Education in the North

Call for Papers: Special Issue May 2022

Submissions are invited for a Special Issue of Education in the North:

Braided with frayed ends, issues of sustainability, environment, and co-production

Drawing on Ingold’s vision of the environment as ‘a domain of entanglement’ (Ingold, 2011, p.71), we position learning for sustainability as a lifelong endeavour, acknowledging that from childhood to old age, we learn to make sense of the world in which we live through entangled encounters with family, places, education, and the communities we inhabit.

This special issue hopes to unpick the threads which weave together the practices and concepts which underpin sustainable living and learning. What can children and young people learn from the ways in which people live now and in the past about sustainable practices? What is the intertwined ‘knowing, becoming and doing’ (Kuby, Spector et al., 2019, p.11) which underpin experiences of learning for sustainability across the life course, and what are the opportunities for children and young people to learn from older members of their communities and to question the impacts of globalised economies on their lives?

From family practices of going for a walk, of beachcombing or foraging to the ways in which schools work with community organisations to provide opportunities for children and young people who otherwise would not have access to outdoor spaces or the knowledge and skills to grow and cook their own food, this issue will explore how ideas of sustainability, environment and co-production are put into practice.

In 2019, the Scottish Government published its Action Plan for Learning for Sustainability, (LfS), in which it states that children and young people in Scotland should have ‘an entitlement to learning for sustainability’ (Scottish Government, 2019). But who determines how sustainability is framed and practiced and where does learning happen? In the preface to Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Kimmerer describes her experiences of making sense of her Indigenous and scientific knowledge of plants as braiding ‘science, spirit and story’ (Kimmerer, 2013). This issue seeks to explore if and how learning for sustainability and land-based teaching is embedded in education policy and how these policies are enacted/challenged through the practices of learners and teachers in different educational contexts across the globe.

The voices of young activists and campaigners such as Autumn Peltier and Greta Thunberg and the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November remind us that in 2021 issues of climate change and sustainability are at the forefront of the minds and lives of many children and young people. Kuby, Spector et al. remind us that ‘power moves through natureculture’ (2019, p.2); how and what constitutes sustainability is contested, and children and young people’s everyday experiences of living in sustainable ways varies in relation to contexts of where they live, cultural identities and socio-economic status. In this Special Issue we seek to explore what the Scottish Government and other nations’ entitlement to LfS might entail and whose concepts of sustainable living and practices are valued and promoted within formal and informal education contexts and whose are silenced?

We are particularly interested in, but not limited to, articles and visual essays that address:

  • The long view on interdisciplinary education for sustainability.
  • The role of families and informal learning in learning for sustainability.
  • What does sustainability look like in every life?
  • The extent to which teachers and schools acknowledge and build on the ideas of sustainability and practices which children bring to school?
  • Co-production of sustainable practices between formal education and community partners.
  • The silent voices of sustainable practices of marginalised groups.
  • The contribution of arts-based learning to understanding key issues of sustainability.
  • How Initial Teacher Education (ITE) addresses sustainability within its programmes for student teachers/what student teachers’ perspectives are on this experience.
  • What does continuous professional development (CPD) for learning for sustainability look like?

We are especially interested in publishing work in Indigenous and minority languages as the journal has a proud tradition of publishing work in Scottish Gaelic over the last 50+ years.

Different types of submission are possible:

  • Articles dealing with empirical research findings that have not been submitted or published elsewhere (up to 8000 words);
  • Features which describe on-going or completed research projects (up to 4000 words)

Please refer to the journal website www.abdn.ac.uk/eitn/information for author guidelines.

Submission Deadlines

1. Expression of interest and 250-word abstract sent to eitn@abdn.ac.uk by 8th September 2021.

2. Submission of manuscript sent to eitn@abdn.ac.uk  by Friday 7th January 2022.

Special Issue Editors:

Liz Curtis, elizabeth.curtis@abdn.ac.uk

Beth Cross, Beth.Cross@uws.ac.uk

Cathy Francis, catherine.francis1@abdn.ac.uk

Journal Editors: Helen Martin & Claire Molloy

Please email any queries to eitn@abdn.ac.uk