Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Educational Leadership


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Jane Bleasdale

Second Advisor

Danfeng Koon

Third Advisor

Luis Bazan


The purpose of the study is the country of Burkina Faso and the pedagogical aspects of Yacouba Sawadogo's leadership and commitment to ecology, using epistemologies of the South to address climate change in Africa. Knowing that Sawadogo's achievement happened within a contextualized community whose members impacted him, this study explores the different aspects, the cultural belief systems, and the foundations of his achievement. The study uses a qualitative narrative case study methodology. First, I found that to the Sahel hero, the ecological crisis comes from the human crisis, which means the distance humans created between their authentic identity and the current state of being human. If the planet's inhabitants recalibrate their consumerist and exploitative mentality and relate to the earth as a mother, they could regrow and become better. In so acting, they could find solutions to addressing the ecological crisis. Second, Sawadogo's hope and determination are grounded in his faith in God and the mentorship he benefited from his koranic mentor and the revolutionary President Thomas Sankara. Third, Sawadogo is a genuine Afrocentric pedagogue who was taught by his own experience and the earth herself. Revolted by his peers' defeatism, he applied innovative methods and became an influential ecologist capable of raising and transforming similar farmers and ecologists. My research challenges colonial heritage in Africa, addresses the new forms of recolonization on the continent, and highlights the significance of Afrocentric contributions to climate change. Beyond Sawadogo's merit, understanding the context of the emergence of such leaders, including their challenges, pain, and consolation, helps pave the way to raise similar leaders who care for the earth. Ecological peacemakers are indispensable to the current challenges of our world. ii This dissertation, written under the direction of the candidate's dissertation committee and approved by the committee members, has been presented to and accepted by the Faculty of the School of Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctoral of Education. However, the content and research methodologies presented in this work represent the candidate's work alone.

Available for download on Saturday, December 19, 2026

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