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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Critical policy analysis
  • Online ethnography, mobilities and social learning
  • Sustainable Development Goals; Environmental and sustainability education
  • Risk, compliance and creativity in education


Kathleen Aikens is an adjunct senior research fellow at Monash Education. She researches environmental and sustainability education in schools and other learning contexts. She is interested in the intersections of (policy) conflict, digital media, and environmental education. Kathleen’s research approach is collaborative, focused on the wellbeing of communities and schools, and, ultimately, aims to support a more equitable and sustainable future.

Kathleen came to Monash in May 2019 from the University of Saskatchewan where she spent six years as a researcher with the Sustainability and Education Policy Network, an international network of academics and practitioners committed to advancing sustainability in formal schooling. 

Kathleen is committed to academic work that makes a difference in professional communities, from research dissemination to professional development. In Canada, she served as committee member of the nationally award-winning program, Student Action for a Sustainable Future (SASF, 2014-2019). From 2015-17, she served as chair of a “citizen-expert” advisory committee, which supported the local municipality in setting ambitious climate targets. 

Supervision interests

  • Critical policy research and institutional change
  • Digital research methods
  • Comparative qualitative research
  • Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Climate change education; Environmental & sustainability education
  • Risk and creativity in institutional contexts

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research area keywords

  • Education Policy
  • Environmental and Sustainability Education
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Digital research methods
  • Creativity
  • Climate change education
  • learning environment
  • STEM education


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