Fumiyo Kagawa

Jacaranda Blossom

Fumiyo Kagawa

Fumiyo Kagawa is Research Director of Sustainability Frontiers. She is responsible for the planning and implementation of research activities and plays a key role in the overall development and operation of Sustainability Frontiers.   Over the last fifteen years, she has developed her expertise in holistic and transformative theory and practice in global education, disaster risk reduction (DRR) education, peacebuilding education, climate change education and sustainability education. She has engaged in a number of pedagogical and educational change research and innovation initiatives in different cultural contexts in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Fumiyo is a Japanese citizen.


While working as a high school English teacher in Japan, she began to question the exam-oriented education she had become accustomed to.  In order to explore education theory and practice aimed at developing each student’s full potential as well as their capacity and confidence to contribute to society positively and responsively, she decided to pursued her Masters of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), Canada, where she became involved in the fields of global, peace and sustainability-related education.

As Graduate Coordinator and Consultant for the UNICEF CARK (Central Asian Republics and Kazakhstan) Global Education Project for national educational reform in the five Central Asian countries (2002-2005), she coordinated a team of twenty-four Canadian and British consultants, liaising regularly with UNICEF country and area offices, while undertaking consultancy herself in four of the five countries in the region.

Her more recent consultancy work for Sustainability Frontiers includes the following co-consultancies with David Selby: a Climate Change for Education for Sustainable Development (CCESD) teacher education program for UNESCO (2011); undertaking a mapping study of the integration of disaster risk reduction in school curricula globally for UNESCO and UNICEF (2011); conducting a baseline study of disaster risk reduction curricula in Vanuatu and a dovetailed consultancy writing grade 4, 5 and 6 curriculum materials and associated teacher training programs and materials for piloting in Vanuatu schools for Save the Children Australia (2012); developing a technical guidance tool for the integration of disaster risk reduction in school curricula for UNESCO and UNICEF (2012); undertaking safe school research in Cambodia, China and Indonesia for Plan International in Asia (2012); mapping out child-friendly schooling for peacebuilding for UNICEF Headquarters (2013); updating and upgrading  disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation learning materials for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Authority (2014), among others.

Earlier at the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom  she coordinated and conducted a number of curriculum and pedagogical research as well as institutional change research initiatives on sustainability education  in higher education. She published several academic articles out of this research.

In 2009 she completed her doctorate at the University of Plymouth. In her doctoral thesis, she examined the interface between emergency education  (education in response to emergencies occasioned by conflict and environmental disaster) and education for sustainability. Her current research interest is in developing forward-looking theory and practice for resilience building education that considers the runaway nature of climate change and addresses various social and environmental challenges.   She has been especially keen to develop and practice participatory and non-exploitative research methodologies that are congruent with the principles of social justice, equity, and human rights.  

She edited a book with David Selby, Education and Climate Change: Living and Learning in Interesting Times (Routledge, New York 2010), the first comprehensive academic study of the educational implications of climate change and Sustainability Frontiers: Transformative Voices from the Borderlands of Sustainability Education (Barbara Budrich, Leverkusen, 2014). Further books with David Selby on climate change education and sustainability education are on the drawing board.

Key publications with David Selby arising out of the Sustainability Frontiers consultancies described above include: Disaster Risk Reduction in School Curricula: Case Studies from Thirty Countries (UNESCO/Paris, UNICEF/Geneva, 2012); Towards a Learning Culture of Safety and Resilience: Technical Guidance on Disaster Risk Reduction in School Curricula (UNESCO/Paris, UNICEF/New York, 2014); Child-friendly Schooling for Peacebuilding (UNICEF/New York, 2014).

She has spoken at international conferences and gatherings such as  the International Conference on Transforming Pedagogies (Aga Khan University, Karachi, 2010); the International Disaster and Risk Conference (Davos, 2012), the World Innovation Summit for Education (Doha, 2012) and has facilitated participatory workshops for education policy makers and practitioners.

> publications

Contact Fumiyo : fkagawa@sustainabilityfrontiers.org


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