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CREE

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Centre for Research in Education and the Environment (CREE)

Research

The Centre for Research in Education and the Environment (CREE) is part of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Research Group (CP), Department of Education, University of Bath. Research, evaluation and projects focus on the development of environment and sustainability-related aspects of world views, and the implications of these for educational practice.

A particular emphasis of the Centre is on environmental education, conservation, sustainable development education and education for environmental sustainability.

Key Features

We have made distinctive and internationally recognised contributions in a number of areas on educational issues relating to the environment and sustainability. Notably, work has researched policy and practice and explored and problematised both through discussion of theoretical and philosophical underpinnings.

Stables and Scott have published in leading journals in the philosophy of education (a field in which there has been very little work relating to sustainability), and have edited special editions of Educational Philosophy and Theory and The Trumpeter: journal of ecosophy which address sustainability from an educational philosophy perspective. Stables has redefined environmental literacy in relation to the "linguistic turn" and (assisted by Bishop and colleagues in Belgium and Portugal) won EU funding to do theoretical and practical work on the development of environmental awareness through literature and media education.

Bishop, Fisher, Gough, Reid and Scott have published in international education journals in relation to values, policy, curriculum, management theory, and research methodologies, and Reid edits Environmental Education Research, which has become the field's preferred vehicle for research dissemination. We have been successful at attracting funding; for example, Scott has had funding for a meta-analysis of all work in this area funded by the EU; in the non-formal sector, Scott and Gough have been funded to do extensive work for the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), both internationally (working with Griffith University) evaluating and critiquing WWF's global educational output, and subsequently as consultants to WWF (USA); in the latter case, Gough's innovative work on the adaptive concept is being highly influential.

We are part of a UNESCO network of some 35 universities worldwide (of which two are in the UK) exploring sustainable development in higher education. Most recent research (Scott and Gough) has involved work for the UK government's Department for International Development (DfID) preparing an issues paper on the mainstreaming of environmental education in DfID's programmes. Scott and Gough have recently written two books on Learning and Sustainability, for RoutledgeFalmer.

Other research includes: developing approaches to education and the public understanding of science as it relates to the environment (Bishop, Fisher, Scott); representations and children's conceptualisation of the environment (Barratt Hacking); teacher education programmes (Barratt Hacking, Bishop, Fisher - funding from the Countryside Foundation; Reid & Scott - funding from British Waterways and the Tidy Britain Group); and curriculum (Barratt Hacking, Bishop, Fisher).