This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

School Leaders and Sustainability: An Exploratory Study




Veronese, Dennis

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This elicitation study explored school leader beliefs and practices relative to sustainability and green school practices. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior as the theoretical framework, the study specifically explored what school leaders reported in relation to their salient behavioral beliefs (attitudes), normative beliefs (subjective norms), and control beliefs (perceived behavioral control) relative to green school practices. A leader’s attitude towards sustainability can play a role in their intentions to implement green practices (Ajzen, 1991). Respective to the sustainable green school practices, school leaders reported financial savings, creating the next generation of sustainability, and resource conservation as the advantages of green school practices and costs and time as the disadvantages of implementing sustainable practices within schools. Leaders may make decision based on who may approve or disapprove of the ideas considered. Regarding sustainable practices within schools, school leaders indicated school board members, superintendents, teachers, students, parents, and community members would support the implementation of green school practices, and virtually no one would disapprove of these practices. A final distinctive factor in the behavioral intentions of leaders regarding sustainable practices within schools is related to their perceived ability to implement such practices (Ajzen, 1991). School leaders report lack of resources, costs, and time as reasons that would make it difficult or impossible to implement green school practices and funding, district level cooperation, and knowledge and information would enable school leaders to implement sustainable practices. This study recognized the responses reported by the participants are not generalizable, but will lay the foundation for future research.