Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Community Development and Applied Economics

First Advisor

Christopher J. Koliba


This thesis is a descriptive case study of the first sustainability magnet themed elementary school in the U.S., the Sustainability Academy (SA) in Burlington, VT. The thesis provides an in depth case study narrative of the first pilot year of the SA (2009) as well as an examination of the analytical frameworks for evaluating the efficacy of sustainability movements in schools.

A literature review is provided to distinguish between a type of static sustainability that supports the current educational paradigm and a type of sustainable education that identifies sustainability as a moving target and a deep process to transcend the current education paradigm. A step-by-step process for school evaluations of sustainability education is explored and discussed using: 1) the case study research of the SA in their pilot year; 2) the literature review on education and sustainability, systems thinking and school transformation; and 3) the exploration and adaptation of analytical frameworks for sustainability in education.



Number of Pages

199 p.