Teacher and youth priorities for education for environmental sustainability: a co-created manifesto

Lynda Dunlop, Elizabeth Rushton, Lucy Atkinson, Jacquie Ayre, Andrea Bullivant, Jane Essex, Laura Price, Amanda Smith , Maisy Summer, Joshua Stubbs, Maria Gertrudis Wilhelmina Turkenburg, Lucy Wood

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What would it mean to put environmental sustainability at the heart of education? This article describes a process of inclusive, participatory manifesto-making to identify young people’s (aged 16-18 years) and teachers’ priorities for education for environmental sustainability across the UK. Drawing on analysis of qualitative data from over 200 teachers and young people who participated in futures and visualisation workshops, we identify key educational priorities at the levels of classroom, school, community and policy, based on consensus between teacher and youth perspectives. Whilst consensus-seeking comes with a risk of favouring ‘soft’ actions which reinforce unsustainable practices and systems, the process of identifying more desirable futures and immediate barriers, which must be negotiated to reach them, has the potential to create spaces for more critical pedagogies and practices. There is a need for policy makers and school leaders to recognise the interests of teachers and young people to enable greater participation in decision making at different scales, and to ensure that those with the greatest capacity bear their burden of responsibility for education for environmental sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Early online date6 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors.


  • environment
  • sustainability
  • teachers
  • youth

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