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Reaction on proposal to Ghent University

The reaction to the proposal (see we submitted to Ghent University for the 15th Invitational Seminar on Environmental Education Research: “Challenges for environmental and sustainability education research in times of climate crisis” was as follows:


“We have received a very high number of submissions which made the review process highly competitive. Due to the limited number of places for the seminar, we can unfortunately only accept half of all applicants.


The reviewers found your idea on a transcending perspective promising and the way Columbus project makes use of a practical form of transformative learning very interesting. We miss however a clear connection to previous research within the ESE field and a problematization in relation to the specific theme.


We therefore regret to inform you that we are not able to offer you one of the limited spots at this 15th edition of the Invitational Seminar.”



The Ghent University stated the following in the original call for proposals:


“The central theme of the seminar is “Challenges for Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) research in times of climate crisis”.


We welcome a rich variety of contributions that can foster critical and inspiring discussions about topical issues relevant for ESE research ‘in times of climate crisis’. This implies that the overall theme stretches beyond a narrow focus on strictly delineated ‘climate education’ and encompasses the wider challenges the climate crisis has on ESE research and practices.


Furthermore, as the root causes and effects of sustainability problems vary within different locales, so do the scientific, political and cultural frameworks that inform ESE research and practice. Recognising such different local challenges, developments and approaches raises important questions regarding the transferability of theoretical frameworks, methodologies as well as empirical results between and within North and South. We therefore welcome a wide variety of contributions which challenge us to critically discuss developments in ESE research from different standpoints.”



The following general Guidelines & Expectations were outlined for the call:


“The invited essays differ from a typical conference proposal in the sense that they should raise and discuss critical problems, trends, challenges and issues for the development of ESE (Environmental and Sustainability Education) research, rather than presenting the results of (ongoing) research.  Thus, instead of being elaborately presented during the seminar, the essays will serve to nourish an in-depth collegial intellectual exchange and dialogue between researchers from all over the world. Therefore, each contribution should in one way or another engage with questions such as:


  • Is ESE research today offering adequate responses to the challenges we face? Which blind spots and lock-ins may impede an adequate response?

  • What sort of knowledge is lacking and how can we create it?

  • Which theories and methodologies are over- or under-represented?

  • Do we notice any promising new ways forward – empirically, theoretically and/or methodologically? How can these be strengthened? How do they relate to established research traditions in our field?

  • Are we, as researchers, facing new ethical issues?

  • What does it mean to be an ESE researcher in times of climate crisis?

  • How to foster academic dialogue, exchange and accumulation that respect global diversity and turn it into an asset?

  • What are issues of colonisation and pathways for decolonisation in ESE research?”

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