Major Papers


environmental education, EcoJustice, Ontario K–12 education, root metaphor, discourse, ideology


Environmental education has experienced both challenges and opportunities in the Ontario K–12 context. Drawing upon a culturally focused ethical approach—EcoJustice—this major research paper attempts to interpret the relationships between environmental crises and cultural assumptions by discussing root metaphors, discourses, and ideologies that may inform environmental education from cultural perspectives. This paper includes a qualitative document analysis of 21 peer-reviewed articles over the past decade (2009–2018), aiming to explore the relevant philosophical foundations of Ontario K–12 environmental education through an EcoJustice lens. The analysis and discussion of the examined literature reveals that different philosophical notions existed in Ontario K–12 environmental education during this time, such as individual autonomy, change as linear progress, and constructivism, with an anthropocentric view towards the human/Nature relationship. This paper closes with comments on how an EcoJustice framework provides reconsideration for Ontario’s K–12 schools in that environmental education is not only about teaching environmental sustainability and wellness but also about revitalizing cultural commons.

Primary Advisor

Darren Stanley

Program Reader

Geri Salinitri

Degree Name

Master of Education



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year