JEE at 50

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

The Journal of Environmental Education is almost 50 years old, and its history is the history of environmental education more broadly.  It's now looking for a new editor.

For almost 30 years, until Environmental Education Research came along in 1995 to upset things, JEE ruled the environmental education world, set the agenda and defined (for many) what could and would count as environmental education.  It both embodied and cemented the hegemony of the USA's version of environmental education.  As the editorial team puts it:

"... for several decades [JEE] focused on positivistic research ..."

This was based on the conviction that the ultimate aim of education is shaping human behaviour where responsible citizenship behaviour can be developed through environmental education.  As Hungerford & Volk noted in 1990: The strategies are known. The tools are available. The challenge lies in a willingness to do things differently than we have in the past.

For "several decades", then, its prime role was to publish quasi-experimental studies that fitted in with how environmental education was promoted and experienced in the USA.  It was tough if you had a different perspective for there was no room for you at the publishers' inn.  Actually, it was worse than this as, all too often, even if reviewers said publish this paper, editorial whim could (and did) said it wasn't going to happen.  These were some of the reasons that Environmental Education Research was set up, and also why it was able to flourish even within the USA and overtake JEE as a means of bringing research to a wider audience.

It's all different now; there's a broader view of the (research) world within JEE, and a greater breadth of papers published.  It's almost (but not quite yet) caught up with Environmental Education Research which it increasingly resembles.  That both journals continue (now with the same publisher) to attract papers must say something about the state of the field.  A question I find myself asking now and then is how authors decide which of these two journals to send a paper to.



I have written extensively about this in: Scott W (2014) Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): a critical review of concept, potential and risk. In R Matar & R Jucker (Eds) Schooling for Sustainable Development in Europe: Concepts, Policies and Educational Experiences at the End of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Dordrecht: Springer. pps 47-70

You can see part of this here.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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