Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Environmental Education Research

For a Special Issue on

Environmental education in Korea: The roles and challenges of institutionalization

Abstract deadline
31 August 2023

Manuscript deadline
31 December 2023

Cover image - Environmental Education Research

Special Issue Editor(s)

Seyoung Hwang, National Youth Policy Institute
[email protected]

Sun-Kyung Lee, Cheongju National University
[email protected]

Namsoo Kim, Korea Research Institute for Environment and Development
[email protected]

Chankook Kim, Korea National University of Education
[email protected]

Eunjoo Lee, Korean Educational Development Institute
[email protected]

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Environmental education in Korea: The roles and challenges of institutionalization

Purpose and focus

In the Republic of Korea (hereafter, Korea), environmental education became a distinct field of academic study following the establishment of the Korean Society for Environmental Education (KOSEE) in 1989. Although reports on examples of environmental education in Korea are intermittently offered through international journals such as Environmental Education Research, there has yet to be a concerted effort to (i) discuss historically and (ii) reflect systematically on the distinct and dynamic picture of environmental education in Korea, for national, regional and international audiences.

In this, we note the discourses and practices of environmental education in Korea have been heavily influenced by processes of institutionalization through, for example, legislation on related policies, revisions to the national curriculum, and various degrees of institutional support for provision in formal and non-formal educational settings. To account for the dynamics of environmental education in Korea then, scholarship must consider the nation’s centralized policy-making system and the range of powers of educational institutions to organize, direct and structure educational practices.

Accordingly, this Korean-focused special issue of Environmental Education Research aims to examine the features, roles and challenges of institutionalization of environmental education since the 2000s, by focusing on (a) the development of institutional mechanisms, and (b) the gaps and tensions between the discourses and realities of the field. In so doing, it is expected that examples from Korea will provide a unique set of insights into the diverse roles taken up (including those blocked, or no longer held by) educational institutions in addressing environmental and sustainability issues.

Several moves in recent years seem to promise a strengthened role for educational institutions in responding to environmental and sustainability issues including climate change, as shown in the enactment of the General Act on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth for Response to Climate Crisis (2021), the revision of the General Act on Education (2022), and the revision of the Vitalization and Support of Environmental Education Act (2022), formally known as the Environmental Education Promotion Act.

Such drivers of institutionalization suggest this special issue is a timely opportunity to investigate both recent and current dynamics that structure and frame environmental education, alongside aspects of provision and innovation that are not captured by such formalized institutionalization processes.

This call for papers then, invites scholars to submit manuscripts that examine the role and limits of environmental education’s institutionalization in Korea in a range of ways. We trust contributions to this collection will not only show the cultural context in the process of shaping the discourses of environmental education in Korea but also provide critical inquiries into the ways we address the question of the role of institutionalizations processes and educational institutions in promoting environmental education in Korea, and more broadly.

Framing questions for the papers

As a whole, the Special Issue addresses relationships between institutionalizing processes and institutions for environmental education, and their effects on improving the quality of environmental education (theory, practices, provision) in Korea.

Manuscripts submitted for consideration need to attend to some of the themes and questions below:

1. Institutionalization of environmental education in Korea:

  • What motives and contexts shape the institutionalization of environmental education?
  • What are the roles and key areas of concern in the various educational institutions in dealing with environmental and sustainability issues?
  • How does the institutionalizing process or the institution/s shape or constrain the realities of environmental education in schools and non-formal education?

2. Institutions, actors and practices in environmental education in Korea:

  • How do various actors (including teachers, practitioners, researchers, youth, policy makers, civil servants, etc.) create spaces for engaging with environmental education?
  • How are diverse meanings and practices of environmental education constructed?
  • What are actors’ views and concerns about best practices or strategies in promoting environmental education and/or considering the role of educational institutions in addressing environmental and sustainability issues?

3. Topics and trends in environmental education research in Korea:

  • How are concepts, aims, and instructional methods in environmental education interpreted, challenged and promoted through research-based insights?
  • How do diverse research areas (in terms of discipline and methodologies/methods) reflect on institutional roles, changes and limits?
  • How does research contribute to addressing environmental education policy issues and provide theoretical and empirical grounds for policy development?

Submission Instructions

Authors interested in contributing to this SI are invited to send an extended abstract to [email protected].

The extended abstract will include:

  • a title,
  • a preliminary list of authors,
  • a summary of the paper (max. 1,000 words) that places the work in the context of the institutionalization of environmental education and this call’s themes and questions, presents the main arguments, method and preliminary results (if available) and provides a selection of examples of relevant peer-reviewed academic references that support the proposed paper.

The Guest Editors will review the abstract to evaluate if the paper is suitable for submission to this SI. Authors will need to have English editing or proofreading before submitting full manuscripts. Papers from international scholars are also welcome.

Further information about the journal, including Instructions for Authors and examples of articles, are available via:

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article