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Research article2021Peer reviewed

Experts, insects and informality: three key features within a school-linked conservation initiative

Ruck, Andy


This article highlights three key features that appeared to add value to young people's experience of a school-linked environmental education initiative built around conservation activities. The three features - close-up encounters with other species, working with external experts, and a degree of informality - were identified through a combination of participant-observation, and focus groups seeking young people's own perspectives. This article therefore responds to the need for further studies focusing not (only) on the outcomes of such programmes, but on participants' lived experience of the processes contributing to them. Taken together, the three features highlight the value of a process of 'curriculum making' that included an openness to the communities in which schools are situated, to the material or 'more-than-human' world, and to unplanned events that enabled young people to experience a programme in their own ways. This finding brings together conclusions from related studies that separately emphasise the role of these elements in curriculum making processes.


Conservation; school grounds; programme features; curriculum making; lived curricula

Published in

Environmental Education Research
2021, Volume: 28, number: 1, pages: 146-159

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

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