Journal Article

Education as Active Citizenship: Children and Young People as Agents of Change in the Development of Sustainable Communities

Published on 24 October 2012

In 2007, the Department for Children Schools and Families in the UK outlined the Sustainable Schools Strategy setting out an agenda for schools and environmental education. While many schools made advances in their provision of learning for sustainability, questions remained about the impact school-based Education for Sustainable Development could have in making communities more sustainable.

A central question concerns the roles envisaged for children and youth and what forms of (transformative) learning are needed for children to become active agents in sustainable community development. Based on learning from an ESRC action research project exploring the role of schools in developing sustainable communities and drawing on international experience, this article presents a framework for discussing the roles children and young people might take as agents of change in sustainable community development. The article concludes by discussing the implications for cultures of learning in schools.


Danny Burns

Professorial Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Percy-Smith, B., Burns, D.
Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability


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