Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Transformative Education and Social Change

Committee Chairperson

John Elmore, Ph. D.

Committee Member

Dana Morrison, Ph. D.

Committee Member

Jason Wozniak, Ph. D.


Climate change is an unprecedented issue in that it is not only local, but also exists globally and impacts all of life on Earth. Without youth advocates and agents of change, the future progress of climate justice will be futile. However, before being able to become activists and allies for sustainability, students will need to understand the root causes of climate change, especially locally. This research focuses on the promotion of local sustainable resources through place-based education with the ultimate goal of engaging students firsthand in the need for critical environmental stances as well as how to become climate advocates. The overall goal is to engage students in learning experiences where they engage first-hand with the environment of their neighborhood systems. Without a localized understanding and appreciation for nature, students will not be able to embark on meaningful change and have lasting impacts within their communities and local systems. The purpose of this research is to use qualitative methods to improve student relationships with the natural world in local and global communities. I plan on implementing this mode of learning in my after-school club at the middle school where I teach, allowing students to learn about local systems in the community. The project specifically focuses on providing students with first-hand real-world experiences with nature through a raised bed gardening program. The perspectives and values gained will help further the goals of education for sustainability, developing students into active members of the community who care about their relationships with nature.