'Not greenies' at school: investigating the discourses of environmental activism in regional Australia

Whitehouse, Hilary (2001) 'Not greenies' at school: investigating the discourses of environmental activism in regional Australia. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 17 (2001). pp. 71-76.

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Implementing environmental activism at school can be socially risky business. This paper explores the narratives of three women who undertook award winning environmental projects in two regional Australian schools. Tara (student, age 15) and Andrea (principal, age 42) document the complex and courageous social negotiations they were forced to undertake in response to being negatively constituted as 'a greenie' at school. Tara and Anne met resistance from their peers and family and Andrea fielded complaints form members of the local school community. This micro-qualitative analysis shows that, despite the heart-felt rhetoric of environmental education, assuming an environmental identity at school can be problematic and difficult to enact. Environmental action is still not seen as a 'cool' social practice in some adolescent peer groups. Nor is environmental action positioned as central to the 'legitimate' practices of schooling in some communities. Successful projects rely on students and staff who are willing to actively, and persistently, negotiate social opposition to their achieving an ecological vision for school practice.

Item ID: 13109
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0814-0626
Keywords: environmental education; schools
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 03:57
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 51%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130299 Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 49%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960703 Environmental Education and Awareness @ 40%
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