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

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Accepted/In press9 Aug 2021

King's Authors


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 key features, 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 combined analyses reveal the complexity of the problem. Illuminated is a ‘web of conditions’ that is governing climate change education policy and which requires rebuilding. The Foucault-informed analytical tools make it possible to identify pathways for doing so.

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