A better place for whom? Practitioners’ perspectives on the purpose of environmental education in Finland and Madagascar

Aina Brias Guinart, Tuomas Aivelo, Markus Högmander, Rio Heriniaina, Mar Cabeza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Calls for a common environmental education (EE) vision imply imposing certain values as universal. Nevertheless, there is a lack of knowledge on the extent to which EE reflects universalities versus diverse sociocultural realities. We explored practitioners' perspectives on the purpose of EE by interviewing practitioners in Finland and Madagascar using a theory of change approach. We classified EE goals into eight categories following the framework of Clark et al. (2020). We found signs of universal patterns, with commonalities such as the importance of the cognitive domain and de-emphasis of sociocultural aspects. Yet, differences arise: the connection to nature was central in Finland, whereas economic and bridging strategies were more common in Madagascar. Our results reflect the tradition of EE in post-industrial countries and suggest the influence of the colonial legacy and Western epistemologies in Madagascar. Questions remain about the extent to which those differences are culturally grounded.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Education
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)163-180
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • 1172 Environmental sciences

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