1st Edition

Children, Citizenship and Environment
Nurturing a Democratic Imagination in a Changing World

ISBN 9781849714372
Published August 2, 2012 by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

Children growing up today are confronted by four difficult and intersecting challenges: dangerous environmental change, weakening democracies, growing social inequality, and a global economy marked by unprecedented youth unemployment and unsustainable resource extraction. Yet on streets everywhere, there is also a strong, youthful energy for change.

This book sets out an inspiring new agenda for citizenship and environmental education which reflects the responsibility and opportunities facing educators, researchers, parents and community groups to support young citizens as they learn to 'make a difference' on the issues that concern them.

Controversial yet ultimately hopeful, political scientist Bronwyn Hayward rethinks assumptions about youth citizenship in neoliberal democracies. Her comparative discussion draws on lessons from New Zealand, a country where young citizens often express a strong sense of personal responsibility for their planet but where many children also face shocking social conditions. Hayward develops a 'SEEDS' model of ecological citizenship education (Social agency, Environmental Education, Embedded justice, Decentred deliberative democracy and Self transcendence). The discussion considers how the SEEDs model can support young citizens' democratic imagination and develop their 'handprint' for social justice.

From eco-worriers and citizen-scientists to streetwise sceptics, Children, Citizenship and Environment identifies a variety of forms of citizenship and discusses why many approaches make it more difficult, not easier, for young citizens to effect change. This book will be of interest to a wide audience, in particular teachers of children aged eight to twelve and professionals who work in Environmental Citizenship Education as well as students and researchers with an interest in environmental change, democracy and intergenerational justice.

Introduced by Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity without Growth, the book includes forewords by leading European and USA academics, Andrew Dobson and Roger Hart.

Half the author's royalties will be donated to child poverty projects following the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Follow Bronwyn Hayward's blog at: http://growing-greens.blogspot.co.nz/
See Bronwyn Hayward discuss the book at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kptEw1aZXtM&feature=youtu.be

Table of Contents

1. Ecology and Democracy as if Children Mattered  2.  Neoliberalism and Children’s Everyday Citizenship: Bowling with a Sponsor  3. Growing Greener Citizens: FEARS, SMART or SEEDs Experiences?  4. Social Agency: Learning How to Make a Difference With Others  5. Environmental Education: Growing Up on Google Earth  6. Embedded Justice: Rethinking Eco-Social Responsibility  7. Decentred Deliberation: Storytelling and Democratic Listening   8. The Social Handprint

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Bronwyn Hayward is Associate Professor and Head of the Political Science Programme at University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She has lectured internationally on environmental politics, public participation and youth citizenship for twenty years. Bronwyn is also a visiting research fellow with both the UK ESRC-funded RESOLVE (Research Group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment) and the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group at the University of Surrey. She has been a visiting fellow with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change at the University of East Anglia. In addition to her academic work, Bronwyn is a former New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Commissioner with experience in children’s television and radio production. She has worked in environmental policy, education and children and youth politics in New Zealand, the UK, the USA and Norway.


'written with passion and energy ... conveys its thesis with great power' - Gary Clemitshaw, British Journal of Educational Studies

'a thoughtful, powerful and timely case' - Nancy Erbstein, Children, Youth and Environments

'Bronwyn Hayward’s magisterial book reminds us that it's not just the biosphere that is threatened through environmental degradation, but our children's imaginations as well, and hence all our future hopes. As we won’t achieve sustainable human wellbeing within a flourishing biosphere without citizens who both care about sustainability and are able to act on their concerns, we need to take children seriously as political actors. Bronwyn Hayward argues that, because we cannot live sustainably when social structures and decision-making are unjust, we need to nurture young people as citizens if they are to address the wide-ranging problems we’ve created: dangerous environmental change, growing social inequality, an unsustainable global economy, and weakening democracies. This wonderful book should be read by all those who think today’s childhoods are fine, or who think that children are unfit for democratic involvement, or that we'll get anywhere through individual action – and also by those who already understand the issues, and the importance of children’s involvement in their resolution, as they will be re-inspired; in other words, by everyone.’ – William Scott, University of Bath, UK and President, UK National Association for Environmental Education

