Can Art in Sustainability Education Challenge Marginalisation?

Marginalisation is present in youth education for sustainability. Reducing marginalisation in
youth education for sustainability is crucial in the field of human ecology since it strives to
understand environmental and social justice. This thesis explores the role of art in European
youth education for sustainability and the potential of art to transform dominant Western
industrial cultural assumptions in European youth education for sustainability to reduce
marginalisation. As a theoretical framework, the EcoJustice Education theory is applied.
Then a thematic analysis is conducted to analyse the qualitative data acquired through semistructured interviews and focus groups with sustainability educators, artists, a diversity
consultant as well as youth and art teachers. The findings suggest that the role of art is a tool
for embodiment, diversity, collectivity, empowerment, process-oriented space, and nature
connection. This suggests that the interconnectedness of the themes in transforming youth
education for sustainability is crucial. Furthermore, these themes revealed that art in youth
sustainability education can transform the dominant cultural assumptions of scientism,
ethnocentrism, individualism, top-down approach, progress and result-oriented space, as well
as anthropocentrism and human-nature superiority. This research shows that using art as an
approach in youth sustainability education transforms the dominant cultural assumptions and
thus reduces marginalisation.

Keywords: Art, Youth, Sustainability Education, EcoJustice Education, Dominant Western
Industrial Culture, Marginalisation

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