theoretical perspectives on EE and ESD drawing on inspiration from lacanian psychoanalysis and perspectives on materiality.



The following two symposia are complementary and build off one another


Emerging Environmental Education Researchers Part 1:  Post-Graduate and Early Career Researchers in environmental education: who is out there and what are you doing?

Emerging Environmental Education Researchers Part 2: Developing a global online community of practice (#EEER)



Title: Emerging Environmental Education Researchers Part 1:  Post-Graduate and Early Career Researchers in environmental education: who is out there and what are you doing?

Time: Tuesday 3o June, 13:30 - 15:30 (Part I and II)
Place: Humanisten, Room C342

This symposium gives space and opportunity for emerging (graduate and early career) researchers in the environmental and sustainability education research field to meet, talk, seek common ground and synergies in research, and plan possible next steps for collaboration and networking.

We are aiming for a highly interactive session that seeks to identify; who is out there and what are you doing? What gaps or opportunities are being identified and pursued in research? How is the status quo being challenged and what new ideas and approaches are emerging the field? Are there possibilities for collaboration that might contribute to the growth and development of the international environmental and sustainability education research community?

This symposium then flows into a Part II, in which a global online community is presented as a possible forum for connection and collaboration.

Mark Boulet

Mark BouletMark holds a sustainable education research and teaching position at the Monash University Sustainability Institute (MSI), Australia. He has recently started a part-time PhD that looks at how sustainability is embedded in curriculum and practice within higher education and attempts to identify long term impacts on students.

Sherridan Emery Sherridan Emery

Sherridan Emery

Sherridan Emery is a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania, where she also tutors in the Faculty of Education and is an active researcher across a range of school and community-based research projects. Her PhD research explores children's cultural wellbeing in school classroom communities.

Title: Emerging Environmental Education Researchers Part 2: Developing a global online community of practice (#EEER)

This symposium is intended for graduate and early career researchers exploring various topics in environmental and sustainability education and will build on discussions from Part I. The symposium will build on the experience from an Australian-based regional online network of emerging researchers, and introduce a global online community space that provides opportunity for emerging environmental education researchers to connect, have informal conversations, collaborate, research and write.

Interested in connecting with other graduate and early career environmental education researchers, we will be streaming the live face-to-face WEEC session to youtube on June 30th from 2:30pm - 3:30 pm (GMT + 2 hours).  Learn how to access Google + communities and join the online community Emerging Environmental Education Researchers. 

Live EEER youtube stream:
Join Google+ EEER community :

Dr. Claudio Aguayo

Dr. Claudio AguayoClaudio is an emerging researcher in non-formal and community education for sustainability using ICT tools, and currently works at CfLAT, AUT University. His current interests relate to self-nurturing online collaborative networks, indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge, and the use of mobile devices (i.e. smartphones and tablets) to empower community members towards sustainability.

Lecturer Ellen Field

Lecturer Ellen Field

Ellen is a Lecturer in the Bachelor of Education program at James Cook University, Cairns on how to integrate technology into the classroom in meaningful ways. Ellen’s doctoral research is focused on interest-driven environmental learning and action within social media. She is co-founder of ALERT, Managing Editor for the Journal of Environmental Education, and a member of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability Education within the Cairns Institute.

Jen Nicholls

Jen Nicholls

Jen is nearing the completion of her PhD research on Climate Change Education at James Cook University, Cairns. She is a member of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability Education within the Cairns Institute and is the Managing Editor for the Journal of Environmental Education.

Blanche Higgins

Blanche Higgins

Blanche has recently started a PhD at Monash University in climate change education and has worked at RMIT University in sustainability and social science education for four years. She has been an active participant and facilitator in the Australian Association for Environmental Educators Emerging Researchers network and helped organise a writing retreat in Tasmania in 2015.