Education for environmental citizenship and activism through the development of nature-based solutions with pre-service teachers




education for environmental citizenship, activism, nature-based solutions, climate change and loss of biodiversity, pre-service teacher education


  • The use of nature-based solutions in the promotion of the environmental citizenship.

  • Nature-based solutions as a valuable resource towards empowerment for action.

Purpose: The study aims to assess the implementation of an intervention program that combines nature-based solutions with an environmental citizenship pedagogical approach for pre-service teachers. The research questions revolve around the educational potentials and challenges of this intervention. To our knowledge, no previous studies resorted to this combination to organize courses for initial teacher training.

Design/methodology/approach: For this qualitative and interpretative case study, data was obtained through focus groups. 30 pre-service teachers of the Basic Education Course (training kindergarten and primary school teachers) in Portugal participated in the intervention. The transcripts of the focus groups’ content were subjected to categorical qualitative content analysis.

Findings: According to the participants, the implemented approach contributed to the development of a better understanding of the complexity of the environmental issues addressed, and of critical thinking skills. The pre-service teachers recognized the educational potential of nature-based solutions in the promotion of their environmental citizenship and activist competences and of the pedagogical knowledge necessary for its implementation.

Author Biographies

Elisabete Linhares, Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Santarém, Santarém

Elisabete Linhares is an adjunct professor of science education at the School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Portugal. Her main research interests are science education, professional development of teachers, education for environmental citizenship, and activism.

Pedro Reis, Instituto de Educação da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

Pedro Reis is a full professor of Science Education and head of the Research Area in Didactics at the Institute of Education, University of Lisbon, Portugal. His main research interests are science education in different contexts, teachers’ professional development, citizenship education, and youth activism.


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How to Cite

Linhares, E., & Reis, P. (2023). Education for environmental citizenship and activism through the development of nature-based solutions with pre-service teachers. JSSE - Journal of Social Science Education, 22(4).



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