This article introduces the themes of a virtual special issue (VSI) of Environmental Education Research (http://explore.tandfonline.com/content/ed/ceer-vsi) focused on policy research in environmental and sustainability education (ESE). The broad purpose behind preparing the VSI was to consider the challenges involved in linking particular concepts of environment and sustainability with key themes in educational policy, and how this remains a heavily contested practice. Examples drawn from two decades of studies published in the journal show how these might be illustrated, addressed, problematized and possibly transcended. The introduction traces how ESE researchers have dealt with key trends, complexities and issues in the policy-practice-research nexus both conceptually and empirically. It also illustrates how researchers within the field might reimagine and reinvigorate policy research on ESE, and how working with researchers from other fields who offer different perspectives, ideas and expertise might aid the cross-fertilisation of a complex terrain of ideas, policy and practice. In so doing, we hope the accompanying VSI inspires renewed interest into the (at times, fickle) relationship between ESE, and the dual worlds of possibility and tension that take place both within, and surrounding, their fields of policy and research.
- education for sustainable development
- educational policy research
- environmental education