Theoretical Diversity and Inclusivity in Science and Environmental Education Research: A Way Forward

As distinct communities of practice (COP), science education research (SER) and environmental education research (EER) have both matured a great deal in recent decades, coming to include a greater diversity of theoretical perspectives, worldviews, and researcher and participant voices. In this paper, we present a view of theoretical inclusivity that promises a rich, robust research landscape for both EER and SER through the deliberate inclusion of non-Western theories. This view has several components: it requires researchers to be explicit and clear about their theoretical stances and to use critical reflection to evaluate their research; and it encourages the field to expansively explore phenomena and issues using multiple epistemologies and continue to deepen their focus on developing praxis. EER's interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature make it uniquely positioned to model such inclusivity and move forward together with SER to create knowledge that is more robust and more just. We identify and discuss three key imperatives for the two fields to embrace this theoretical inclusivity now and the paths forward to support scholars doing work in both EER and SER and for the productive future of these fields.

Hunter, R. R. and Richmond, G. (2022). Theoretical diversity and inclusivity in science and environmental education research: A way forward. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.