The LREP Goal of Education for Sustainability recognizes that our world demands that we practice sustainable habits and that we learn, live, and work in ways that bring fulfillment and health today without jeopardizing the ability for people to do so in the future. Sustainable education considers not only present needs, but future possibilities as well. Sustainability, then, is both a life skill concept as well as an over-arching characteristic of the kinds of curricula, teaching and learning practices, and working relationships we seek to foster. Our partners at the Cloud Institute for Sustainability have identified the following key concepts of Sustainability:
- The Healthy Commons – The sense of “place” upon which we all depend and for which we are all responsible (i.e., air, biodiversity, climate regulation, our collective future, water, libraries, public health, heritage sites, top soil, etc.)
- Perspective Consciousness – encouraging and honoring multiple-points of view in the classroom and among our staff.
- Responsible/Global Citizenship – The rights, responsibilities and actions associated with leadership and participation toward healthy and sustainable communities.
- Systems Thinking – engaging students by examining issues and content in the context of real world cause and effect relationships. Students will be encouraged to recognize how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems.
- Inventing the Future / Innovation – the vital role of vision, imagination and intention in creating the desired future.
To achieve these goals we have created best practice curricula that you can access and implement immediately (like these K-12 TerraCycle lessons from the Cloud Institute). You’ll get a glimpse of outstanding online resources and projects, sorted by grade levels, and a list of tips to help you bring Sustainability for Education into our classes by accessing the Curriculum Resources folder in the FirstClass dashboard. Note from the picture to the left, that you can find the resources and the school-based lessons by clicking on “View by List.” The folder also holds middle school & high school curriculum from the Cloud Institute that offers critical thinking and project-based learning opportunities.
Finally, if you are looking for best practice lessons and sustainability resources, check out this ML LiveBinder that we created. The tabs focus on grade-appropriate resources (see Sustainable WW, BC, etc), thematic resources (see carbon footprints, school gardens, etc), and possible partnering organizations.