Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Paul Michalec

Second Advisor

Sarah Bexell

Third Advisor

Kimberly Schmidt


Higher education, Informal education, Non-formal education, Transformative sustainability education, University


The Climate Crisis is an urgent and inescapable reality students are thrust into. Learners must be prepared adequately for their futures, not only for their sakes but also because collective and transformative change is required. Transformative sustainability education provides one pathway to this transformation and focuses on radically altering students’ perceptions about the world and their agency in effecting change on ecological issues. The field of transformative sustainability education is emergent and thus is still fragmented, leaving gaps in the literature. Little research has been conducted on how informal and nonformal university spaces can be used to create transformative experiences for learners, and the field tends to neglect the process of learning while focusing on learning outcomes of transformative sustainability education. This study sought to close these gaps by using educational criticism and connoisseurship to explore the experiences of undergraduate students placed in an informal sustainability internship program at their university. This study demonstrated the transformative power of allowing students to learn from one another in diverse informal settings. It also provided a complete picture of transformative sustainability education, one considering both the process of learning and learning outcomes for students.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Derek Brannon


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


432 pgs

File Size

5.7 MB


Sustainability, Higher education, Environmental education