Research Methods

Document AnalysisSurveySite Analyses

SEPN brings an overarching methodological framework, which can inform UN and UNESCO monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The SEPN methodological toolkit includes a core set of methods, with adaptations determined based on local contexts. Research methods, protocols, and processes are tailored to different international contexts through consultation with local collaborators and partners and the SEPN International Reference Group.

 

Sustainability Engagement Areas

In conducting its research, SEPN examines how educational institutions are engaging with sustainability in five main areas:

  1. Curriculum and Teaching (Education);
  2. Research;
  3. Facilities and Operations;
  4. Governance; and
  5. Community Engagement and Outreach.

 

SEPN-Canada’s Research

In Canada, SEPN’s work has included studies of the 13 provincial and territorial Ministries of Education, 374 school divisions, and 220 accredited post-secondary institutions. SEPN’s research in Canada and its research toolkit have received much interest by researchers and policy analysts internationally, within and beyond education.

The following is an overview of SEPN-Canada’s research to date:

MethodDescription
Document AnalysisSustainability census and content analysis of existing policy initiatives.
SurveyQuantitative examination of on the ground experiences with sustainability uptake in educational institutions as well as broad relationships between sustainability practices and related policies.
Site AnalysesIn-depth comparative case studies examining the relationships between sustainability practices of educational institutions and related policies.
Comparative AnalysesExtension and refinement of the SEPN methodological toolkit to be appropriate for international contexts, while ensuring the ability to feed project databases into monitoring for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UNESCO’s Global Action Programme (GAP) for Education for Sustainable Development. Includes an exploration of the network’s growth, impact, and social learning processes (Network Organizational Learning).
Knowledge MobilizationIncludes scholarly publications; accessible research reports, briefs, and infographics; open access databases; meetings and interactive workshops; collaborative online work environments; media releases and interviews; social media strategies; development of research-based analyses of sustainability in education policy and practice.
Research TrainingStudents, postdoctoral fellows, and emerging scholars are prepared for entry into academic, policy, and non-profit work through deep integration into collaborative research activities. A KM Liaison program pairs students with partner organizations to enable two-way flow of information and to develop collaborative opportunities.