The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) is a research-based partnership between academic research institutions and national and international organizations. This $3 million dollar initiative includes $2 million in funding from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Grant (2012-2019). SEPN understands sustainability as the stewardship of the natural environment in a socially and economically responsible manner that meets the needs of both the present and future generations. Over the lifetime of the grant and beyond, the Network will examine which existing and new policies and innovations indicate the most promise for enabling educational change for a more sustainable future, including in relation to educational institutions’ approaches to curriculum, research, facilities' operations, governance, and broader engagement with community and place. The research program is unique in its scope and inclusive methodology of engaging multiple communities across primary to tertiary education, regionally and nationally, and via multi-sector consultation and collaboration.
Given the intense interest in sustainability issues across society, and given the early stages of this scholarship in education, this project opens new territory in sustainability-related educational research. SEPN will analyze existing policies and practices, and engage educational institutions and communities in Canada to develop and mobilize national models of exemplary sustainability policy and practice for education.