WEB SITE MESSAGING: Visual And Written Framing Of Sustainability In Christchurch Secondary Schools

Jo Straker, Michael Atkinson, Stephen Chapman, David Irwin


This research engaged with how secondary schools in Christchurch framed sustainability through web based interfaces. The key focus of the research was how schools are engaging students in sustainability through their web-site messaging. While some research has been done around whole-school approaches to sustainability, no research has been done around schools engaging students through their web-based sustainability material. This article is part of a wider project involving a series of case studies which sought to understand more about how to engage youth in sustainable practices. A qualitative case study aims to describe the topic in detail and in context (Yin, 2009). The benefit of gathering varied evidence from multiple cases, allows for cross-case comparison and greater generalisation. From these cases the team identified four key themes which underpinned sustainability: a future focus; diversity/inclusiveness; community; and environment. The findings indicated that while there was little strategic framing, a bottom-up approach which allowed staff, students and the community to initiate a range of projects was a successful model. This appears to increase the engagement and commitment in schools and allows local communities to address local problems rather than trying to adapt to a centralised or over-arching strategic plan which may be less able to respond quickly and spontaneously to local issues.


Sustainability, Outdoor Education, Secondary school, Education, Tertiary Education

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The New Zealand Journal of Teachers' work is supported by AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.