Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Hlebowitsh, Peter

First Committee Member

Whitmore, Katherine

Second Committee Member

Wanat, Carolyn

Third Committee Member

Haack, Marcus

Fourth Committee Member

Moroye, Christine


Although numerous efforts have been made to enact the concept of sustainability in schools around the world, a single, replicable model of sustainability education fails to exist. Without a replicable model to follow or adapt, educators looking to enact the concept of sustainability are left to their own devices for deciding what this orientation towards schooling might look like within the contexts of their communities and with respect tot eh normative agenda of schooling in their country. Such a process is challenging. It calls for--among other things--an examination of the core attitudes, beliefs, skills and behaviors that individuals are expected to possess as members of a sustainable society.

This descriptive case study documents how the founding members of a secondary charter school worked together with students, parents and members of the local and regional community to create a school-wide model of sustainability education. It also documents the complexities involved with enacting sustainability in a charter school setting. Field observations, document analysis and participant interviews were the primary sources of data collected in this ten-month case study. Michael Fullan's (2007) Change Process Model and Elliot Eisner's (1992) conceptualization of schools as dynamic ecologies were used as theoretical frameworks for study design, data collection and analysis. Findings reveal how the founding members of this charter schools took an adaptive-emergent approach to designing sustainability education. Findings also reveal how the opening of this charter schools was met with resistance and how this resistance led the founders to make theoretical and structural compromises.


Charter, Environmental, Reform, Sustainability


xiii, 269 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 252-264).


Copyright 2011 Todd Michael Hodgkinson

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