UR Warner School Professor, Alumnus Honored with Guest Editor Post for Environmental Education Journal

Environmental Education ResearchWarner School Professor David Hursh and alumnus Joseph Henderson ’14W (PhD), together with David Greenwood, Canada research chair in environmental education at Lakehead University, have served as guest editors of the current issue of Environmental Education Research, which published online in March. Leaders in the field of environmental and sustainability education, the guest editors focused the special issue on environmental education in a neoliberal climate.
“Environmental education is political,” said Hursh. “People do not fully comprehend the meaning of neoliberalism, but often overuse it to blame or explain current environmental conditions and issues. We need to talk about the nature of environmental education within the context of the dominant economic and political system of neoliberalism. Such an approach helps us think differently about how we live, make choices, and think about the world.”

The 13 articles in the new special issue of Environmental Education Research challenge readers to consider the many ways that environmental education has been shaped by and interacts with the logic of neoliberalism. Neoliberal ideals, the guest editors explain in the introduction, promote economic growth and the use of markets to solve environmental and economic problems, thus constraining how society conceptualizes and implements environmental education and serving as a primary cause of economic and environmental crises.
While neoliberalism has become a dominant worldview, contributors to this special issue demonstrate that there are forms of neoliberalism that differ by time and place. The articles, therefore, focus on environmental education as it occurs in several locations and at different levels, including, but not limited to: ecotourism in Costa Rica; community gardens in Brooklyn, N.Y.; horticulture programs in U.S. prisons; sustainability education in Canadian universities and urban schools in Detroit, Mich.; and two reports from Brazil, focusing on the Family Agriculture Program and the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement. These articles reconceptualize neoliberalism to show how environmental education might contest neoliberalism, while also promote alternative views that privilege the environment and community over neoliberal conceptions of economic growth and hyper-individualism.
David HurshHursh focuses his research and writing on educational policy, neoliberalism, and teaching environmental sustainability and social studies. He is co-author of Teaching Environmental Health to Children: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Springer, 2011) and author of High Stakes Testing and the Decline of Education: The Real Crisis in Education (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008). In his most recent writing, Hursh describes how neoliberalism undermines education and democracy. His next book, The End of Public Schools: The Corporate Reform Agenda to Privatize Education, is scheduled to release summer 2015 by Routledge.
Joeseph HendersonHenderson focuses his research on the public dimensions of environmental education, with a particular emphasis on how it applies to the energy system and climate change dynamics. He has published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences and Studies, Cultural Studies of Science Education, Educational Studies, and Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. Henderson currently serves as a learning sciences researcher at the University of Delaware for a multi-state, multi-disciplinary National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project, called "MADE CLEAR" (Maryland-Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research).
Environmental Education Research (EER) is a top-tier international journal that publishes papers and reports on all aspects of environmental education. Editor-in-chief Alan Reid is an associate professor of education at Monash University in Australia. The mission of the journal, published by Taylor & Francis, is to help advance the understanding of environmental and sustainability education.

Tags: David Hursh, environmental education, environmental sustainability, Neoliberalism, research, sustainability education