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ERIC Number: EJ973313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1745-7823
The Role of Borders in Environmental Education: Positioning, Power and Marginality
Tzou, Carrie T.; Bell, Philip
Ethnography and Education, v7 n2 p265-282 2012
In this study, we argue that in order to understand the underlying causes of inequities in education, we need to look outside specific educational settings to the larger social, historical and political structures behind those inequities. Therefore, in this work we take a social justice perspective to look at the relationship between environmental science education, dominant environmental narratives and how places and youth are constructed and positioned through environmental education. To this end, we examine how "borders"--and their corresponding margins--construct place in environmental education and to discuss implications of this construction of place for issues of environmental justice and equity. Borders both demarcate categories and serve to reify existing social and political relationships. Therefore, we ask the following questions: (1) What is the role of borders in constructing place in environmental education? (2) How do youth position themselves with respect to these borders? and (3) What are implications for the design of environmental education learning environments that work towards goals of social and environmental justice? We found that prevailing environmental education narratives construct borders using what we call discourses of fear and privilege, and that these boundaries position communities and youth in ways that reify existing social and political power relationships. We also found that youth resist these constructions both through counter-script and performance of identity. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A