The ‘web of conditions’ governing England’s climate change education policy landscape

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Environmental and climate change education remains on the margins of education and climate change policy. This paper draws on Foucauldian theoretical resources to examine England’s climate change education policy landscape and understand the causes of this marginalisation. Informed by policy historiography, we examine key events and shifts in climate change, education and environmental education since the turn of the millennium. Using policy archaeology, we ‘excavate’ the contemporary policy landscape and identify that: i) policy is lacking; ii) responding to the climate crisis is overlooked in education; iii) pro-environmental ambition is absent; and, iv) economic values dominate. In a global context where activists have called for ‘more!’ climate change education, the analyses reveal the complexity of the problem. A ‘web of conditions’ governing climate change education policy is illuminated. Foucault-informed analytical tools offer insights on how this web may be rebuilt.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021


  • climate change education; policy; Foucault; England


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