Making the Path as We Walk It: Changing Context and Strategy on Green Street

This is a story about how a national Canadian environmental education program (Green Street) evolved in unpredictable ways and about the particular twist in the road that led program stakeholders to focus on scaling up in different ways than originally imagined. The “twist” occurred when the program reached the initially perceived “peak” in a particular “fitness landscape,” where a focus on policy advocacy (and specifically curriculum reform) seemed a logical next step. However, noting examples within the program of deeper student engagement (with concomitant learning about what constitutes authentic experience); the development of place-based programs that employed extensive and diverse school-community partnerships; the aligning of environmental stewardship with broader notions of active citizenship; and a movement with the potential to engage teachers and students alike (Quebec’s EVB or Brundtland Green School movement), the program team instead decided to focus on further development of these and other innovations to generate new models and experiments we could all learn from. This is the story of a program increasingly participating in a movement-building process rather than focusing on program development and policy advocacy.

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