Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction

Department or School/College

College of Education and Human Sciences

Committee Chair

Adrea Lawrence

Commitee Members

Morgen Alwell, Jill Belsky, Fletcher Brown, John Matt


University of Montana


The welfare of current and future generations is diminished due to unprecedented levels of ecological degradation that is a result of accelerating levels of per capita consumption. Sustainability education is being widely embraced as an applied strategy for addressing both unchecked consumption and environmental degradation (Brown, 2003). Yet, little is known about how schools adopt and implement sustainability education. The means by which to engage and foster sustainability education is not well researched. This qualitative research study seeks to address the following research question: How did students and faculty at each school site go about the process of creating and implementing a sustainability education program? The study utilizes case study methodology to understand the process and experience of sustainability education programming in the context of secondary public education. Through participatory action research, this study explored the ways in which resilience, identity, culture and others factors determine sustainability education programming in an applied manner. The research was conducted at a comprehensive high school and an independent tribal school. The purpose of the study was to develop and provide an understanding of how schools engage in the process of school change for sustainability. The insights gained from this research project regarding the planning, development, and implementation of sustainability education programming can further school change for sustainability.


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