This article uses a series of interlinked, personal vignettes to discuss the first three years of the North American Association for Environmental Education research symposium, from the perspectives of the key organizers. Seven challenges in the field of environmental education research are identified in a recent historical context, and we illustrate how the symposium sought to address them. The challenges were, that: (i) environmental education research has been marginalized in some areas and not recognized in others; (ii) environmental education research and environmental education practice need to be brought closer together; (iii) environmental education research is still in early development of a professional perspective; (iv) environmental education research has to give a voice to early career scholars and graduate students; (v) environmental education research needs to enable discourse about both process and outcomes; (vi) environmental education researchers need social learning contexts to help develop professional identities and create more meaningful dialogue to address these challenges; and (vii) methodologies, theoretical frameworks and differences in beliefs in environmental education research need to be accommodated. The last challenge is seen as the most significant with which to continue to engage, in developing open, inclusive forums for researchers of environmental education.

Publication Date



The publisher's version of this article may be accessed at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504620701659095 ISSN:1469-5871 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Sustainability (GIS)


RIT – Main Campus