Site Analyses

In September 2013, SEPN-Canada began in-depth examinations of how sustainability-related education policy and practice are being experienced at local, regional, and national levels by community members in multiple sectors. The research included site analyses.

 

Site Analyses Objective

To examine engagement with sustainability in education policy and practice in Canadian Kindergarten-Grade 12 (K-12) and Post-secondary education (PSE) contexts. This includes examining:

  • Evidence of sustainability uptake in policy and practice in the study sites
  • The relationship between sustainability uptake  and sites’ other priorities in policy and practice
  • The influences on the development and enactment of sustainability-related policy and practice in the study sites, including local and global influences
  • The relationships between practice and existing policy in sustainability uptake at the study sites

 

Data Collection

Data collection for SEPN-Canada’s site analyses occurred between November 2015 and January 2017. Data were collected at 6 Ministries of Education, 10 school divisions, and 20 schools at the K-12 level as well as 6 PSE institutions.

SEPN collected data in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nunavut. When selecting sites, Site were chosen to ensure regional representation, a range of sustainability uptake levels, and French language inclusion.

The research includes multiple qualitative research methods, developed to be as comparative as possible while also taking into account site-specific differences.

 

Data Collection Methods

K-12 Ministry LevelIndividual interviews with 1-3 ministry staff or administrators as well as provincial and territorial sustainability edu-cation specialist associations, teacher’s federations, and eco-certification program staff
K-12 School Division LevelIndividual interviews with 1-3 administrators, sustainability staff (if applicable), and 1-2 trustees

1-2 conversation cafés with community members
K-12 SchoolsIndividual interviews with a principal or vice-principal, sustainability coordinator (if applicable), and 3-10 teachers

1-2 focus group classroom activity with students

Talking walls where teachers, students, staff, administrators, and visitors write their experiences with sustainability in the school on a large sheet of paper posted in a public location

5-10 minute sidewalk interviews asking teachers, students, staff, administrators, and visitors about their experiences with sustainability in the school
Post-secondary InstitutionsIndividual interviews with 1-2 board of governors members, 1-2 administrators, 3-6 faculty members, 1 sustainability coordinator, 1-3 sustainability office staff, and/or 1-2 sustainability committee members (as applicable) , 1-2 facilities staff, and 1-3 other key informants

1-2 classroom focus groups with students

Talking walls where students, faculty, staff, administrators, and visitors write their experiences with sustainability at the university on a large sheet of paper posted in a public location on campus

5-10 minute sidewalk interviews asking students, faculty, staff, administrators, and visitors about their experiences with sustainability in the school

 

Site Analyses Research Expanding Internationally

SEPN’s site analyses research has expanded to Australia. Funding for a SEPN-Australia pilot study was secured in 2016 and pilot testing began in 2017. SEPN-Australia’s research will extend and refine the SEPN-Canada methodological toolkit for the Australian context.  The research includes piloting comparative analyses of Canadian and Australian data.

Further information is available on SEPN+ opportunities.