Educational Research in the Age of the Anthropocene: Chronology, Context and Contestability

Vicente Reyes's picture
Call for Papers
December 12, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Educational Technology, Intellectual History, Research and Methodology, Social Sciences


Proposal Submission Deadline: December 12, 2016

Educational Research in the Age of the Anthropocene: Chronology, Context and Contestability

A book edited by

Dr Vicente Reyes, Dr Jennifer Charteris, Dr Adele Nye and Dr Sofia Mavropoulou


To be published by IGI Global:


Our edited book centers around the under-theorised area of the age of the anthropocene: considered as a critical epoch where social sciences and humanities converge in global environmental change research. On the one hand, we would like to explore the magnitude of continuities and changes in relation to specific paradigms of educational research under the age of the anthropocene. And on the other, we also would like to investigate the impact of educational research paradigms — undoubtedly an anthropocentric activity — on our planet broadly defined in the age of the anthropocene as the dynamic interaction of human society and environment.

The Age of the Anthropocene and Wicked Problems

The Age of the Anthropocene has brought about “one of the greatest research and policy challenges over to confront humanity.”[1]  We make a claim that with the age of the Anthropocene, society has experienced a proliferation of what Rittel and Webber[2] and later on Head[3] describe as wicked problems:  issues that are complex, uncertain and characterized by a divergence of values. Furthermore, we contend that the present mode of educational research may be inadequate in addressing wicked problems in the age of the Anthropocene. Educational quantitative researchers have a propensity to ignore unexplained variance. Qualitative researchers place almost blind faith in trustworthiness, specifically the concepts of transferability and neutrality. Mixed methods exponents generalise that a multiplicity of approaches guarantees greater validity.  In light of wicked problems in the age of the Anthropocene, we argue that these paradigmatic stances in educational research need to be problematized.

The subject area of "educational paradigms" is a complex topic. Academics, practitioners and scholars of education are hard-pressed to find definitive and universally accepted definitions of educational paradigms. Our edited book attempts to engage with debates surrounding attempts to appreciate, understand and interrogate the notion of "educational paradigms." In covering and critiquing educational paradigms, the contributors of this edited book were guided by the following key questions:

  • In the age of the anthropocene, what theory/ies have influenced specific educational research paradigms? Where does it come from and how has it changed and evolved over time?
  • How we can think with this theory and put it to use? (What work can this theory do?)
  • Is it possible to share a range of examples of how it has been used?
  • What are its limitations?
  • What critiques are there of it? (Epistemological)

The edited book does not attempt to arrive at definitive descriptions of "educational research paradigms" in the anthropocene age.  What the edited book aspires to achieve is a collection of empirically-grounded, philosophical reflections and carefully considered critiques of "educational research paradigms" that hopefully would be the starting point for critical conversations about such an important theme.

Objective of the Book

This edited volume will engage with the broad topic of educational research paradigms in the 21st century context described as the age of the anthropocene. In order to comprehensively tackle such a complex issue, our edited volume will be divided into three interrelated sections: chronology, context and contestability. The first section deals with the historical trends of theories that have an impact on educational research paradigms and how these have endured/changed in the 21st century age of the anthropocene. The permanence as well as the transitory nature of these theories will be explored. The second section carefully looks into the context in which educational paradigms have been employed. A particular focus of this section (and of the entire book) is to provide a balanced and nuanced viewpoint. The context of educational paradigms long dominated by metropole perspectives will be counterbalanced with a regional and rural viewpoint. The final section investigates the contestability of these educational paradigms. This final section outlines the areas of conflict and consensus that have typified the evolution of educational paradigms.

Target Audience

Policy makers, academics, practitioners, advanced-level students, government officials and scholars of education in general and of educational research in particular will find this edited volume useful. It will provide a historical view of educational paradigms, a substantive content discussion of contemporary paradigms that influence education and a critique of each of these from the lens of educational research.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to the following:

Contributors are welcome to submit chapters on the following topics relating to educational research paradigms viewed with a critical lens within the age of the anthropocene :

- Positivism in the digital age

- Indigenous methodologies

- Art-Based Theory

- Narratives 

- Emergent Methodologies

- Comparative Perspectives 

- Southern Theory

- Philosophy in the anthropocene era

- Theory of Change 

- Humanistic Sociology 

- Critical Theory

- Revolutionary Transformation 

- Poststructuralism

- Queer theory 

- Posthumanism

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before October 01, 2016, a 500 word chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by October 17, 2016 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters (maximum of 10,000 words) are expected to be submitted by December 12, 2016. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This book is anticipated to be released in 2011.

Important Dates

October 01, 2016:                        Proposal Submission Deadline

October 17, 2016:                        Notification of Acceptance

December 12, 2016:                    Full Chapter Submission

March 30, 2017                            Review Results Returned

May 12, 2017:                               Deadline Submission of Chapters

[1] Steffen, W., Crutzen, P., & McNeill, J. (2007). The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature? Ambio, 36(8), 614-621., p. 618

[2] Rittel, H., & Webber, M. (1973). Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155-169.

[3] Head, B. (2008). Wicked Problems in Public Policy. Public Policy, 3(2), 101-118.

Contact Info: 
Dr Vicente Reyes, Dr Jennifer Charteris, Dr Adele Nye & Dr Sofia Mavropoulou
School of Education, University of New England (Australia)
Tel.: (612) 67733988