Public pedagogies of arts-based environmental learning and education for adults


  • Pierre Walter University of British Columbia
  • Allison Earl University of British Columbia



environmental adult education, arts-based pedagogies, public pedagogy, social movement learning, eco-art, Tactical Urbanism


This paper examines how current theorizing on public pedagogy can be used to understand scholarship on creative, arts-based pedagogies in informal environmental education for adults. In particular, the study applies Biestas (2012, 2014) typology of public pedagogies to three bodies of literature: arts-based adult learning and education in the environmental movement, eco-art, and Tactical Urbanism, respectively. Each of these is about public art, displayed or performed in public spaces, and connected to environmental learning and education. The scholarship reviewed came mostly from Canada and Australia. In the public, democratic spaces of these countries, we found that arts in the environmental movement and eco-art could be characterized by Biestas pedagogy of the public, and partially by a pedagogy in the interest of publicness. The performance of Tactical Urbanism corresponded most closely to pedagogy in the interest of publicness. The paper concludes with a discussion of directions for further theorizing and research on public pedagogy and arts-based environmental learning and education for adults.


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How to Cite

Walter, P., & Earl, A. (2017). Public pedagogies of arts-based environmental learning and education for adults. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 8(1), 145–163.