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Invitational seminar ESE research

15th invitational seminar

on Environmental & Sustainability Education Research

Ghent, Belgium, 7-10 March 2022

Save the date

Since its first edition in 1993, the Invitational Seminar on Environmental Education Research series has provided a unique opportunity for participants from around the planet to discuss critical problems, trends and issues in research on environmental and sustainability education (ESE). From 7-10 March 2022, the 15th edition will be organised in Ghent, Belgium, by the Centre for Sustainable Development of Ghent University in collaboration with partners of the SEDwise network (‘Sustainability Education – Teaching and learning in the face of wicked socio-ecological problems’). The central theme of the seminar is

‘Challenges for environmental and sustainability education research in times of climate crisis’

Call for proposals

Traditionally, this seminar was only open to participants who received a personal invitation in order to limit the number of participants and safeguard the specific ethos of the seminar series (see further below). For this 15th edition there will be an open call for proposals. Nevertheless, the number of participants will be limited to 35. All ESE researchers are warmly invited to submit a proposal. The organisational committee will then select 35 applicants based on the criteria outlined below.

A call for proposals will be launched in September 2021 and include more information about the theme, ‘special guests’, venue, preliminary programme, registration, price, etc. Applicants will be invited to submit a 1-2 page essay about a topical problem, trend, challenge, or issue in ESE research in relation to the seminar’s theme ‘Challenges for ESE research in times of climate crisis’. The 35 selected essays will be collated into an online book. The deadline for the submission of proposals is 1 December 2021.

Selection criteria

  • For individual proposals:
    • Relevance of the proposal: relevance in terms of critical problems, trends and issues in ESE research, relevance in relation to the theme of the seminar
    • Quality of the proposal: focus, depth, originality in relation to existent ESE research, awareness of previous work, coherence in argumentation, international perspective, promise to stimulate in-depth and engaged discussion
    • ‘Cutting edge’ nature of the proposal: e.g. contributions raising good, challenging questions and providing not-yet fully explored suggestions for theoretical/methodological innovations
  • Overall:
    • Scope of international coverage: the group of participants needs to consist of ESE researchers from across the world and from a variety of research networks/communities
    • Inter-generational: the group of participants needs to consist of a balanced combination of early, mid and later career researchers
    • Gender-balance

Timeline

  • September 2021: launch of the call for proposals – submission starts
  • 1 December 2021: deadline for the submission of proposals
  • 15 January 2022: selection results announced
  • 1 February 2022: deadline for registration
  • 7-10 March 2022: invitational seminar (start 7 March with a welcome dinner, end 10 March with a lunch, optional excursion on 11 March)

The dates of the seminar are chosen to give participants the chance to subsequently attend the 11th World Environmental Education Congress 14-18 March 2022 which takes place in Prague, Czech Republic. Especially for participants from outside Europe this saves travel time and emissions. The trip Ghent-Prague takes about 12 hours by train or a bit longer by night train. The abstract submission deadline for WEEC2022 is 31 August 2021.

Seminar series’ history and ethos

The first Invitational Seminar was organised in Denmark in 1993. Since then, every 18-24 months, seminars have been hosted in Australia, England, New Zealand, Denmark, USA, South Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Brazil and South Africa.

For almost three decades, the Invitational Seminar on Environmental Education Research has provided a unique dialogical platform for participants worldwide to discuss critical problems, trends and issues in ESE research. These deliberations occurred in a specific seminar mode of collegial intellectual exchange with conversations aiming for depth, richness, and engagement. Issues are typically discussed slowly, both during formally and informally timetabled hours. This is in sharp contrast to typically ‘fast’ and ‘short’ conference presentation. As such, the seminar series has been a rare and valuable opportunity for a relatively small group of active researchers (early, mid, later career) from different parts of the world to meet alternately in the Northern and Southern hemispheres and discuss ‘face to face’ the vital issues of research development in our field.

Participation in the invitational seminar requires preparation (writing an essay, submitting a ‘bio’, pre-reading). During the seminar, plenary input (e.g. keynotes from special guests, brief introductions to sub-themes) will function as scene-setters and facilitate ‘break out’ discussion in a ‘generative’ way and workshop style after which findings and recommendations are reported back.

From personal invitations to an open call

A limited number of participants is necessary in order to guarantee qualities like depth, richness, slowness and engagement. Therefore, participation in the seminar used to be based on personal invitations. However, the field of ESE research has evolved considerably since the start of the seminar series. It does no longer consist of only a handful of researchers spread around the world, which makes it impossible to know all the potential invitees. Nevertheless, many researchers that attended previous invitational seminars talk about it as a valuable experience that helped to shape their research and argue that opportunities for such encounters are still much-needed today. We are convinced, however, that the aspect of personal invitations needs to be reconsidered in the light of the changes that our research field has undergone. Therefore, we launch this open invitation and spread it as widely as possible within the research field.

Organisation committee

Katrien Van Poeck (Ghent University & Uppsala University), coordinator of the SEDwise network, and SEDwise network members Maarten Deleye (Uppsala University & Ghent University), Jeppe Læssøe (Aarhus University), Heila Lotz-Sisitka (Rhodes University), Jonas Lysgaard (Aarhus University), Johan Öhman (Örebro University), Leif Östman (Uppsala University, Maynooth University & Ghent University) & Ellen Vandenplas (Ghent University).

Do you want to receive a notification of the call for proposals? Let us know at invitational.seminar@ugent.be. Please mind that this mailbox will not be checked regularly before September 2021.

Contact

Poel 16, 9000 Gent - BELGIUM

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