Development of school energy policy and energy education plans: a comparative case study in three Wisconsin school communities
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Through a qualitative comparative case study, this investigation examined the process by which three school districts in Wisconsin, U.S.A., developed a school energy policy and complementary energy education plan. To guide the process, the researchers created an outline of recommended steps for the districts to follow. Although there were variations in the sequence and perceived ease of the steps, the Energy Task Force members involved in the process found the outline to be a supportive guide. Further analysis of the cases involved interviewing members of the Energy Task Forces to identify facilitating and obstructing factors. The study concluded that factors such as level of environmental literacy, along with aspects of the school culture and leadership, interacted to influence the successful drafting of school energy policies and education plans. In addition to introducing an outline of recommended steps that can be used by other school policy development teams interested in promoting energy efficiency, this study adds insights into the analysis of energy policy work within the context of a school setting.