Leading for Sustainability in US Public Schools: Challenges and Drivers

John Hardman, Ph.D.

The purpose of this pilot study has been to explore, through semi-structured interviews, the personal journeys of sustainability champions in schools and districts from their initial awareness of the broader importance of sustainability as a core principle to the processes and strategies they are applying for their successful implementation in their respective organizations.

The study sought to explore how these teachers and administrators have been able to overcome internal and external tensions and challenges, particularly those having to do with the implementation at the state and district level of the Common Core State Standards and their associated accountability measures. The investigation revealed a number of powerful drivers that are making it possible for teachers, administrators, and district officials to generate the necessary momentum to implement sustainability practices in their schools and districts despite some of these tensions.

Finally, the study sought to assess the extent to which these best practices have taken root in the collective culture of schools and districts by evaluating the ’embeddedness’ of the principles of sustainable development, sustainability, or regeneration in policy, curriculum, community engagement, and facilities operations and management.

To access the study, please click here.


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