The existence of these works alone suggest that Stevenson could not have concluded that "a sense of place generally seemed to be missing from Australian environmental education research" if he had looked outside the decade of the 1990s and at Australian environmental education research published in journals other than AJEE.
As previously noted, Thomas, Potter, and Allison's (2009) comparative analysis of the refereed articles published in AJEE, JAEOL, and JExpEd between 1998 and 2007 does not code papers by reference to categories that readily indicate the extent to which they foreground the specificities of place.
I began this essay by reference to the rebranding of Australian Journal of Outdoor Education (AJOE) as Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education (JOEE), and I return to it here, because I fear that although something has been gained by adding "environmental education," something has been lost by deleting "Australian" as a marker of place-consciousness (having a national title in a journal has never discouraged international contributors or readers, as is evident from the constituencies that contribute to AJEE, CJEE, and SAJEE).
He also addressed the 1982 AAEE conference, which provided many of the first articles in AJEE.
The emergence of education for sustainability created a new impetus for clarifying what the field is about, and this is reflected in a range of articles in the AJEE by, for example, Fien (1997, 1999/2000), Tilbury (2004) and Gough (2006).
It would be an interesting exercise to attempt to categorise the first 30 years of articles in the AJEE.
While there are some great teaching resources that focus on the natural history of areas (see for example, AAEE 2006) there would appear to be little discussion in Australian journals, such as the AJEE
, of merits, philosophy or techniques of a focus oh natural history.
The balance of conceptual and empirical methodological approaches to Australian research in AJEE is revealed by the nature of data reported in the 67 articles that were reviewed.
The slight exceptions are secondary education, which has received almost twice the attention by EER authors compared to Australian authors in AJEE, and higher education for which the reverse applied, with almost twice the percentage in this sector by Australian authors.
A significant influence on this pattern of a paradigmatic and, specifically socially critical, orientation to research can probably be attributed, at least in part, to the editors of AJEE during this particular period of analysis.
I wish to acknowledge the contributions of Neus (Snowy) Evans for the content analysis of AJEE
and Tamara Brooks for introducing me to the theory of affordances and several other useful references.