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The political tendency in Environmental and Sustainability Education

Written by Katrien Van Poeck, Leif Östman.
Related to Sustainability Education, SEDwise.

This article presents a categorisation of the different situations in which the political dimension of environmental and sustainability education can be handled and experienced in practice: the ‘political tendency’. Using a methodology inspired by Wittgenstein’s user perspective on language, we empirically identified situations that express the political tendency by looking for language games centred around the question of how to organise social life, recognising that this inevitably requires decision-making about different and competing alternatives. Classifying these situations resulted in a typology (the political tendency) that distinguishes ‘Democratic participation’, ‘Political reflection’, ‘Political deliberation’ (sub-divided into ‘Normative deliberation’, ‘Consensus-oriented deliberation’ and ‘Conflict-oriented deliberation’) and ‘Political moment’. Next, we discuss the developed typology from an educative perspective, showing that the distinguished situations in the political tendency differ as to how they enable the foregrounding and backgrounding of different educational goals: preparation, socialisation and person-formation (i.e. identification and subjectification as perspective shifting and subjectification as dismantling).

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Full reference

Håkansson, M., Östman, L. & Van Poeck, K. (2018). The political tendency in Environmental and Sustainability Education. European Educational Research Journal, 17 (1), 91-111.


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