Aroh, Ugonwa (2018) An exploration of the potential for Nigerian secondary schools to contribute to national sustainable development through the provision of education for sustainable development (ESD). Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The aim of this research was to find out if a specific model of education for sustainability known as the ‘Whole School Approach’ could apply successfully to formal junior secondary education in Rivers State in Southern Nigeria. The research findings show that, whilst the Whole School Approach is a commendable model for raising awareness about sustainable development, there are challenges in applying it to junior secondary education in Rivers State. These challenges arise because the Whole School Approach assumes certain criteria from formal education, which Rivers State did not meet; such as adequate funding, adequate infrastructure and adequate teacher training.

The research used a qualitative, case-study strategy of four junior secondary schools in Rivers State. Methods of data collection were observations in the schools, interviews of teachers and educational policymakers, and focus groups with students at the schools. Data was also drawn from content analysis of Nigerian education policy documents and curricula in the following subject areas: basic science, basic
technology, religion and national value and cultural and creative arts.

The empirical research is underpinned by a theoretical evaluation of the concept of sustainable development, which shows it is a flexible rather than a fixed idea. And by a critical survey of education for sustainability pedagogies, focussing on a critical analysis of the Whole School Approach in particular.

The research contributes to new knowledge in two main ways; first, by evaluating the Whole School Approach in the novel context of Nigerian secondary education; and second, by an empirical investigation into education for sustainability in Nigerian junior secondary schools. The research findings are beneficial to education policymakers in Nigeria, scholars of Nigerian education and to education for sustainability scholarship more widely.

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