‘This book is a glorious testament to fortitude, to brilliant scholarship, to the wonderful voices of children’s engagement, and to real hope that the future can indeed be secure. Our job is to make it so. Bronwyn Hayward shows how we can do this through the enlightened and patient voices of tomorrow’s sustainable citizens.’  Tim O'Riordan, University of East Anglia, UK

‘Bronwyn Hayward’s creative masterpiece describes how we can escape the last 20 years of neo-liberal thinking and its toxic impact on our precious children today and in the future.’ Susan St John, University of Auckland and NZ Child Poverty Action Group spokesperson

‘A thoughtful and scholarly investigation of how we can create the conditions for children to become confident, participating ecological citizens, capable of collective imagination and action for a better world. There can be no more important task for the future.’ Jeanette Fitzsimons, Co-Leader of the New Zealand Green Party and Member of Parliament 1995–2009

‘Bronwyn Hayward provides a timely, thoughtful and constructive contribution to an important area of work: understanding how children can develop environmental citizenship. The generation growing up today need to be given the skills and opportunities to engage in shaping their future, rather than be expected to inherit the decisions made by adults now. Hayward makes a strong argument for community collaboration and creative imagination as just some of the key ingredients.’ – Lucy Stone, climate change advisor, UNICEF, UK

‘In this inspiring book Bronwyn Hayward explains how children have been left out of the political process or included in only token ways, and the potential cost of this to society. She describes how children can learn to be citizens by engaging in democratic decision-making processes in their local environments. Including children in decision-making benefits the whole of society in unexpected ways. The book is compelling reading for all those interested in the future of democracy and of the environment.’ Russell Wills, New Zealand Children's Commissioner

'This book challenges the myths that our kids don’t care about what we do as a society and where we are headed.  Bronwyn Hayward shows, with alacrity and sensitivity, exactly how the new generation might  determine the future. Thought-provoking, controversial and inspiring.' – David Shearer, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party

'This scholarly masterpiece ... is a book full of hope that we can reunite and re-structure politics so that it is one of collective thinking, critical reasoning, compassion and reliance on each other to maintain a sustainable world. I implore everyone to read it; it is inspirational and above all crucially instructional in how we can mould the social handprint of future generations for an environmentally friendly world' Jessica Richardson, Sherkin Comment

'Hayward takes an unequivocal stance, urging readers to adopt new practices which will better serve both children and the environment [...] I recommend the book as vital reading for all who care for the next generation, the future of democracy and the planet.' Bronwyn E. Wood, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand Geographer

'Hayward directs policymakers to shift the focus away from aging Baby Boomers and back to the world’s children who are most severely impacted by environmental injustice. Written in an academic style with many references to previous studies, this book must be read slowly and thoughtfully. However, the ideas presented will be worth the effort.'Green Teacher

'This book is a gem. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines including psychology, political science, sociology and developmental economics, Bronwyn Hayward shows respect for children’s thinking and contributes to the debates about how to create processes for human flourishing. Children and the environment are clearly at the centre of her thinking and the book will delight child advocates and environmentalists. But it would be a mistake to pigeonhole this book as only a book for child advocates. It is not. Bronwyn uses children’s frames of reference embedding in multi-disciplinary theory to show adults some paths to creating sustainable development. Through her scholarship and thoughtful approach to understanding children’s worlds, she adds a different frame onto seemingly intractable problems of inequality, climate change and democratic participation in wealthy nations.' - New Zealand Sociology

'Children, Citizenship and Environment – Nurturing a democratic imagination in a changing world  – is a powerful book in terms of the positions presented, questions asked and observations it makes, particularly since they are linked to actual studies involving children. There are many unique and mind-opening thoughts in this book about society today that question the essence of citizenship, how it is taught, learned and expressed.' - Jeff Thurston, Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon