Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Environmental Education, Sustainability, Mentoring, Transformational Leadership



There is growing global acknowledgement that our planet is facing an imminent environmental crisis (Kensler, 2012; Kensler & Uline, 2017). Issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversities, water quality, the impact of long term fossil fuel use and single use plastics are compelling countries around the world to calls for action. In the education sector, there is an increasing recognition that raising awareness of environmental issues needs to begin in the schools where students will learn about the impact of individual choices on our environment. Research has shown that environmental education programs in schools have a positive influence on student achievement, while supporting equity, social justice, global citizenship, and ecoliteracy values. In Ontario the number of schools that are choosing to participate in environmental education programs, and practise environmental sustainability, is rising. This paper focuses on one school in a large urban school board in Ontario, and describes the use of mentoring as a tool to support the principal and staff in choosing to embrace environmental education programming in their school. Using a transformational leadership approach in the context of the Cawsey, Descza, & Ingols (2016) Change Path Model and the Burke & Litwin Causal Model of change theory, the mentor will be the change leader throughout the change process, gradually, through modelling and collaborative decision making, releasing leadership responsibility to the principal to sustain and monitor the implementation of environmental education programming in the school.

Keywords: Environmental Education, Sustainability, Mentoring, Transformational Leadership