Michelle Springer BEd (Hons), PhD



Michelle Springer


Current Position

Director of Guidance and Educational Consultant



Research, education, writing, climbing, reading, theatre, cinema, art deco


Currently Reading

"The Goldfinch" Donna Tartt

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2010 Now You See it, Now You Don’t: childhood well-being in the UK education system

The British curriculum, its overall vision and the vast array of educational initiatives to support the same, all have ideas of belonging and well-being and variations on that theme at their core.  However, the institutional structure and accountability regime that these are set within limits their implementation. The British education system has a split personality – it strives admirably to meet the needs of all students and has an outward commitment to child well-being on the one hand, whilst on the other hand it is driven to feeding an exam machine that gives the illusion of progress.  The outcome of this is a system at odds with itself, producing students and staff that are stressed and anxious. This paper examines these ideas and calls for a new pedagogy that has child wellbeing at its core.


2003 'From Little Acorns': A Political History of Environmental Education in Brazil, 1964-2003

The period in Brazil under review encompasses the military regime and the transition to the current democracy.  Attention to economic development, and subsequent tension with environmental necessities, exemplify many of the problems associated with this episode of Brazilian history.  Environmental Education (EE) in Brazilian policy developed in this context through a curious combination of national sovereignty and international pressure.  An examination of this process reveals fundamental impediments contained within political ideology, international power relations, and the language of the environment-development discourse.  This paper argues that tackling such difficulties may rely on profound alterations in our political frameworks and, ultimately, the reconceptualisation of environment, development, and education.


2002 On the National Agenda: 'Os Parametros Curriculares Nacionais' - Environmental Education in Brazil's National Curriculum

With increased international attention on the environment, especially since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Brazil in 1992, there has been growing pressure on the nations of the world to address environmental issues. One of the proposed solutions to environmental problems has been Environmental Education (EE).  The environmental education strategies of Brazil in particular are impressive.  National Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have a variety of programs that address the plethora of environmental issues faced by such a geographically vast and biologically diverse country.  On a formal level Brazil’s recent national curriculum, released in 1997, has demonstrated an innovative response to international goals for EE and reflects changes that have occurred globally in environmental awareness.  This review of Brazil’s curriculum outlines its methods regarding EE, and demonstrates its implications for both national priorities and EE in general.


2000 The Need for Change: Institutional, Developmental and Linguistic Imperatives - Lessons from Environmental Education in Brazil and Australia

My doctoral thesis focuses on the ways that Brazil and Australia are facing global environmental challenges through education. By examining the ideology, form, content and provision of Environmental Education in the two countries, important lessons can be learnt about the incapacity of current institutions, developmental discourses and linguistic contstructs in dealing with such global and transversal concerns.


1999 Culture and the Politics of Environmental Education – Building a New Theory of International Relations

A working paper presented at the International Conference on Environmental Education. January 1999, University of New South Wales, Sydney.


1995 Environmental Education in Brazil: Time for Change?

A paper presented at the ANZCIES Conference. December 1995, University of Sydney, Sydney. This paper is a summary of research conducted for my Honours thesis. The thesis focused on case-studies of Environmental Education and Democratic Participation in the town of Jaú, São Paulo in Brazil.