Socially-critical Environmental Education in Primary Classrooms

The Dance of Structure and Agency

  • Jane Edwards

Part of the International Explorations in Outdoor and Environmental Education book series (IEOEE, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Jane Edwards
    Pages 1-7
  3. Jane Edwards
    Pages 9-40
  4. Jane Edwards
    Pages 71-94
  5. Jane Edwards
    Pages 95-147
  6. Jane Edwards
    Pages 149-181
  7. Jane Edwards
    Pages 205-244
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 255-261

About this book


The effectiveness of Education for Sustainable Development depends on the ability of schools and teachers to embrace pedagogies that reduce the gap between the rhetoric of education for the environment and the reality of classroom practices.  This book responds to the need to better understand the nature of the relationships between agency and structure that contribute to the development of educational rhetoric-reality gaps in order to inform processes that most effectively facilitate pedagogical change.
This book explores the issues of pedagogical change through the experiences of Australian primary school teachers faced with the challenge of implementing an environmental education program in which young students were positioned as active participants in the social processes from which environmentally sustainable practices could be developed. These teachers were required to adopt pedagogies that often represented the antithesis of their well-established teacher-directed approaches.
Through the use of Anthony Giddens’ Theory of Structuration this book provides unique perspectives of the teacher mediated manner in which certain elements of structure and agency interrelate to enable and constrain classroom practices—essential understandings for school principals and educational policy developers who aim to effectively implement pedagogical change. This book also demonstrates that the Theory of Structuration provides a valuable ontological research framework, and provides social researchers with practical guidance for how to relate this theory to specific research issues.


Anthony Giddens classroom practices critical pedagogy educational change elementary education environmental education ontology primary school structure agency duality sustainable development education sustainable schools sustainable schools program teacher agency teaching sustainability theory of structuration vignettes

Authors and affiliations

  • Jane Edwards
    • 1
  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-02146-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-02147-8
  • Series Print ISSN 2214-4218
  • Series Online ISSN 2214-4226
  • Buy this book on publisher's site