NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED531644
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 223
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-2631-1
Superintendents as Sensemakers in the Design of Sustainable Schools
Klocko, Barbara A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oakland University
The impact of the superintendent in the design decision-making process of sustainable school buildings was examined in this study to determine whether superintendents who have more knowledge and commitment to sustainability have a greater influence on green building practices within their school districts than those who do not. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, concurrent triangulation strategy and multiple case studies, I explored the attitudes and influences of superintendents in 6 Midwestern school districts that had engaged in construction projects during the previous 5 years. Data sources included interviews, superintendent surveys, direct observation and archival materials. The data were organized into 2 overarching themes, leadership grit and expert networks. Both, when considered simultaneously, established that increased superintendents' knowledge and environmental concern impacted the implementation of sustainable school building practices. The major findings of this study are: (a) Leadership is the key to greening America's schoolhouses; (b) superintendents are inadequately prepared for dealing with issues regarding sustainability; (c) superintendents who utilized sensemaking as a decision-making strategy yielded high-quality decisions; and (d) superintendents who could articulate a vision of triple bottom line sustainability which incorporated the environmental, educational and economic principles of sustainability were viewed by constituents as effective stewards. Secondary findings included: (a) Superintendents have no formal means of acquiring information to advise decision-making; (b) Districts that assigned the chief role to another individual aside from the superintendent saved costs and allowed the superintendent to be the instructional leader; (c) Superintendents who committed to transparency in a building project received the support of the community; and (d) Superintendents who endorsed a positive attitude toward environmental issues displayed an eagerness to engage in the construction of a green school. This purposeful sampling provided rich data to support 3 distinct motivations for building green--social or educational, environmental and economic. Today, superintendents mindful of the triple bottom line regarding sustainability are leading the way toward a sustainable future. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A