Document Type


Publication Title

Cultural Studies of Science Education

Publication Date



Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education


Department of Education


Sustainability through the use of decolonizing methods to challenge top-down approaches to solution-generation in the bountiful yet environmentally compromised Rift Valley. By contextualizing the study of sustainability in this way, science education research can assume the form of community engagement that is ultimately meaningful and maximally impactful to teachers, students, and to the local community. This type of engagement requires re-conceptualizing science knowledge, science practitioners, and science education, as well as moving from a focus on transmission of decontextualized knowledge toward activities embedded in particular places and in matters of local concern. Environmental issues, which at their heart are complex, contentious wicked problems, require a weighing in of multiple perspectives if attempts at resolution are to be sustained by the local community. In concert with Quigley and colleagues’ work with Kenyan teachers and community members exploring notions of environmental sustainability, this article frames the decolonizing methodology of photovoice using Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action to expand on theoretical underpinnings for inclusive deliberation of wicked environmental problems.


Copyright Statement

This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Cultural Studies of Science Education published by Springer. The final publication is available at