Between 2012 and 2020, SEPN conducted a large-scale comparative research project to better understand how policy can advance sustainability in and through education across the Canadian formal primary, secondary, and higher education systems.
This Canadian Landscape Analysis, also known as SEPN-Canada, study explored the uptake of sustainability in education policy and practice in all 13 provincial and territorial Ministries of Education, 374 school divisions, and 220 accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada. This unprecedented scale of research resulted in a final dataset comprising over 1,600 policy documents and journal articles, 900 interviews, 60 focus groups, 1,300 pieces of visual data, and quantitative data from 3,000 participants. Over 700 policy-makers, sustainability staff, educational practitioners, and researchers were engaged in the research through meetings, interactive workshops, policy forums, and conferences.
The SEPN-Canada project led to the creation of a robust international network that continues to make an impact on sustainability and climate change education policy and practice through robust, large-scale comparative education research.
The project leveraged three main research methods. Publications and resources developed by the project may be found below.
Collected evidence of sustainability uptake in through sustainability censuses of all 13 provincial and territorial Ministries of Education, 374 school divisions, and 220 accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada, as well as content analyses of over 1,600 existing policy documents.
Examined the on-the-ground experiences of over 1,000 students, educators, administrators, staff, and policy-makers with sustainability uptake in policy and practice in primary, secondary, and higher education across the country.
Examined the relationships between sustainability practices and related policies through a series of in-depth comparative case studies of educational institutions in primary, secondary, and higher education. Over 900 interviews, 60 focus groups, and 1,300 pieces of visual data were collected.
The SEPN-Canada project team comprised over 40 team members from across world and included 10 key partners. We gratefully acknowledge the financial and in-kind support of our partners and contributors. The project was funded by a $2 million Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC, 2012-2020, Grant No. 895-2011-1025), with an additional $1 million in funding from our partner and contributor organizations. Additional funding was provided by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leader’s Opportunity Fund University of Saskatchewan’s Office of Vice-President Research, College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, College of Education, Office of Sustainability, School of Environment and Sustainability, and Sustainability Education Research Institute.