25 years on: looking back at environmental education research

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This is a personal reflection on the first 25years of the journal, Environmental Education Research. It begins in the 1990s with the ideas behind the need for a new journal and explores the journal’s early years as it established itself. The paper then looks at two quite different papers from Volume 1 of the journal that identified issues that remain pertinent today, albeit in the very changed social context that we now experience where rapid climate change demands national and international responses from governments and educators. The paper then draws on three recent studies published in Environmental Education Research to examine what research might now focus on. It ends with a personal reflection on how all those involved in the journal are bound together by more than the professional imperative to publish; that is, by a need to address great questions of our time that are now much more urgent than they were when Environmental Education Research was started, or when the modern environmental movement and environmental education as we know it today began.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1681-1689
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Firstly, my thanks to the anonymous referees who commented on this paper, and I?m sorry I troubled you with so many typos and other text gremlins. I?d like to extend these thanks to all who have ever refereed for Environmental Education Research. I know we thank you, formally, and acknowledge your vital role in getting papers to the journal, but you do more than this as you really are near the heart of a journal?s role in developing ideas and scholarship. Thanks are also due to those colleagues who have served time on the Editorial Board over the years and who have contributed the journal?s development over and above the important routines of refereeing. Thanks also to the academics, the behind-the-scenes staff, and the MA and PhD students in the Centre for Research in Education and the Environment at the University of Bath who were so encouraging and supportive. It was wonderful to share the development of the journal with you. Prime amongst these colleagues was Chris Oulton. We worked harmoniously together on so many Bath initiatives in the 1990s, but Environmental Education Research is the one that has endured and more than proved its worth. Thanks as well to editorial colleagues at Carfax, and then Taylor and Francis, firstly for initial confidence, and then for subsequent unfailing support. In particular, my thanks to Alan Reid, Sarah Hartshorn and Claire Drake. To Sarah for vital support in those early days, to Claire for unflagging efficiency and mastery of the ever-increasing complexity of editorial software (especially for steering this editorial safely into harbour). To Alan for being a better editor than me and for taking what was only a good start to new success and undreamt of (at least by me) achievement. There were a number of elements to my succession plan when I retired from Bath, but the editorship of Environmental Education Research is the only one that really worked out. Finally, there?s Jean, Ruth and Jonathan who knew little of the ins and outs of journals, except that they took up a lot of my time, and not all of it ?9 to 5?. Merely saying ?thanks? is not enough, but I?m working on the rest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Environmental education research
  • fundamental educational reform
  • human‐environment relationships
  • Paris Agreement
  • Sustainable Development Goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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