About Education for Sustainability
Join us in creating a fairer, more just world by integrating sustainability into the classroom. To get started, let’s first learn more about what we mean by education for sustainability. How do I start?
What is education for sustainability (EfS)?… “learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet” (Sustainable Schools Project, http://sustainableschoolsproject.org/)
Education that embraces sustainability is a transformative learning process that equips students, teachers, and school systems with holistic ways of thinking about sustainability’s triple bottom line: social, environmental, and financial (informally known as people, planet, and profits). This form of literacy is unique in its aspiration toward a sustainable future, and can be implemented by teaching and learning methodologies already familiar to many educators.
Students who learn to think across subject areas—connecting their learning to real-world problems and solutions—are more likely to understand and care for the complex web of life that supports them and sustains their communities and the planet. Instructional practices that support the development of this form of literacy include:
- Encouraging students to ask questions, analyze situations, think critically, and make decisions
- Designing lessons that increase the role of student voice, moving from a teacher-centered to student-centered environment
- Shifting learning from rote memorization to active engagement
- Team-teaching across disciplines
- Designing teaching and learning that is place-based, problem-based, inquiry-based, and/or service-based
Student outcomes supported by this form of literacy include the ability to:
- Integrate scientific, social, and economic thinking and knowledge
- Institute systems thinking and anticipatory thinking
- Apply real-world skills (i.e., teamwork, communication) toward responsible ends
- Use appropriate technology to solve, not create, problems
- Increase empathy and passion for equity, justice, inclusivity, and respect for all life
- Develop creativity, vision, compassion, cooperation, and collaboration
- Grow a sense of self-efficacy as community members
How do I start?
Resources | How to Get Started | Organizations, Partners, and Schools