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ERIC Number: EJ1249222
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 42
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7267
Bringing Environmental Identity Research into the Classroom Context: Examining the Theoretical Foundations Influencing Its Current Use in the Literature
Simms, Wendy
Studies in Science Education, v56 n1 p35-76 2020
A theoretical review of the literature was conducted to understand how environmental identity is currently being interpreted and applied so the construct can be extended to the classroom context appropriately. The review found three key foundational philosophies contributing to the interpretation of environmental identity in the field of education: Eriksonian identity theories, Meadian identity theories, and those grounded in the conservation movement that revolve around understanding and promoting environmentally responsible behaviours. As expected, these foundational theories were inconsistent in the emphasis given to the social versus physical context within which environmental identities develop. Social network analysis was used to analyse the network of literature reviewed. This revealed that Susan Clayton's interpretation of environmental identity had greatly influenced the educational research reviewed. However, her definition of environmental identity and the environmental identity scale she developed greatly emphasise the physical context. This commonly referenced interpretation recognises nature as the social 'other' and leaves little room to recognise the human social 'other' in environmental identity development. The author calls for the consideration of both social and physical contexts in environmental identity research, as well as transparency in the interpretation of the construct for research purposes.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A