Skip to main content Accessibility help

Participating in Research Symposia: Tales of Reinscription, Disruption, and Inclusivity

  • Sally Birdsall (a1) and Peta White (a2)


Having participated in both the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) and Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) Research Symposia of 2016, the authors provide a critical analysis of the opportunities provided during these symposia for researchers to position themselves within the environmental education field. Each symposium is analysed in terms of its purpose and program structure, and the opportunities for researchers to communicate and share their ideas, build their research community, and frame their field. It was found that there were spaces for researchers to reinscribe the structures and practices of the environmental education field, but less space for its disruption. Furthermore, it seemed that there were some voices from the edge who were unintentionally silenced to some degree; for example, emerging researchers, women, and Indigenous people. It is recommended that symposia organisers and delegates give careful consideration to these spaces for disruption and to inclusivity when planning and attending future symposia.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Sally Birdsall, University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work, PB 92601, Symonds St, Auckland, 1150, New Zealand. Email:


Hide All
AAEE Expressions of Interest. (2016). Tomorrow Making — Our Present to the Future, AAEE Research Symposium. Adelaide, South Australia.
Aguayo, C., Higgins, B., Field, E., Nicholls, J., Pudin, S., Tiu, S., Osborn, M., Hashemzadeh, F., Lubuulwa, K., Boulet, M., Christie, B., & Mah, J. (2016). Perspectives from emerging researchers: What next in EE/SE research? Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 32, 1729. doi: 10.1017/aee.2015.57
Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2016). Cross-curriculum Priorities. Retrieved from
Baralt, M., Pennestri, S., & Selvandin, M. (2011). Using wordless to teach foreign language writing. Language Learning & Technology, 15, 1222.
Beasy, K., Page, L., Emery, S., & Ayre, I. (2016). Evolution or revolution in EE/SE research?: A collaborative dialogue from first-year PhD students. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 32, 1116. doi:
Breuing, M., Murtell, J., Russell, C., & Howard, R. (2013). The impact of integrated environmental studies programs: Are students motivated to act pro-environmentally? Environmental Education Research, 20, 372386. doi:
Buchanan, J. (2012). Sustainability education and teacher education: Finding a natural habitat? Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 28, 108124. doi: 10.1017/aee.2013.4
Cutting, R., & Cook, R. (2008). The World Environmental Education Congress 2007: A critical appraisal. Environmental Education Research, 15, 177187. doi:
Gruenewald, D. (2006). Accountability and collaboration: Institutional barriers and strategic pathways for place-based education. Ethics, Place & Environment, 8, 261283. doi:
Hart, E.P. (2010). No longer a ‘Little Added Frill’: The transformative potential of environmental education for educational change. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37, 155177. doi:
Hart, P., Barrett, M., Schnack Dyment, J., Taylor, J., & Clark, C. (2004). Reflections on the 7th Invitational Seminar on Research and Development in Health and Environmental Education: Anchorage, Alaska, USA, October 2003. Environmental Education Research, 10, 563574. doi:
Hill, A., & Dyment, J. (2016). Editorial. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 32, iiiiv. doi: 10.1017/aee.2016.
Meyers, R., Brody, M., Dillon, J., Hart, P., Krasny, M., Monroe, M., Russell, C., & Wals, A. (2007). Towards creating an inclusive community of researchers: The first three years of the North American Association for Environmental Education research symposium. Environmental Education Research, 13, 639661. doi: 10.1080/13504620701659095.
Miles, R., Harrison, L., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2006). Teacher education: A diluted environmental education experience. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 22, 4959. doi: 10.1017/S0814062600001658
Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand curriculum for English-medium learning in years 1–13. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.
Online Etymology Dictionary. (n.d.). Symposium. Retrieved from
Rickinson, M., Hall, M., & Reid, A. (2016). Sustainable schools programmes: What influence on schools and how do we know? Environmental Education Research, 22, 360389. doi: 10/1080/13504622.2015.1077505.
Russell, J., White, P., Fook, T., Kayira, J., Muller, S., & Oakley, J. (2010). Graduate students lend their voices: Reflections on the 10th Seminar in Health and Environmental Education Research. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 15, 2637.
Skamp, K. (2015). Teaching primary science constructively. In Skamp, K. & Fletcher, C. (Eds.), Teaching primary science constructively (5th ed, pp. 140). Australia: Cengage Learning Australia Pty.
Stevenson, R.B. (2007). Schooling and environmental/sustainability education: From discourses of policy and practice to discourses of professional learning. Environmental Education Research, 13, 265285. doi:
Sterling, S. (1996). Education in change. In Huckle, J. & Sterling, S. (Eds.), Education for sustainability (pp. 1839). London, England: Earthscan Publications.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Participating in Research Symposia: Tales of Reinscription, Disruption, and Inclusivity

  • Sally Birdsall (a1) and Peta White (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.