Climate Change Education: An Exploration of Curriculum Enactments in Canadian Post-Secondary Educational Institutions
Martinez, Ana Maria
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Climate change is indisputably one of the most pressing issues of our time. This dissertation is a study of curricula in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions (PSIs). I conducted a survey of 225 PSIs for climate change courses during the calendar year of 2014-2015 and then focus on four PSIs with climate change programs to explore factors influencing processes of formation and implementation of climate change curricula. This research draws upon elements from literature in climate change policy, cultural studies, and curriculum studies to understand the formation of climate change programs. The study seeks to deepen understanding of institutional change in what I believe is unprecedented times. The first part of this study uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative content analysis of course syllabi. Courses were coded according to their focus into Tiers-of-Concentration and Streams according to their area/discipline of concentration. The second part of this dissertation includes a series of in-depth interviews with climate change program creators, administrators, directors, faculty and faculty committee members in particular PSIs. My selection of four PSIs is based on their programs these institutions offer undergraduate and graduate climate change programs as well as their institutional reputations, inclinations and characters. Interviews with curricula innovators reveal some features shaping climate change curricula formation. I focus on four features: (1) The emergence of climate champions in bureaucratic procedures; (2) The culture of economics; (3) Disciplinary allegiances; and (4) Climate leanings. My study seeks to better understand climate change curricula innovations and cultures with a commitment to the importance of PSIs as sources of climate change expertise and leadership within democratic societies.